Charging your phone may seem as simply as just plugging it in, but this isn’t necessarily true. Bad charging habits can serious harm your phone and reduce your battery life overall.
You may have heard people claim you need to let your battery drain completely before recharging or that charging your phone nightly is bad, but how can you tell what’s fact and what’s simply hearsay without using your battery life as a bargaining chip?
We’re debunking three of the top charging myths once and for all!
- You need to let your battery drain to 0% before charging
This is true of nickel-metal hydride batteries but it DOES NOT apply to lithium ion batteries (the batteries found in the overwhelming majority of consumer electronics). Many people assume that since this was once the norm, it continued on despite an upgrade in batteries over the last 5+ years.Lithium-ion batteries don’t need to be calibrated to preserve a “charge memory”. In fact, letting a lithium-ion battery drain completely and charge to full capacity over and over is actually bad for them. Don’t listen to the skeptics- feel free to charge your phone whenever you want!
- Charging your phone nightly will ruin your battery life
This is simply another case of an old solution be applied to a problem that technology has already solved. In the past, cell phone batteries would continue to charge even after the battery was at full capacity, causing damage to the battery and increasing the potential of catastrophic failure. Newer phones are able to detect when a battery is fully charged and will stop charging automatically, allowing you to keep your phone plugged in as long as you want without causing any damage.
- You shouldn’t use your phone while its charging
Many have suggested that using your phone whiles its charging causes unnecessary strain to the phone or increases your risk of electrocuted (if you think about it, interacting with anything that’s receiving power from an outlet increases your chance of getting electrocuted). But the horror stories of cell phones catching fire while using a phone that’s plugged in can be consistently linked to faulty or knockoff charging cables- not the phones themselves.
If possible, always use the charging cable that came with your phone. If you’re in the market for a replacement cable because the original one went missing or doesn’t work anymore due to damage, be sure to buy from a reputable company. Whatever you do, stay away from the “mystery” charging cables at the gas station or in big box stores. While they can save you a few dollars, they do an awful job of actually delivering power to your phone in a safe and efficient manner and can end up ruining your battery in the long run.