One of the most important functions of your smartphone whether it’s an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, iPad tablet or some other device is the life of the battery. Let’s face it, if the battery isn’t working as it should your smartphone is just a pretty piece of glass, plastic and metal. The overall lifespan of the battery and how long the battery lasts between charges depends on several factors. Most tablets and smartphones these days use a Lithium-ion battery which differ from Alkaline(AAA or D), Nickel Cadmium(Older laptop’s) or Lead acid(What’s in your car). Each type of battery requires different care and feeding for optimal performance. We’ll focus on the Li-ion type in this article. Different versions of iPhone over the years have used larger and larger batteries. the iPhone 4 was originally equipped with a 1,420mAh battery and the iPhone 4S slightly larger at 1430mAh. In 2012 apple released the iPhone 5 and its capacity was upped again to 1,440mAh. A modest increase but none the less an increase to help keep up with more processing power. Apples subsequent release of the iPhone 5C is reported to have a 1,507mAh battery and the iPhone 5S 1,570mAh capacity. The latest iterations of iPhone 6 packing a 1,810mAh and the 6+ a whopping 2,915mAh battery. As processor speeds increase placing a greater demand on power reserves and the size of the device grows so does the ability to go with larger and larger power storage capabilities. Now a few tips and changes of habit that will make a significant impact on battery life between charges and the lifespan of the battery.
Settings and device usage can help make the battery last longer between charges. A few good ideas are:
1) Dim the screen brightness down to the lowest setting where you can still see the display.
2) Turn off radios you don’t need. Bluetooth for example. Not using it paired with a bluetooth peripheral and having the radio wastes power.
3) Check usage statistics in settings(applies to iPhone and iPad IOS devices). What we want to see is a much larger amount of time in standby than usage. This would indicate that when the phone is locked all the apps are in fact sleeping and not consuming power when they shouldn’t be. This also would include turning off push notifications for as may apps as possible.
4) Shorten the time out for device auto lock. The sooner it goes to sleep the less power it consumes.
Some tips when charging the device:
Charging Cycles – When the battery is manufactured it has only so many charging cycles, or in other words how many time the battery will run down and fully recharge. Manufacturers design them to have between 300-500 charge cycles if discharged completely to zero, but this number increases significantly if only discharged say.. to 75% to 2,000-2,500 charging cycles. So an ideal and practical discharge level would be at about 50% or greater. Lithium-ion batteries like being topped up often and with ashallow charge. The sweet spot is from 40 to 80%. Also take note that once your battery reaches 100% it’s best to disconnect it from the charger as to not overcharge. Try to avoid charging overnight at bedtime which results in an extended charging situation. The ideal would be to not charge to 100% in actuality, Li-ion batteries don’t care for that either. as it turns out they like to be discharged a little bit and charged a little bit. Never use a charging case that does not have an on-off switch as it will constantly keep overcharging the battery. Not cool!
Temperature – Heat over time kills your battery. Avoid leaving it in your car on a hot summer day and even taking it to your hot yoga class will reduce its performance over time. In warmer climates batteries will lose as much as 20-35% per year. The phones battery is most comfortable at about 32 degrees F. Now i’m not saying to to store your precious smartphone in the refrigerator but keeping it cool will extend the life of the battery.
Charging methods – The new method that is becoming more popular are charging mats instead of using a cable. Unfortunately charging mats produce a significant amount of heat in the process and will serve to reduce the capacity of your battery. Best practice is to use an AC power source to charge and not use your computer if at all possible.
All of this allows us to reach a conclusion that whats practical in life isn’t really ideal for your devices battery. So, to recap try not to let the battery fully discharge if possible, make 40% the lowest discharge level and let it charge ideally to 80-90% and don’t charge overnight this will avoid overcharging and additional heat that reduces battery life.
Ultimately, the death of your battery is certain. Fortunately iPhone and iPad batteries are quickly replaced at our Redmond, Wa location with not to much fuss and of course in less than an hour.