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Old December 6th, 2011, 09:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Best battery charging practices?

So considering I'll be picking up my GNex this Friday, I'd like to know what I can do from day one to ensure the longest lasting battery life.

The problem is that my schedule is a bit weird since I go to school during the day instead of work. Basically, I usually plug my phone in at night when I go to sleep (11:00-12:00) and unplug when I leave in the morning (7:45ish). As I've seen happen with my Thunderbolt and DInc's batteries, that's terrible for the cells and greatly reduces the maximum capacity over time.

So, what's the best way to "cycle" a battery? Is it true that you should never run a battery down entirely, even only once a month to properly calibrate the battery? I've heard so many different things and would like a proper opinion on what is actually best for a lithium ion battery.

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Old December 6th, 2011, 09:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by scottg96 View Post
So considering I'll be picking up my GNex this Friday, I'd like to know what I can do from day one to ensure the longest lasting battery life.

The problem is that my schedule is a bit weird since I go to school during the day instead of work. Basically, I usually plug my phone in at night when I go to sleep (11:00-12:00) and unplug when I leave in the morning (7:45ish). As I've seen happen with my Thunderbolt and DInc's batteries, that's terrible for the cells and greatly reduces the maximum capacity over time.

So, what's the best way to "cycle" a battery? Is it true that you should never run a battery down entirely, even only once a month to properly calibrate the battery? I've heard so many different things and would like a proper opinion on what is actually best for a lithium ion battery.

Thanks
EDIT: These are 'considered' to be best practices. If you feel otherwise, please follow your own steps.

General best practice --

1 - Take phone out of the box and charge it to 100%.
2 - Unplug as soon as it reaches 100% (or as soon as you can)
3 - Drain the battery until the phone turns off with 'normal' use.
4 - Recharge to full.
5 - Use as you would normally.

This will calibrate the battery.

For normal charging - leaving it plugged in overnight and using it the next day is not a bad thing. Generally (and this will be disputed I'm sure) you really only ever want to charge after you go below 20%, as a battery's "sweet" spot in from 20-80%.

The longer a battery stays plugged in, the longer it cycles the charging/draining technique. If you can, unplug as soon as it's fully charged. But as most of us plug it in overnight and use it in the morning, this is really just being nit-picky.

These steps will allow you to maintain the full lifespan of the battery.
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Old December 6th, 2011, 10:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by keatre View Post
General best practice --

1 - Take phone out of the box and charge it to 100%.
2 - Unplug as soon as it reaches 100% (or as soon as you can)
3 - Drain the battery until the phone turns off with 'normal' use.
4 - Recharge to full.
5 - Use as you would normally.

This will calibrate the battery.

For normal charging - leaving it plugged in overnight and using it the next day is not a bad thing. Generally (and this will be disputed I'm sure) you really only ever want to charge after you go below 20%, as a battery's "sweet" spot in from 20-80%.

These steps will allow you to maintain the full lifespan of the battery.
Thanks for the tips! I'll try this out.
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Old December 6th, 2011, 10:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have heard tons of different things but I am a r/c car enthusiast and I know for Lithium-Polymer and in general any Lithium battery it is not good to get the voltage down very low like 3.2 or 3.0 Volts because it damages the cells. But I would assume that the phones have a low voltage cut-off so when its at say 3.2V its at 5% or lower.
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Old December 6th, 2011, 10:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Here is what I did.. Got the phone, and used whatever battery was left on it, charged it to about 30-40%, and used it again till the battery drained. Did this throughout the day, I just couldn't help but keep playing on it. Didn't have any patience.

The battery life initially for me seemed pretty bad, and I'm not the only one who has experienced it. But I noticed the more I use the phone, the better the battery has been getting. And now, I'm very pleased with the battery life. Had the phone since release (UK) and I have to say it's doing better than my iPhone did.

To be honest, that's how I treat all my devices, I'm simply too impatient. Considering the length of time I'll keep this phone (12 months or less), and considering the battery can be replaced, I'm not fussed or focused on how I charge it. I just enjoy the phone, and forget about doing xyz and abc etc. I don't think I'll have the phone for such a period of time that I will notice the battery health going down, and say I did, I'll just get another battery.

Don't take the above as advice (i'm sure you wouldn't), I could be doing horrible damage to the battery of my devices by treating them in such a way, but honestly, I'm tired of not enjoying a device because of all these procedures and rules regarding every aspect.
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Old December 6th, 2011, 10:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Charge it up. Use it, when done plug it back in again. No need to calibrate or discharge anything.
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Old December 6th, 2011, 10:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Charge it up. Use it, when done plug it back in again. No need to calibrate or discharge anything.
+1. Just use the phone.
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Old December 7th, 2011, 01:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Been battery swapping two batteries on a droid 1 that I bought a year ago. It is a very stress free method I think, because you literally never have to be tethered as there is always a battery ready and waiting. The batteries both last over 24 hours with moderate use.

