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How To's
How To Prolong Cell Phone Battery Life

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June 24th, 2009

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  • New batteries should be fully charged before their first use to obtain maximum capacity. Nickel-based batteries should be charged for 16 hours initially and run through 2-4 full charge/full discharge cycles, while lithium ion batteries should be charged for about 5-6 hours. Ignore the phone telling you that the battery is full–this is normal but is not accurate if the battery is not initialized. DO NOT fully discharge a lithium-ion battery! Unlike Ni-Cd batteries, lithium-ion batteries’ life is shortened every time you fully discharge them. Instead, charge them when the battery meter shows one bar left. Lithium-ion batteries, like most rechargable batteries have a set amount of chargers in them.
  • Keep the battery cool. Your battery will last longest if used near room temperature, and nothing wears on a battery like extended exposure to high temperatures.
    • Charge your battery correctly, in accordance with its type.
    • Nickel-based batteries (either NiCd or NiMH) DO NOT generally suffer from a misunderstood phenomenon known as the “memory effect.” As described in Wikipedia and many expert sources, the term “memory effect” has been widely mythologized to describe any and all deterioration of NiCd (and other battery chemistries), in many cases misleading consumers into further shortening the lives of the batteries through overdischarging to “recondition” them.
  • Store batteries properly. If your battery will be out of use for a while, disconnect it from the phone and store it in a cool place (the refrigerator is good, but freezing temperatures do not slow oxidation) and away from metal objects. Ensure that the battery is not exposed to moisture; try putting the battery in an airtight container or bag. Lithium ion batteries are not rated to operate at refrigerated temperatures, so let the battery sit outside the refrigerator for at least an hour before using it again. Lithium ion batteries oxidize least when they are stored at 40% charge. Never store a lithium battery at low voltage. Recharge batteries after storage.
  • Clean the battery contacts on the battery and on the phone. Over time, contacts may accumulate dirt. Clean them with a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol to maximize the efficiency of energy transfer. In addition, if the contacts are two different metals, such as gold and tin, accelerated corrosion known as “fretting” occurs. Cutting the corrosion from fretted contacts often requires solvents, such as acetone or nail polish remover. Be careful: these solvents dissolve plastic, so use a Q-Tip to avoid damaging the battery housing or the phone.

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Related posts:

  1. Battery Life
  2. How to Extend Android Battery Life
  3. HTC ThunderBolt Battery Life Test
  4. The Life Cycle of a Cell Phone

4 Responses to “How To Prolong Cell Phone Battery Life”

  • Chase
    May 22, 2012

    I have followed all the tips but my phone keeps eating batteries. My wife and I bought identical phones. Her battery lasts about a week before charging it (one bar will last her at least a day). I have replaced the battery in my phone twice. It always starts out holding a charge for a couple of days but then I end up having to charge it daily.
    I fully charged my batteries when new and then let the battery run out before I charge it again. I unplug the charger as soon as the phone says it is charged. It does not matter if I carry the phone in my pocket, leave it in my locker at work, leave it turned on or turn it off for the work day, it still will not hold a charge. I am starting to think I am cursed.
    The only difference I can see is in how we use the phone. We do not use it. I may make a couple of 2 minute phone calls a week, and my wife will talk for about 10 minutes about 4 times a week with a couple of short calls mixed in. Perhaps the lack of use is killing the battery??

    • Hi Chase,
      I don’t know what to tell you. You are doing everything right. What kind of phone do you have? The only thing I can think of is that5 there is something not right in your phone that is causing it to drain the battery. I would also look to make sure that all of the Bluetooth, GPS, and WiFi options are turned off in the settings. Let me know it that makes any difference.
      -Scott at Wirefly

  • Michael Hester
    January 1, 2011

    i have a droid incredible and my battery keeps discharging and i have to keep it on charge.

    How can I remedy this?

  • john M. Guarino
    November 22, 2010

    I did not receive any kind of instruction booklet for my new droid2 phone. Can you please send one to me?

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