Battery Life Best Practices


#1

I have seen this question quite often so I decide to write an article here about how to improve battery life and best practices. Republic does have some great resources for battery life improvement. Extend Battery Life – Republic Help

Also, the blog from @theproductguy: https://pwk.republicwireless.com/get-more-battery-life-outta-your-phone/

For those looking for a best practices. Here are a few that I can suggest for ultra battery life span. What I mean here is number of charging cycles. For those that plan on upgrading their phones after about two years, normal use is typically fine. I do recommend everyone follow tip number one though.

  1. Do not leave your phone charging in your car. This is especially true in the summer and winter months. Extreme temperatures while charging is never good for the battery and will likely kill it way before its time.

  2. Take the phone off the charger before it hits 100%.

  3. You should charge the phone when it hits 15-20% and not let the phone completely die. Depth of discharge on a battery can negatively impact battery life.

  4. Using a lower powered charger. While a lot of new phones comes with quick charge capabilities. this can have a negative impact on how long (charging cycles) the lithium ion battery can have. A non quick charge charger will take longer to charge the battery, but can extend the battery life span.

  5. Do not use your phone will charging. Use of the phone while charging can prolong charging and cause extra heat.

I used this link as a reference while researching this topic: http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_prolong_lithium_based_batteries

With the above tips, number one is essential. Tips following number one, those are for those trying to get more than the average year and a half to two year lifespan out of their phones.


Big time battery problem Moto X2
Battery maintenance questions and answers
Charging strategy
#2

Anyone looking to share how they try to prolong the lifespan of their phone’s battery, please add those here and I will gladly consider adding those to the original post.


#3

Because I’m retired my lifestyle is very different from that of a person who takes their phone to work or school every day. My cell phone connects to my home phone system so it sits in the same place most of the time. It is almost always on the charger at 100% charge.

My Moto X (2nd Gen) has internal circuity that manages the charge rate. I’ve monitored this with a USB adapter that clearly show it reverting to a trickle charge as it approaches a full charge. I trust Motorola to have managed the charging rate appropriately.

Cell phone batteries are rated in charge cycles. By leaving it on the charger I minimize the number of charge cycles. Just a few days ago I tested that Moto X (2nd Gen). It was factory reset, connected to WiFi, and left idle for 24 hours. At the end of that test it still had 2 days of charge remaining. This tells me that leaving a phone on the charger as described did not hurt the phone over its nearly 3-year lifespan.


#4

Just a couple tidbits @coreyk.

  1. Charging with the phone off will cut down on prolonged charging hence shortening the charging cycle & prolonging the battery life. Using the phone while charging heats the battery quickly, Try to avoid this use while charging practice.
  2. Cheap solar chargers can damage batteries. Some don’t have charge limiting protection.
  3. Use the best cable you can buy or afford. Thicker isn’t always better but in most cases there is more copper or aluminum wire to transfer the charge.
  4. Let phones & batteries cool to an ambient room temp before charging. This is an addition to your #1.
  5. Long cables are nice but not so much when charging. The longer the cable the harder to push power to the battery. It is best to use a 3ft cable or less for charging.

#5

Thanks for posting this @coreyk, and @billg & @bocephous for your feedback as well.

coreyk, can you clarify the above statement, specifically, “Charging the phone when it hits 15-20%.” That’s not a complete sentence so I don’t know if you’re saying TO charge when it hits 15-20% and not to go lower, or that charging at 15-20% is an issue. I think you’re saying the former but I wanted to be sure.

Can anyone weigh in on whether to let batteries drain to a certain percentage, i.e. the above 15-20% before charging, versus topping off the charge earlier, i.e. putting it on the charger at night regardless of how much charge it has. I’ve heard seemingly valid arguments for both, which means I never know what to do.

I’ve only had a Moto Z Play for 2 weeks and, so far, I’ve charged it to 100% but taken it off the charger when it gets there and not recharging again until it gets low again, typically 2 days later. With my previous Moto X2 and iPhone 5 I would always charge at night and if I’m at home during the day it has stayed on the charger much of the time. I’ve seen arguments for/against both sides of this issue as well.


#6

Don’t forget the PWK blog by @theproductguy
Title: Get More Battery Life Out of Your Phone


#7

I have seen a lot of evidence stating others on this one. Do you have any credible source (besides your own personal experience) that says this helps?


#8

OK, these tips are for longest possible battery life span. I edited my original post for clarity. I will be completely honest. I am not very stringent with the tips I gave. I even use a quick charger and will let my phone charge overnight. I typically get what I call as the new phone itch after a year and upgrade within two years of having a phone. The tips I gave are for those wanting to stretch the average life span of the phone longer than 18 months.

Here is another newspaper article that discusses this further. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/22/technology/personaltech/charge-phone-overnight.html


#9

Added to OP. Thanks.


