Most of us do not care about anything as much our devices. We spend hours, days leeched to our smartphones and laptops, and parting with them for a long time is a event that many of us dread. Well, it is mostly a lot of peace, but you would never want either of your devices to die on you. The rechargeable lithium ion batteries in laptops and smartphones do not last forever, and their performance begins to deteriorate over a period of time.
You won’t be able to have your batteries last forever, but a few tips and precautions will make them last far longer than usual.
A lithium-ion battery recharges when positive lithium ions move from the cathode to the anode across the electrolyte solution in the cell. Upon discharging, the same lithium ions move towards the cathode, but through the external circuit delivering power.
Scientists have continuously worked to improve lithium-ion batteries for a longer life time, faster charging, and more efficient performance. There has been a significant improvement, but the batteries still have a very limited life time as the chemical reactions happening at the electrodes gradually form thin layers of insulating atoms. These layers depreciate the effectiveness of the electrodes, and thus there is only a limited number of charging and discharging cycles that the battery can go through.
Both smartphones and laptops work on the same battery technology, and these usually last about two to three years but with a gradual decline in the performance. The atomic build up causes the battery to discharge quicker and take a longer time to recharge.
You may have heard that the first time you use a new device, you should let it fully charge first. While this stood true some years ago, the new battery technology does not require you to do that. We also generally charge our devices to a full 100 percent and Battery University advises against it. Charging it to the fullest puts a stress on the powerhouse, shortening its life. Do not bring your battery down to a zero before you charge it, and it is better to not turn it up to a complete 100 either.
Some time back, it was a safety issue to let your battery continue charging after it is full, but now the built-in safeguards in the new battery prevent them from exploding after their maximum capacity has been achieved. Nevertheless, if you fail to unplug the battery after the battery has reached a hundred, you are just reducing its life time, to a great degree.
Shallow charges and discharges are a great way of keeping your battery young, where you top it up once it reaches 50 percent, and still keep it below a 100. However, you should let your battery go as low as 5 percent so it can recalibrate its self-assessment. This means a more accurate “estimated remaining battery time. You should not let such discharges become regular, and Samsung suggests that keeping them above 20 percent is a good idea.
If you fail to follow any of these guidelines, there won’t be any damage to your devices and the shorter battery life won’t be too much of a problem if you plan to get quicker upgrades.
If you are planning to store your devices for longer periods without regular use, you should learn about their storage needs. The only thing these batteries abhor is extreme temperatures so always keep an eye for overheating while you let the little powerhouses charge.
This has been mentioned time and again that you should never compromise on the charger that you are using with your phone or laptop. Make sure it is the official one that comes with the device, or get an exact replacement if need be. It will ensure both the safety of your battery and device as well as efficient charging.
If you plan to leave any of your devices unused for a long period of time, make sure it is switched off, have a battery percentage around 50, and it rests in a place that is neither too hot nor too cold. These are some of the recommendations from Apple, so your battery stays safe and lasts a good time.
Make sure you read the documentation that comes with your device, so you do not miss out on any important precautions and care that your device needs so it does not die on you ahead of time.