For an object that barely ever leaves our palms, the smartphone can sometimes feel like an arcane piece of wizardry. And nowhere is this more pronounced than when it comes to the fickle battery, which will drop 20 per cent charge quicker than you can toggle Bluetooth off and give up the ghost entirely after a couple of years of charging.
To make up for these inadequacies, we’ve made all kinds of battery myths. Whether it’s avoiding leaving your phone on charge overnight, or powering off to give the battery a little break, we’re forever looking for ways to eke out a little more performance from our overworked batteries, even if the method doesn’t make an awful lot of sense.
To help sort the science from the folklore, we asked a battery expert to give their verdict on some of the most pervasive myths, explain the science behind the rumours and, just maybe, offer us some sage advice on extending the life of our smartphones.
There is more juice in your smartphone battery than the percentage displayed suggests, but if you used that juice you’d end up dramatically reducing the overall lifespan of the battery. At the crux of this problem is a delicate trade-off played by manufacturers. Increasing the available charge within a battery reduces the number of times that battery can be charged and discharged without being damaged internally. To make batteries last for hundreds or thousands of charge cycles, manufacturers place limits on the amount of juice that batteries can discharge.