Kaunda Selisho

Compiled by Kaunda Selisho


These six bad phone charging habits could be harming the health of your battery

What to do (and not do) to properly charge your smartphones so that you protect the long term battery life of your device.

Smartphones are an essential part of our daily lives and charging them fully is a priority for most of us. Yet your smartphone battery may start to show signs of decline much earlier in its lifespan than you’d expect.

According to TCL, there are common mistakes that people make when charging their devices and these mistakes may lead to shorter battery life or the phone not charging as quickly as it should. 

The brand adds that there are many outdated ideas about how to treat smartphones that go back to the days when batteries were typically based on nickel rather than lithium. 

Here are some tips for maximising your phone’s battery life 

1. Letting the battery run completely flat  

It used to be good for your battery’s life to let the battery deplete completely and deep charge it each time. But with modern smartphones, it’s better for the battery to let the phone run down to somewhere around 20% before charging it.

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2. Charging your phone to 100% each time

Charging the battery to 100% seems like the best way to get optimal use from your device. But charging your battery to 100% each time may reduce its lifespan. Every battery lasts for a precise number of charge cycles. If you always charge your phone to 100%, you’ll hit this limit sooner. It’s better to keep your battery charged between 20% and 80% most times.

What to do (and not do) to properly charge your smartphone
Picture: Getty Images

3. Overcharging your battery

Many people like to plug their smartphone in to charge overnight and forget about it. Although modern smartphones have overcharge protection, it’s still not great for your device or power bill to do this. This is because the phone will inevitably keep losing and restoring a bit of power while it’s plugged in—potentially reducing its lifespan.

4. Using your phone while it’s charging

There are differing opinions about whether it’s okay to use your phone while it’s charging. Some manufacturers of smartphones advise their customers that it’s not a problem. But some experts say using your phone while it’s charging can cause charging speed to drop. It also heats the battery up, which can be bad for its longevity.

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5. Leaving the phone in its case while it charges

A phone case is a great way to protect your phone and personalise it with a splash of colour. But keeping the case on while your phone is charging could harm your battery over the longer term. It traps heat while your phone is charging, which could be bad for battery health.

6. Using cheap cables and chargers

A cheap third-party cable and adapter that isn’t designed for your device could harm the lifespan of your battery. Choose an official charger from manufacturers of smartphones or get one from a reputable third-party charger manufacturer.

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