My original battery got quite crappy way before I bought the 2 new ones. I have a feeling it could have been related to using the car charger to revive it (i swear that caused the battery on my old school samsung phone to expand!) but not sure. I still have used the car charger on my current batteries but have avoided it.

I would agree with the advice on avoiding the lowest charge levels, always swap when you know you're not going to be able to charge for a long time or when you're in yellow/red.

Mostly all theory though, but swapping has worked out well.
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Old December 7th, 2011, 05:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Much of the above is BS.

There is nothing you can do or not do that will greatly affect the life of your battery in the GNex. Just use it and charge while you are sleeping. Leaving it on the charger all night will in no way hurt the battery as it STOPS CHARGING when it reaches 100%.

Just use your device and enjoy it. In only six months you will already be looking at the next latest and greatest phone.
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Old December 7th, 2011, 05:15 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Boyaka View Post
Been battery swapping two batteries on a droid 1 that I bought a year ago. It is a very stress free method I think, because you literally never have to be tethered as there is always a battery ready and waiting. The batteries both last over 24 hours with moderate use.

My original battery got quite crappy way before I bought the 2 new ones. I have a feeling it could have been related to using the car charger to revive it (i swear that caused the battery on my old school samsung phone to expand!) but not sure. I still have used the car charger on my current batteries but have avoided it.

I would agree with the advice on avoiding the lowest charge levels, always swap when you know you're not going to be able to charge for a long time or when you're in yellow/red.

Mostly all theory though, but swapping has worked out well.
Removing that phone back and replacing the battery a few times a day will break off the tabs on the back so you need to be looking for a spare back. The GNex battery will more than get the average person through a day without changing the battery
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Old December 7th, 2011, 10:06 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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There are many stories about batteries. I just read the other day that the iPhone battery needs to be charge frequently for good battery life and not let it drop below 20%. No need to top it off often, but charging it frequently is perfectly OK.
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Old December 7th, 2011, 02:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default charging battery

Lithium Ion batteries have absolutely no memory. You can charge them whenever you want to. If it has 90% and you want to "fill 'er up'' just throw it on the charger. Same thing if it has 20%. They stop charging when they are full. Personally, I put mine in the dock every night and it's a clock and alarm if needed. It's fully charged every morning and takes me through the day. The old NiCad or Nickle Metal Hydride batteries did have memory, but that's ancient history.
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Old December 7th, 2011, 03:26 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I am also curious about this and heard all the same things.

I downloaded the manual last night from Droid Life and read all the pages. I did not see one mention about charging the battery x amount of time prior to use, I was specifically looking for information about proper charging before using.

As far as I am concern, I plan on charging prior to turning it on until the light is green, unplug and play with it until it has to be charged! Might buy the spare charging station, I get 20% off all accessories so not a bad deal to spend the extra cash.
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Old December 8th, 2011, 07:21 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I agree it is confusing, and I too have received conflicting recommendations.

When my phone arrived, it was about charged. I started charging it, but was told that I should discharge it completely instead, then re-charge to full.

In retrospect this was bad advice. My battery seems worse than in my old Nexus One as I only get about of a day out of it. The other thing I've noticed is that is stops charging when it get's to about 98/99%. I have to unplug it, then charge again for a short while to get to 100%. Again, I think the initial advice is to blame.

I've ordered a spare battery (I always like to carry a spare anyway), so I'll try out keatre's method this time.
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Old December 14th, 2011, 06:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keatre View Post
1 - Take phone out of the box and charge it to 100%.
2 - Unplug as soon as it reaches 100% (or as soon as you can)
3 - Drain the battery until the phone turns off with 'normal' use.
4 - Recharge to full.
5 - Use as you would normally.
I'd really like to try these steps out, as I want to take every precaution to calibrate my battery for the longest possible life. However, correct me if I'm wrong, but won't the phone turn on and try to boot up when plugged in? At least, this was the case with my OG Droid. Forgive me if this is a stupid question.
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Old December 14th, 2011, 08:36 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I have heard tons of different things but I am a r/c car enthusiast and I know for Lithium-Polymer and in general any Lithium battery it is not good to get the voltage down very low like 3.2 or 3.0 Volts because it damages the cells. But I would assume that the phones have a low voltage cut-off so when its at say 3.2V its at 5% or lower.


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Old December 15th, 2011, 06:41 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Powering down before charging MIGHT give you a more complete battery charge. This is because some phones use a little juice just to stay on.
To verify whether the extra charge phenom is true for your phone: Charge it when it's on until it's fully charged. Then power down and plug it in to charge again. If the phone was not fully charged before, you'll see the charge light come back on for a while until the battery is completely charged.
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