Putting battery life myths to the test: Five common misconceptions

  • TECH
  • Tuesday, 14 Aug 2018

When it comes to what's good or bad for your phone battery, there's lots of myths out there. But are they true? — dpa

When it comes to what's good or bad for your phone battery, there are lots of myths out there. But are they true? Here's an overview of the most common misconceptions about your battery life:

1. Your battery should always be empty or almost empty before recharging: This is true for nickel-cadmium batteries, as their capacity decreases if you recharge them too soon. However, this does not apply to lithium-ion batteries, which are the type of batteries used in modern smartphones.

2. Using the wrong power adapter is bad for your battery: There are no wrong power adapters. At least not for modern smartphones, which use USB connectors for recharging. Modern battery packs have safeguards in place that allow only input they can handle – so you can use any adapter that fits your phone, and iPhone users can use Android chargers without concern. The only difference you may notice is charging speed: Not all devices use the same quick-charging technology, so it may take longer to recharge with a different charger.

3. A new device needs to be fully charged the first time: No, there's no need to make sure your device is fully charged before using it the first time. This is a practice from a time before modern lithium-ion batteries; nowadays it's your choice whether or not to fully charge your device the first time – it won't make any difference to your battery's capacity.

4. Repeatedly plugging and unplugging your device decreases battery life: Another myth. It's true that a battery's life contains only a certain number of charge cycles – but one charge cycle can contain several individual charges.

5. Always fully charge your device to ensure maximum battery life: This is also not true, the perfect charge level is actually between 30% and 70%. It might even be better for your battery life if you charge in several short bursts instead of always charging to 100%. — dpa
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