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Will I lose my battery life by charging it at 50%?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by andrew53517, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. andrew53517

    andrew53517 Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    So I have such good battery life after pretty heavy usage on days that I tend to have 40% to 50% of battery life left before I go to bed late at night. Now, I conditioned my battery and I worked so hard to make it as amazing as it is now and I don't want to lose that...So will not letting it drain all the way down every time to charge ruin my amazing battery life over time? (Like decrease my battery life for the day?)

  2. CRPercodani

    CRPercodani OFWGKTA

    Li-Ion polymer batteries can be topped off at any time, it won't have any ill effects on overall battery life. Your good.
  3. mali2838

    mali2838 Newbie

    You should be fine, you shouldn't drain it all the time.
  4. andrew53517

    andrew53517 Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Okay thanks guys! But really? Why is that?
  5. CRPercodani

    CRPercodani OFWGKTA

    Li-ion polymer's just don't need to be drained, it won't really hurt it to let it get low but fully draining it every time is not really a good idea like it was with older nickels. Something about shortening the life of the battery I think.
  6. FrayAdjacent

    FrayAdjacent Android Enthusiast

    The Lithium based chemistry does not develop a 'memory' like older nickel (cadmium and metal hydride) batteries do.

    They are not negatively affected by 'topping off', however, they do not like to be discharged and left that way for long periods.

    It's best to think of your battery as a muscle. It needs to be exercised to stay in good health. It's not good to strain it often, but it's not good to let it relax too much, either.
  7. andrew53517

    andrew53517 Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Awesome way to put it. Just the answers I was looking for! Thanks again! :)
  8. kbayer

    kbayer Android Enthusiast

    Wow... great info!
  9. JoeProcopio

    JoeProcopio Android Enthusiast

    what did you do to condition your battery in the first place?
  10. QrafTee

    QrafTee Android Expert

    On paper that may be true, but in practice... I don't know. I've had several devices using Li-ion (what doesn't nowadays?) and there seems to be ill effects when you constantly recharge the battery. Maybe not memory, but it definitely doesn't last as long anymore until it finally gives out altogether.
  11. turbonator

    turbonator Lurker

    What about the # of recharge cycles a battery can take (typically around 300-500?). So each time you top off the battery you're essentially reducing it's lifespan right?
  12. Eugene

    Eugene Android Expert

    If your just topping off the battery then its not a full charge cycle. So for example if you always charge it when its t 80% then it takes 5 of those top offs to equal one full cycle. But if your always discharging it to 0 every day then after 300 days your going to have a somewhat worn out battery. You don't want to discharge a lithium ion needlessly for that reason.
    There is no need to condition but every so often you should let it fully discharge to calibrate the battery meter.
    Also remember that lithium ion and lipo batteries loose 10-20% of their life per year no matter what so they get worn out after a couple years anyway you just factor replacing the battery into the cost of ownership. Thats why if I can buy a device that uses AA's rather than lithium ion or lithium polymer I'll go that route, such as digital cameras or gps or radios, I have NiM's that went 10 years before getting worn out.
    You may be saying that info is incorrect because I have a laptop that's 5 years old and the battery still works, a battery is considered worn out when it can only sustain 80% of its rated capacity.
  13. shadowdude777

    shadowdude777 Android Expert

    This is correct, Li-ion batteries can be topped off at any time because they don't suffer from "memory" effects. They also don't suffer from "overcharging" (older battery chemistries can be damaged by leaving the battery in the charger after it hits 100%) because they have special circuitry that virtually eliminates the current that the battery sees once it is full.

    On the flipside, I've also heard you SHOULDN'T run Li-ion batteries down to 0% because you could damage the charge management circuitry. I don't know how true this is, but before I knew about this, I used to run my old iPod Touch until it died on me practically every day and its battery life certainly isn't optimal.

    Also, if you want to store Li-ion batteries because they're not getting any use for more than about a month at a time, it's best to do it around refrigerator temperatures, with the battery charge at 40%.
  14. Eugene

    Eugene Android Expert

    Discharging 100% doesn't damage any charge circuitry, it wears out the battery. When you see the 300-500 cycles listing for Li batteries thats all inclusive. Medical and high end batteries are 500 cycles, consumer grade are 300 cycles. Consumer grade you get in phones, laptops, etc. The higher grade you will find in one of the new DeWalt drills and medical equipment, the cost of those higher grade cells is usually twice that of a consumer grade. So basically when talking about phones and such 300 is the typical number of charges.
  15. shadowdude777

    shadowdude777 Android Expert

    Yeah, like I said in my post, I wasn't sure about that. I heard about it once on a site that I don't remember, so yeah... [citation needed] :D
  16. Eugene

    Eugene Android Expert

    Maybe because with larger battery (packs) like in a laptop there is some charge circuitry, usually it holds the discharge table so if you have more than one battery pack and swap it out the battery meter is calibrated to the battery in use.
    So technically the battery (pack) wears out, but its actually the cells inside the pack that wear out.
  17. Eugene

    Eugene Android Expert

    the only caveat with that link is some of the pages are getting outdated, for example the NiMH page is at least 15 years out of date in how it groups them with NiCad as Ni based. When NiMH first came out people thought them were similar and used and charged them the same as Nicad but after a short time we learned they are very different and can't be treated similar. They also don't even mention the new Low Self Discharge NiMH which I started using early in 2006.
    Their Lithium Ion page is pretty accurate provided you realize the 300-500 cycles is 300 for consumer and 500 for the higher grade so remember for us its 300 cycles not 500.
  18. shadowdude777

    shadowdude777 Android Expert

    Ugh, NiCad. Don't even remind me. :rolleyes:
  19. Eugene

    Eugene Android Expert

    niCads weren't that bad, most battery problems are caused by poor chargers. I had a NiCad Makita drill that the batteries lasted 10 years.
  20. shadowdude777

    shadowdude777 Android Expert

    Heh, really? I have a Sonicare toothbrush with a NiCad battery that barely lasted a year. Now it'll hold one or two tooth-brushing sessions worth of charge, tops. Guess I got unlucky, huh? :(
  21. Eugene

    Eugene Android Expert

    Its probably a trickle charger, if you put it on its base to charge does it always charge as long as its on the base? Most do that.
    A lot of home cordless phones are like that too. I managed to find a panasonic set that not only shuts off the charger once charged but has individual AAA's so i can pull them out and condition them on my good maha charger to help lesson the effects of the series charging in the phone. thats the second biggest cause charge issue, charging in pairs or more, cells prefer to be charged individually.

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