Battery doesn't last long? Tips for increasing battery life

Is the battery on your smartphone, laptop, tablet not holding? Did you know that you can make the battery on mobile devices last longer? Let these simple tips show you how.

There is nothing more exasperating than having the battery on your mobile gadgets running out of juice. It is normal for the battery on a smartphone, tablet or laptop to start dying faster, if the device is over an year old. But, if the device is relatively new and the battery doesn't hold charge as long as it is supposed to then you are may not be treating it right.

A battery like all other gadgets and devices works best when it is used according to prescribed norms. If you abuse the battery it is bound to start giving trouble. There is little that can be done to make new a battery that has been through rough use, but there is a lot that can be done to keep a new battery working as good as new for an extended period. All you need to do is to learn to use the battery right - follow certain practices from the outset to get the best out of the battery.

Tips for increasing battery life

A battery starts to age once it is put to use; this is something that cannot be avoided, but what can be controlled is how fast it ages. You need to keep a few things in mind and follow simple practices to keep the battery running your device going longer.

Temperature control

There is nothing worse for a battery than extreme temperatures. It is not designed to withstand freezing conditions and/or high temperatures. Avoid leaving your mobile device on the dashboard where it catches direct sunlight or expose it to sub-zero temperatures.
Exposure to such extreme temperatures will reduce the capacity of a battery faster than normal. High temperatures are worse than extreme cold. Keep tabs on the temperatures to keep the battery going.

Full discharge versus part discharge

There are many theories regarding the right time to recharge a battery, the most popular being to let the battery discharge completely, before plugging in the charger. However, experts now believe that it is better to recharge a battery when it is partially discharged.

So, you should ideally plug in the charger when the battery is down to 60%, and recharge the battery till it is 80% full. You do not have to charge the battery to its full capacity, at every recharge. Though, this is not a hard and fast rule, if you are heading on a long drive with no means of recharging then you can charge the battery to its full capacity. No harm done if it's fine once in a while.

Don't plug in charger and forget

You are inviting an early death for your battery if you habitually plug in the device for charging and forget about it. Overcharging the battery kills it.

Mobile devices run on lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are not designed or meant to withstand overcharge. Not much damage will be done to the battery if you forget to turn off the power supply while charging it once in a way, but doing so repeatedly will strip it off its recharge holding capacity.

Overcharging lithium batteries results in plating of metallic lithium, which can be detrimental to your device.

Ultra-fast chargers are bad news

Ultra-fast chargers appear to be convenient for those of us always running against time, but beware they can actually damage the battery and effect its longevity. Your battery probably isn't design for a super-quick recharge. Stick to original chargers that come with the device. They are calibrated and hence ideal for specific products.

Duplicate chargers are unsafe

The guy at the store might try and sell you a cheaper version of the original charger. But, if you ever need to replace an original charger you should buy a branded one, not a cheap imitation, for the same reasons as aired in the point above. There are no quality control checks on such chargers and transformers fitted in them may not properly regulate the voltage suitable for your device.

Tips for long-term storage

What do you do if the device will not be in use for prolonged periods of time? Do you discharge it completely, do you charge it fully before storing it or do you store it semi-charged?

The best way to store a battery/device when you'll not be using it for a long duration is to charge it to approximately 50%. Keep the device in a cool place and it will stay good. If the storage is going to last longer than 6 months, then you'll need to arrange for the battery to be recharged once in 6 months.

Ultimately, the battery like any other technical innovation has a serviceable life, beyond which it will not work as it should. With a little care you can ensure that it works to its capacity for a long time.

So, the next time you're working on your laptop don't leave it plugged in. Keep an eye on the battery icon and stop charging it when the battery shows 80% full. Let the battery discharge to 40% before you think of charging it again. Laborious this may seem, but it'll save you some money that you'll otherwise be spending on buying a new battery. Give these tips a shot; you'll be thanking me one day!

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer publishing with Constant Content and sister sites of Techulator. She writes on a variety of subjects that interest her. She is a voracious reader and that helps her keep abreast with the latest in technology. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Eng. Lit, is a mom, a wife, a homemaker and a qualified teacher.

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