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Battery Care for your Gadgets!

Kushal Raut
Kushal Raut

How Lithium-Ion Batteries Work?

Despite massive diversities in the battery technologies, Lithium-ion Battery is used in gadgets. You will come to know why soon. A typical battery contains an anode and cathode on negative and positive end respectively. Between them, there is an electrolyte paste which contains ions. They are electrically charged molecules. Usually, the anode is a metal (Zinc/Carbon) and the cathode is a metal oxide (Manganese Dioxide)

The ions in the electrolyte can combine with the anode which releases electrons providing electrical power. This is convenient and affordable.

Reasons why Lithium Ion Batteries are used:

  • High Energy Density.
  • Long Up Time.
  • No Memory Issues.

Battery Care for Laptops

  1. Lithium Battery obviously does not have an infinite battery life. As the battery starts to age, you will notice a gradual decrease in its power capacity due to wear and tear. The average Power Span of a laptop may vary from 1 ½ to 4 years depending on the way you use. We cannot control the natural aging process, but we can definitely take practices which could contribute to prolonging the life of the battery.
  2. Charge your laptop battery regularly even if you do not use it often. Leaving any battery without charge for an extended period of time can reduce its ability to store power. Moreover; an unused, completely flat battery will have a shorter battery life, and in a worst-case scenario make it unusable.
  3. Store your laptops and batteries in a cool dry place. Exposure to a high temperature such as an open shelf in direct sunlight or in a car can impact the battery capacity. This doesn’t mean that you should store batteries in refrigerator or freezer. Just keep them at the temperature which is not very hot nor too cold.
  4. Avoid using older laptops on the bed. Place them on a flat surface where its vents and fans outlets are not obstructed.

Battery Care for Smartphones

  1. Most of the points mentioned for laptops can also be applied to smartphones. Always charge your phone with its own charger. Unlike, laptops, smartphones use a MicroUSB Port. However, if the charger you use does not match the original will affect the battery performance, capacity to store charge and overall life. (Repeatedly). Always ensure that the replacement charger’s power ratings such as the Output Voltage (V) and the Current Ampere (A) matches the original charger or is approved by the phone’s manufacturer.
  2. Avoid cheap charger from unknown manufacturers. They do not include any mechanisms to protect against fluctuation and overcharging. Adapter Failure could damage your battery or even your phone in extreme cases.
  3. If you own one of those phones which become hot while charging you should remove the case from your phone and charge. This would help at times to control the thermal output.
Image via Pixabay

Pro Tip #1

Always using a fast charger might not be the best thing for your battery’s health. This process involves a higher voltage to be sent to the phone’s battery, which results in a rapid rise in temperature. Whenever possible opt for normal charge cycles by using normal chargers or by tweaking in your phone settings. Some phones have a setting to turn of fast charging. This isn’t meant for Dash Charging, as instead of bumping up the voltage, Dash Charge bumps up the current.

Myth #1

  • It’s completely fine to keep your smartphone to charge overnight. Modern smartphones come with a built-in overcharge protection which cuts off the current when the phone is charged, thereby protecting it from getting overcharged.
  • Use System Power Management Option such as Normal, Balanced, Performance modes. Do not use any third-party apps to save battery. In fact, they affect the battery life negatively by continuously running in the background, shutting down other apps, taking over the lock screen to display ads, prevent the device from sleeping, etc.

Charging Basics

  • Whenever you charge, just ensure that your battery reaches at least 80% charge. It is not necessary that it should always be topped up to the maximum.
  • Allow the battery to discharge to around 20-30% before you plug it in. Constant and unnecessary recharges can shorten the lifespan. Also, avoid draining your battery completely every time.
  • Just allow it to drain it completely once in a month and then charge it up all the way to 100% without interrupting the charge.
  • If you are not going to use a device for a long time such as your cameras or laptops (Months) then store them with at least minimum 40-50% percent of charge. Do not keep a drained battery if storing for long periods.
  • If you prefer using spare battery, then try to alternate between the old and the new one. This would prevent the new one to lose its capacity to store charge over time.

Pro Tip #2

Switch to an Energy Efficient Browser.

Use Opera and Edge instead
Stop using Chrome

If you spend a lot of time on the internet, you can save your battery life by switching to a “LOW POWER” Browser. Both Microsoft and Opera have been at it for a long time to prove that their browsers consume less power than the other. Thus, you can opt for Microsoft Edge or even Opera with its battery saver settings to extend your battery backup. Some results show, that Chrome consumes a bit more power than the rest of the browsers. Yeah, we know, we know that you all prefer Chrome anytime because of the Ease of Use and Synchronization of History, passwords around all your devices. But if you are doing casual browsing where you don’t need to sync your stuff, you can probably use the power-efficient browsers and thereby save more power.

Do you have any more Battery Tips to share with us? Share them with everyone in the comments below.