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.::Batteries and You::. (Read before posting)

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by ericnail, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. ericnail

    ericnail Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter


    Okay, so a lot of people have been having battery issues, and a lot of people have been having great battery life. Because of all of the topics, it's hard to sift through to find answers.

    I'm going to list some common beliefs and explain them.


    - You should fully discharge your phone battery before charging.

    - Plugging your phone in over and over shortens battery life.

    - The more memory usage = more battery usage.

    - Heat makes the battery die faster.

    - Overcharging can damage your battery.


    So how about my phone? What is the best way for me to maximize my battery life?

    Well, this is complicated. Many discourage draining your phone until it dies, and in theory they're right. However, in this case, not exactly. Some rechargeable batteries can be damaged by repeated deep discharge. As the battery as a whole is being deeply discharged, the cell with the smallest capacity may reach zero charge and will "reverse charge" as the other cells continue to force current through it. Discharging the phone also has a positive effect: Calibration. When the phone shuts off and you plug it in, the phone resets it's calibration. What that means is that the phone is able to more accurately read the battery level. If the calibration is off, the phone could precieve the battery as dead while it might still have plenty life left, leading to thoughts of "Poor Battery Life".

    So, Letting the battery discharge is bad, but also good? What's the right move then?

    Fortunately, the phones today have a safety feature which protects our batteries from "Deep Discharge". When your phone gets low enough, the phone will turn off and will not turn back on. The phone holds enough charge for about an hour to keep the cells "Awake". This allows you to charge from empty all the way to full without risking "Deep Discharge" damage.

    To get the BEST battery life, it's best to wait until the battery is as low as you can conveniently wait before recharging.

    Hope this helps ;)

    All the Best,

  2. Steven58


    This is good basic info. I think everyone should see it, so I'm going to stick it for a week. Well done. Thank you for your help.

  3. FrayAdjacent

    FrayAdjacent Android Enthusiast

    - Plugging your phone in over and over shortens battery life.

    I do not think this is 'true'. The reason cited above is that 'topping off' the battery is using a charge cycle. This is definitely not true. A charge cycle would be considerably discharging the battery, then recharging it fully. It's like a turning wheel, it turns one way while in use, then the other while charging. If it hasn't turned much due to short use, then is charged, it hasn't 'cycled'.

    Charging circuits in phones also prevent overcharging.

    I'm looking for something to cite, but I posit that 'topping off' your battery is not going to cause adverse performance in the long run.
  4. powderkegg

    powderkegg Newbie

    Here's my two cents: We received new Motorola radios at work that use a Li-ion battery. The batteries are obviously much bigger than the cell phone battery and have more cells, but I think that the same prinicples apply to all Li-ion batteries. The manual has a specific section for the batteries and states to not charge the batteries until they are near the end their usefullnes, like below 25%. The manual says that charging the battery any time; even if it is taken out of the charger for 1 second at full charge and put right back in, uses a charging cycle. The batteries that we use have around 900 cycles of life so this can be very important. I'm not a battery expert, but it seems like it very well may be apples to apples or something close to that.
  5. jreed2560

    jreed2560 Android Expert

    I've actually heard this to be quite the opposite. lithium batteries actually LIKE partial charges because they don't waste a charge cycle. I would also disagree with the first tip in the OP. You don't have to worry about letting your battery die all the way down because these batteries do not have battery memory, however you do need to let them run down all the way at least once a month in order to keep the battery meter in your phone calibrated to the life span of the battery.
  6. wharpig

    wharpig Member

    Lithium bateries are not affected by partial charges unlike NiMH and Ni-Cd which can suffer from the "memory effect" (where if u continue to recharge at a certain percentage, say 30% over and over again it could make the battery only last to 30% and die, thus you lost 30% of your battery). However batteries are normally designed to get so many recharges...the more you charge the battery the less use you will get out of it...Batteries normally get about 500-1000 recharges before starting to degrade battery life, but if you keep the phone on the charger on/off all day long your battery will not last as nearly as long....thats why after a year + alot of people have issues with their batteries not holding a charge....I normally charge my phones when they are actually low, 10-20% battery life and I always get 2+ years out of my batteries while I know other people that after a year their phones will barely hold a charge.
  7. Napalm

    Napalm Android Expert

    I agree wholeheartedly with the let your phone kill your battery one time right after you get your phone. I did this after having my DX for 1 week.

    First and foremost assuming you didn't use some random battery charger seperately the phone has a circuit for monitoring battery charge and temp. This is a safety feature. Therefore you cannont overcharge the battery and cannot over temp the battery, using the phone circuit (as opposed to direct wired to the battery).

    Likewise, the phone will not kill the battery until the voltage drops below LI-Ion Cell potential. IE it will not let it get to where cell reversing occurs.

