The convenience of having a world of information and services in the palm of your hand comes at a price, and it goes well beyond the amount paid for the cell phone. The more connected we are, the more we depend on smartphones and, for that, they are charged. FreeGameGuide talked to two experts to learn tips on how to take care of the cell phone battery and what precautions are important when recharging the device.
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Although they are no longer subject to the old “memory effect”, batteries are still components that require some care to last as expected. Part of the recommendations can be found in the device manuals, while others have been revealed over time, especially for new technologies such as fast or wireless charging.
We interviewed the founder of the specialized assistance TechGuru, Phelipe Hamoui, and Carlos Fernando Teodósio, coordinator of the Electronic and Computer Engineering course at the Polytechnic School of UFRJ, to talk about the recommended care when recharging the cell phone, in addition to clarifying some myths about the process.
Disconnect before 100%
The old nickel-cadmium (NiCd) batteries had a reduced capacity when subjected to constant recharges, the so-called "memory effect", but the vast majority of current batteries, however, use another composition, with lithium ion. According to Teodósio , it is recommended to disconnect the battery from the charger just before reaching 100% charge. The suggestion applies, for example, when leaving the device charging during the night, which the two experts advise to avoid.
Some devices and chargers even have systems that cut the power supply when the phone reaches maximum capacity, but on devices that do not have the feature, keeping them plugged in can expose the component to high temperatures, above 40 degrees , which tends to reduce its useful life, according to sources consulted by FreeGameGuide.
Plug with 20%, unplug with 80%
Both Teodósio and Phelipe Hamoui cited the recommendation of some manufacturers to start recharging when the battery is close to 20% capacity, but stressed that it is not a rule. The main caution cited by the experts is not to let the charge reach zero, contrary to the tip given to the old NiCd batteries. A point highlighted by Teodósio is to interrupt the recharge at around 80%:
“The charger will subject it to the highest voltages during the last 20% charge. Therefore, in order not to subject the battery to voltage stress, the ideal would be to interrupt the charging after 80% charge. ”
The reason in this case is that the closer to the full charge, the more "difficult" it is to reload the component. This can be verified in the recharge time up to 50% and how much it takes to complete the capacity – for the same reason many manufacturers emphasize the recharge time for an intermediate value in the advertising materials of their devices, proportionally less than the total time.
In the same vein, Hamoui recalls that placing the device to recharge all the time for short periods can have negative effects on the battery:
"Habits like being plugged in during the day, whether in the car or on the computer, in order to have a little more battery can also damage the battery's life."
Don't let it reach 0%
It is worth repeating: completely discharging the battery presents risks to the component and reduces its useful life. Teodósio affirms that the practice can cause damage to the internal structure of the battery, compromising its efficiency.
The coordinator of the Polytechnic School of UFRJ also recalls that the idea of completely discharging the component is a legacy of the old batteries, which ended up becoming "addicted", which does not happen with lithium ion batteries.
Cautions when leaving the device off for a long time
If it is necessary to leave the device stored for a long period, the founder of TechGuru gives two tips: store it with about 50% charge and in a cool and moisture-free environment.
"If it is kept discharged, the battery may go into discharge mode, to the point that it is impossible to charge it again. But, if it is kept full for a long time, the battery will lose part of its capacity, reducing the useful life. "
Another recommendation given by Hamoui is to turn off the device, to minimize the loss of load. When using it again, recharge the device, if possible with the factory accessory.
Room temperature is not only important when storing your phone. Experts point out that leaving the device recharging in a hot location can damage the battery. The component has a reduced useful life when subjected to more than 40ºC, remembers Teodósio.
As the charging process itself usually generates a temperature increase in the device, it is recommended to look for a cooler and more ventilated environment when connecting the cell phone to the outlet.
The UFRJ professor gave a little-remembered tip when it comes to “supplying” electronics. Leaving the device off during charging not only shortens the time needed, but also exposes the battery to a lower temperature, which can prolong the life of the component.
Fast and wireless chargers
Increasingly common among devices – and highlighted more and more by manufacturers – the quick and wireless charging options still raise some doubts about their use.
“Fast chargers typically work with higher electrical currents, to provide a large amount of charge in a short time. These high currents can subject the battery to higher temperatures than ordinary chargers, reducing its useful life. ”, Highlighted Professor Teodósio.
The coordinator of the Polytechnic of UFRJ also cited a study published by the University of Warwick that identified that wireless chargers can expose the cell phone to temperatures above the ideal, which can reduce the life of the device.
Regardless of the charger used, it is worth following the advice of the founder of TechGuru and using only approved accessories to avoid taking risks. If in doubt, consult the manual and the list of compatibility of the manufacturer of your mobile phone or tablet.