We all rely on our devices heavily, but how many times has your phone died before the end of the day? It is a question that has plagued people since mobile phones entered our lives: Can we leave our phone plugged in overnight? Clients often ask us if leaving the phone plugged in overnight will damage the battery? Also, how can users extend the life of their batteries? Today, we want to answer some of these questions.
How Do Lithium-ion Batteries Work?
Modern phones have lithium-ion batteries. These batteries have multiple cells that contain two electrodes, one being graphite and the other being lithium cobalt oxide. There is also a liquid electrolyte that enables the lithium-ions to move between the electrodes. When you charge your device, the ions go to the lithium cobalt oxide from the graphite. As the battery is drained, the process works in reverse.
Manufacturers will rate batteries in terms of cycles. For example, an iPhone battery is supposed to retain 80% of its original capacity after 500 complete cycles. This means if your battery health is at 83% when your phone is fully charged (100%), it’s only at 83%. The charge cycle is defined by using 100% of the phone’s battery capacity. This could include using 70% one day, charging it overnight, and then use at least 30% the next day is classified as a cycle.
Like the tire on your vehicle, the battery will wear out over time. In mild circumstances, the phone will die quickly, but in a more extreme circumstance, the battery can swell. Check out our article on battery fires here.
Causes Of Battery Degradations
If you fully discharge or charge the battery regularly, it will speed up the chemical reactions inside. This will cause the degradation of the battery to occur faster. Another factor to consider is heat. Overheating can cause the liquid electrolyte to break down. In addition, the speed of the charging can wear on a battery. For example, Samsung devices have fast charging, which will deliver higher currents and voltages to the battery. As a result, the battery receives a charge in minutes, not hours, but it will put a higher strain on your battery.
What About Leaving It Plugged In Overnight?
As part of your smartphone’s smarts, it will stop the incoming current. Thus, you will not be able to ‘overcharge’ your phone. Phone manufacturers determine what level the battery is fully charged or discharged. They set these points to control how a battery is used carefully. If you leave it plugged in overnight, the battery will stop receiving a charge when it is full. The phone begins discharging the battery until it reaches the point set to signal it needs to receive a charge again.
The effects on batteries from this process are not clear. The quality of materials can also make a big deal in how the battery operates/ lasts. If you replace your battery, don’t cheap out because you will get what you pay for. The big phone manufactures like Samsung or Apple will offer tips to extend the life of your battery. However, neither has answered the question about leaving it plugged in overnight. We will update this post if they ever do.
Best Way To Charge Your Phone
The best way to get the longest battery lifespan is to charge it as little as possible. The consensus among experts is to keep your battery between 20% and 80%. Topping it off a few times a day is likely to make it last longer than charging it overnight. Using fast charging capability, sparingly is another good tip.
Quality Cords & Accessories
Cords may need to be replaced over the lifetime of your device. Genuine or branded cables can be expensive, and there are several cheap alternatives. However, you should always replace your cords with genuine or reputable brands. Like the batteries, you will get what you pay for, and cheap cords will damage batteries. Check out our post on MFI certifications when it comes to Apple cords for more information.
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