Battery charging

SnowTiger Posts: 4,461 Forumite
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I've read a lot of conflicting information about how best to charge a tablet or phone to prolong its battery life.

Some say a battery should be completely drain before charging, others say it can be charged whenever you please.

I picked up this article via Digital Spy:
...charging your battery before it's fully depleted will also not harm your battery at all, and is actually the preferable way of charging your battery. While Lithium Ion batteries are rated for a limited number of "charge cycles' (about 500 in the case of the iPhone), the term "charge cycle" refers to complete recharges, and partial recharges simply use up partial charge cycles. In other words, every time you charge your iPhone up from 90%, you're using 1/10th, or 10%, of a complete charge cycle. This means you could charge your iPhone up from 90%-100% 5,000 times before you'd have to worry about running out of charge cycles.

However, if you deliberately drain your battery to zero and then recharge it, instead of simply plugging it in when it needs to be charged, you're needlessly using up a complete charge cycle. Obviously if you're using your iPhone until the battery goes dead, that's fair, but there's no need to deliberately drain it before recharging it, and you'll actually shorten your battery life if you do so.

Although the article is specifically about iPhone batteries, I guess the advice applies to Lithium-Ion batteries in general.

My personal experience is that I've had two Nexus 4s and after about six months of charging them as and when I pleased their batteries were nearly worthless, offering only about three hours use.

I replaced the battery in my current Nexus 4 about a year and have been religiously draining it before charging and it's still going strong.

On the other hand, I've had a Nexus 7 (2012 version) for about three years and have treated the battery quite badly, but it seems to hold its charge well.


  • JJ_Egan
    JJ_Egan Posts: 20,281 Forumite
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    I top up as and when needed but try not to drop below 5% charge .As i buy phones with a removable battery i am not really bothered about supposed best methods of charging that often conflict each other .
    S1 S2 S3 and Note 3 all going well on original battery's .
  • Jon_01
    Jon_01 Posts: 5,872 Forumite
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    Charge mine over night every night whether the battery's at 10% or 90% and always have. Never had a problem...
  • almillar
    almillar Posts: 8,621 Forumite
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    Yep, there's different advice for different types of batteries, with different chemicals in them which have different characteristics.
    Almost any tablet, and any modern phone and laptop (and electric car) will have Lithium Ion batteries. These don't like being stored at full or empty so if you're not going to use them for a while, leave the charge somewhere in the middle. The charging cycles in your article does apply. I would add that I do like to do a complete drain every so often, not for the battery, but to make sure that the charging circuit has the calibration right, and that 0% does indeed mean 0%.
    Before we got LiIon, we had Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) which kindof had a memory, and did like to be completely charged, and completely discharged.
    Then there's lead acid, Nickel Cadium (NiCad) etc etc.
    It's not about the device, it's about the type of battery.
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