Helpful Habits to Maximise Battery Life

01st August 2020

Every day we are replacing dozens of batteries in computers, phones and tablets. Most modern smartphones and laptops don’t provide easy access to their batteries so it’s always best to treat it right in the first place. Smartphones are also an environmental disaster and extending the lifespan of your phone battery helps mitigate that. Here are our tips for you to preserve and extend the lifespan (how many years before your battery needs to be replaced) of your phone or laptop battery.

 

Understand how your phone battery degrades.

With every charge cycle, your battery degrades slightly. A charge cycle is a full discharge and charge of the battery, from 0% to 100%. Partial charges count as a fraction of a cycle. Charging your phone or laptop from 50% to 100%, for example, would be half a charge cycle. Some device owners use more than a full charge cycle a day, others use less. It depends on how much you use your phone or laptop and what you do with it. Manufacturers say that after about 400 cycles a phone battery’s capacity will degrade by 20%. The aim here is to slow down those charge cycles — if you can drain and charge the battery less, the longer the battery will last. The problem is, you bought your device to use it and you need to balance saving battery life and lifespan with utility, using your phone or laptop how and when you want it. So some of my suggestions you can implement fairly easily, and others may cramp your style.

 

Avoid fast charging.

Fast chargers are convenient but it does stress the battery. An easy win is your cable next to your bed that you plug your phone in overnight. That should probably be a standard charger, not a fast charger.

 

Charge your phone to 80% for long-term storage

If you are going to store your phone for an extended period, charge it up before turning it off and storing it. Your battery continues to degrade and discharge if the phone is turned off and not being used at all so leaving it flat then storing it will usually be bad news.

 

Avoid extremes of heat and cold.

If your phone gets very hot or cold it can strain the battery and shorten its lifespan. Leaving it in your car is the worst culprit, especially during summer.

 

Avoid draining your phone battery all the way to 0% or charging it all the way to 100%.

Older types of rechargeable batteries had ‘battery memory’. If you didn’t charge them to full and discharge them to zero battery they ‘remembered’ and reduced their useful range. It was better for their lifespan if you always drained and charged the battery completely. Now days phone and laptop batteries work differently, it stresses the battery to drain it completely or charge it completely. Phone batteries are happiest if you keep them above 20% capacity and below 90%. Short charges are probably fine, so if you’re the sort of person that finds yourself frequently topping up your phone for quick charges, that’s fine for your battery.

 

Turn down the screen brightness.

A smartphone or laptop’s screen is the component that typically uses the most battery. Turning down the screen brightness will save energy and reduce the cycles. Most smartphones have an Auto Brightness feature worth using.

 

Reduce the screen timeout (auto-lock)

If you leave your screen on without using it, it will automatically turn off after a period of time, for phones that usually one or two minutes and laptops a bit longer typically five to 15 minutes. Reduce that time to save battery. You may find that the screen switches off when you are reading a recipe or something, Android users can download an app called Tasker to extend the screen time when certain apps are being used.

 

Look for apps that waste battery.

Look through your battery settings for apps that use a disproportionate amount of energy and delete, disable, or restrict permissions where possible. For apps you want to keep using, you can restrict permissions you don’t need. There are also ‘light’ versions of some popular apps that generally take up less space, use less data, and may use less power. Facebook Messenger Light is one example.

 

Learn how to turn on energy-saving / low-power modes.

Your phone or laptop has one or more energy-saving modes. These limit the performance of the CPU (and other features). Consider using them. You will get lower performance but better battery life. You might not mind the trade-off.

 

Manage wireless communication

Some people might tell you to turn off features you rarely use, but then again GPS, Bluetooth, and NFC don’t really use a lot of energy in standby mode, only if they’re actually operating. You will make a difference in managing a weak range of your mobile or WiFi signal. If your device is struggling to reach the signal your device phone needs to boost its own signal to reach that distant tower or WiFi router, using more energy. We offer a range of WiFi and mobile signal boosting solutions.

 

Summary

The current versions of iOS will show you your battery health. There is no such feature in Android, but there are third-party apps that will perform this function. We can also check this for you at King IT. At the end of the day, the big question is how much is it worth paying attention to all this battery efficiency stuff. Are the battery savings worth the effort? If you think they aren’t a new battery can cost as little as $59. If you have any questions pop in store for a chat.