#10

@carlh agreed with me when I brought this up in the old Community. Do you find him credible?

All I have to rely on is my experience as an EE, my test equipment, and the battery tests I’ve run on both the Moto X (1st Gen) and Moto X (2nd Gen). In these tests the worst performer was a Moto X (1st Gen) that was taken off the charger every morning, run down all day, and recharged every night for 2 years.

X1 recharged every day for 2 years:

X2 left on charger most of the time:

Both phones were factory reset, connected to WiFi, and left idle for 23 hours.


#11

Thanks @coreyk!

I tend to do both–drain most of the way, but not 100% sometimes–and topping off intermittently at other times, just because I see contradictory data both ways. I do this wth my computer as well.

But I’ve also subscribed to the “charge cycle” theory that @billg mentions, which is sometimes yet another contradiction to what various experts state, but not always. I also try to use a “slow” charger whenever possible.

I’ll check out the article you linked. Thanks again!


#12

This handy tool, when connected to a Motorola phone, clearly shows how good Motorola is at managing the charging rate regardless of whether or not one is using a turbo charger:


#13

My intention wasn’t to call you a non credible source and if you took it that way I apologize. I am not saying that @carlh isn’t a credible source either. I am just asking that have you found any other documentation that leaving the phone on the charger for that time frame is good for battery life. I can’t find anything to that fact. I am trying to leave personal experience out of the original post unless I can find some kind of documentation that backs it up. That is what I was asking for.


#14

I don’t think of my position as either more or less credible than what I find on the 'net. All I can do is support my finding with test results. Those finding are also on the 'net, right here in this thread and at least they illustrate the results after 2+ years of usage.


#15

Thanks for the feedback and not just my personal experience. My experience is just one case. Those that research lithium ion batteries test thousands of them. Everyone that reads this post will be able to be able to read your experience. I tried to back my tips with what I find is a credible article. Anyway, I don’t see the typical use scenario including leaving a phone on the charger 100% of the time.


#16

I have been using the app AccuBattery from the Playstore. It seems like a well developed app that is not intrusive, and gives lot of info.

The app allows you to set a notification when the battery drains to a specified level, I’ve set it at 20% and then 85% respctively. It will give you notification when it reaches those levels and/or for each 5% increment, or you can just dismiss it…(sometimes I will charge it past 85% if I think I may need the extra juice.

I have quit charging my phone at night and opt to do so in the morning since I have time while having coffee and checking out the news/RW community.


#17

I just do whatever. I use a 2 amp charger for most of my phones (but no biggie, I’ll charge on whatever is available). Charge every night, and take it off when I wake up and go to work. I have several phones that are over 3 years old and the battery seems to be fine. I haven’t had a phone with a battery issue since the early 2000’s. I just don’t think batteries are much of an issue anymore. (The Nexus 6p seems predisposed to battery issues, but I don’t think any amount of battery care would fix it).


#18

That depends on different variables, i.e. mAh of the battery when new, charging practices, OS (bloated Android skins or not), screen brightness, etc., and how the particular battery’s charging capacity degrades over time, and, in my case, how the odd firmware update might affect it–cache clearing not withstanding.

Since the early 2000s, I’ve had a phone with the absolute best battery ever, a “beginning to become smart” phone–I think it was a Samsung in the early 2000s, followed 2 phones later by the worst phone battery known to mankind–the “first 4G phone,” AKA the HTC EVO, which should have been shot and put out of its misery–even with the huge replaceable battery that I was forced to use daily.

I think many of us try to get longer life out of our phones on Republic than we did on other carriers via the phone upgrade merry-go-round–I know I do. So maximizing battery life and performance is huge for some of us, which is why I just bought a Moto Z Play. When I purchased it, battery life was my main criterion compared to everything else. After using it for a couple of weeks though, I realize the tradeoff as the phone is just too large and heavy for me. So I find myself searching again.

Samsung claims that the batteries in the S8 and S8+, while smaller than that of the S7 Edge (in the case of the S8), last longer over time, i.e. at year 2 they claim to still recharge to 95% of their original mAh versus the S7 or Edge, which I think drops to the high 80s. Given their recent hot battery debacle, this may be just marketing hype, and I suspect that it is, but I’m trying to find out data that backs this up to make an informed decision.


#19

I tried doing this kind of strategy and eventually concluded that replacing the battery (of my out-of-warranty Nexus 6P) was more straightforward and less hassle than being preoccupied with charge %, etc. It’s not that hard - just make sure you purchase the battery from a reputable source and watch several YouTube videos on how to change the battery in your specific device. After replacing the battery (and clearing out the system cache partition), it’s like having a new phone.


#20

I am going to be completely honest. I don’t follow these that close either.