Powering Your Cell Phone

One of the biggest consumer complaints about cell phones is the battery. The two primary issues are how quickly cell phone batteries lose their charge and how long they last. Properly charging your battery will optimize the stored energy, which will prolong the life of the battery and help you save money.

There are four basic types of cell phone batteries. The oldest and least powerful are nickel cadmium (NiCad). These batteries are larger, store less power and are susceptible to the memory effect. This phenomenon reduces the charging capacity of the battery. It occurs when a battery is not fully discharged before it is recharged. The next generation battery is the nickel metal hydride (NiMH). This battery can run up to 40 percent longer than a NiCad. They charge more rapidly and are less prone to the memory effect. Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) batteries provide more power for a longer period. They are the battery of choice for newer model cell phones and electronic devices. Overcharging a Li-Ion can damage the battery and shorten its lifespan. Lithium polymer, or Li-Poly, is the latest technology. These lightweight batteries provide the most power and are less likely to develop the memory effect. Used in the latest cell phones, Li-Poly batteries are also the most expensive to replace.

Depending upon the type, cell phone batteries can be charged between 200 and 400 times before they fail. Failure to fully charge is a major sign that an older battery is about to fail. New Li-Poly batteries tend to fail without notice. The more times you charge the battery, the sooner it will have to be replaced.

To preserve your battery life, turn off nonessential apps, lower the volume and the brightness of the backlight. Use only the accessories that you need. The less power that you draw, the longer the battery will last. Fully drain the battery before recharging. While some batteries are less susceptible to the memory effect, it is still a possibility. Fully charge the battery before disconnecting it from the charger. If your phone has a battery management system, disconnect the phone when the display signals that the phone is fully charged to avoid overcharging it. Using the type of battery recommended for your phone, as well as following proper battery management and charging techniques, will help make your cell phone battery last longer.