    However, like the OP mentioned it will calibrate the phones circuits for monitoring voltage, current, temp and load.

    There are many places where you can read about the physics (and chemistry) of LI batteries. The # of re-charges thing is true too. But considereing 1000 charges at one per day is 2+ years. its not a big deal for most. get a new battery or by then you will have updated the phone.
  8. tsanuri

    tsanuri Android Enthusiast

    The charging more often lowering the battery life is the exact opposite of what is said here.
    How to prolong lithium-based batteries
    So without sources to back it up I say it needs to be removed.
  9. Napalm

    Napalm Android Expert

    Considering the age of that page. Note that discharge is not a proper term with referencing phone or device batteries. IE mp3 players.

    The circuitry in the device will not allow a "discharge" IE where voltage in the cell drops to 0, LI batteries don't like that.

    Now the number or charges is confirmed by that site. IE each LI battery will only take a charge so many times. Each battery is different. But the LI battery in your DX will only take a charge so many times. Its not how much capacity you recharge, but rather every time the battery takes in current, there is one recharge cycle. The gentlier the re-charge cycle the batter for the battery and the better # of cycles you will have.

    This is why I don't like rapid chargers and why the phone will only allow so much current to the battery.

    I believe the OP is right, and past experience has shown this to be valid. My Last blackberry battery only lasted 2+ years. It reached it limit, where it would hold a charge for about 1 day, when it used to go at least 3. the total capacity wears down over time.
  10. tsanuri

    tsanuri Android Enthusiast

    Just because it was not written within the last few months does not mean that the artice is not right.
    And a full discharge for a LI is considered tripping the saftey on it and it shutting the device off. That has been standard on LI battery.
    Which this artice talks about saying that a full discharge ruins the battery.
    HowStuffWorks "How Lithium-ion Batteries Work"

    And that is fine that in your experence you have seen something happen. But I am one that wants refrences from people that know what they are talking about or empirical evidence that has been gathered.

    As to the rapid charges the first artice linked talks about them. And yes they are not good.
  11. bosox2k1

    bosox2k1 Android Enthusiast

    From Apple and their definition of charge cycle for LI batteries. I use a macbook pro, so that's why I know this site ;-)

    Unplugging for one second and plugging back in does not count as a cycle. Period.

    Apple - Batteries

    "A charge cycle means using all of the battery’s power, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a single charge. For instance, you could listen to your iPod for a few hours one day, using half its power, and then recharge it fully. If you did the same thing the next day, it would count as one charge cycle, not two, so you may take several days to complete a cycle. Each time you complete a charge cycle, it diminishes battery capacity slightly, but you can put notebook, iPod, and iPhone batteries through many charge cycles before they will only hold 80% of original battery capacity."
  12. Napalm

    Napalm Android Expert

    Remember that most of those articles are about basic batteries. not device batteries. IE sub C cells and car batteries and the like. Your phone will never fully discharge the battery. it will pull it to where the voltage gets to arround 2 V. Then it will shut off for 2 reasons.

    1) to protect the battery from cell reversal.
    2) there isn't enough voltage for the processor and ram to function correctly.

    Basic batteries (think cell packs for RC cars) don't have that circuitry with them and rely on battery chargers that have circuits to protect those batteries from over currents.

    Something your phone also does. Likewise, in the last 4 years there have been advancements in the cell chemistry. not only for capacity but for current throughput and charging times.

    I do agree that the basics apply. but some of those terms don't apply to device batteries, due to the protection circuits in the phnoe/PDA/Tablet.
  13. Napalm

    Napalm Android Expert

  14. bosox2k1

    bosox2k1 Android Enthusiast

    My computer is only a few weeks old, and the battery health is still around 100% so I cannot answer that yet!
  15. edgeman4

    edgeman4 Member

    I don't have the website anymore, but someone actually tested your claim that plugging the battery in over and over kills the battery. Actually they tested to see which of three methods caused the battery to last the longest. The three methods they chose were pluging it in only when it is completely dead, plugging it in occasionally but not all the time, and lastly plugging it in basically any time there is a wall charger available. The last method basically describes your claim.

    This testing had nothing to do with cycles or the technology behind the battery or anything, just a simple test using 3 identical phones (newer batteries without "memory" problems), and testing each using the methods described. The battery that lasted the longest was the one that was constantly plugged in. I'm sorry I don't have the article, I tried looking but couldn't find it, so I cannot really prove this but there you go.

Motorola Droid X Forum

The Motorola Droid X release date was July 2010. Features and Specs include a 4.3" inch screen, 8MP camera, 512GB RAM, TI OMAP3630 processor, and 1540mAh battery.

July 2010
Release Date
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