Today’s smartphones are powered by Lithium-Ion batteries while old phones are Lead-acid or Nickel based. Lithium is more energy efficient & environmentally friendly to mine, manufacture and recycle. Currently it is not economically viable to recycle Lithium from batteries as other minerals are more valuable, but new research and technology are changing this. Lithium prices have tripled over the last 10 years and this will increase. Australia has the 3rd largest lithium reserves at 11.4% of the world total (2nd: China @26% & 1st: Chile @56%) but we produce the most; 35%, according to Geoscience Australia.
Different battery technology requires different usage/charging cycles to get the most of your battery life and stop early wear out. By saving your battery life you are also saving the environment by diverting batteries away from landfill where harmful chemicals can leak and damage the environment. These tips are based on Current Research and Other Articles, plus my years of experience servicing smartphones.
Top 5 Battery Saving Tips
1. Drain your Battery ONCE a month
– This will calibrate your battery so the levels are accurate and increase its capacity range.
2. Don’t Heat it Up
– Lithium batteries degrade if they are near a heat source, they could become less stable and hold less power in the long run.
3. Don’t leave your Phone Charging Overnight
– Once it reaches 100% the phone is kept on ‘trickle charge’ which keeps it topped up at 100%. This can heat up the battery when its overcharged and cause the higher range of power to drain faster during regular use.
4. Never charge at a higher Voltage
– most chargers are 1amp, new smartphones (s4 & Note 3) need a 2amp. If too much power is sent to a battery too quickly this can cause it to expand and short circuit the phone in rare cases.
5. Don’t let it Drop Below 20%
– this can be difficult to manage; once in a while is fine but on a regular basis this degrades the low-end capacity of the battery meaning over time it will hold less and less of a charge. The optimal range for performance vs. extended life is between 30% and 805.
Top 4 Common Causes of Fast Battery Drain
– Apps Running in the Background: as you use programs they keep running, using data battery life
– Push Services: some exchange emails and social media require constant connection to a server which is battery heavy.
– Weak Network Reception; if you travel/work around network ‘blackspots’ your phone has to work harder to maintain an unstable connection.
– Hardware sensors: don’t leave Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, Proximity or Accellerometer hardware on if you don’t use them.