We’ve all had the frustrating moment realizing that our phone dies out much faster than it used to. And we’ve all been surprised by the realization. But that’s a normal thing for an older phone.

The thing is the Li-Ion battery, and that’s what under the back cover of every smartphone out there, has discharging cycles limit. In essence, every time you charge your phone, your battery decreases in capacity a tiny little bit. That’s just how they work.

So, the time your smartphone battery will live depends first on how you use it and second on the times you charge it.


Tips to keep that charge in longer

We do want to keep that phone alive as long as we can on a single charge. More, there are times when we simply have no alternative than to make do with that 20% for hours.

Here are some tips to remember and actions to take:

  1. Kill the background apps! Honestly, you don’t really want each of your random apps to work and drain power all the time. Most of them are practically useless in the background. Doing so will also help with your phone’s productivity. 
    Kill the background apps
  2. Turn off the Bluetooth and geolocation when you don’t use them. If you don’t have anything connected to your phone via Bluetooth at the given moment, it just drains your battery for no valid reason. The same for your location- hello, you’re at home, and you’re not doing anything that needs to know where exactly you are.
  3. Keep EITHER Wi-Fi OR the mobile data on, depending on which you use at the moment. If you’re on your data, because there’s no Wi-Fi around, just turn that energy sucker off. If you’re on wi-fi, because you have it and why spend money on mobile data, there’s no reason to devote power to it just as well.
  4. Dim down your screen. The screen is one of the main power-drainers of your phone; you don’t need its full brightness unless you’re out in the sun, to be honest. Plus, dimming your screen is better for your eyes! 
    Dim down your screen
  5. Turn that iPhone Raise on Wake feature off. Are you sure you want your screen to light up every single time you take your phone? Most likely not. And, look at the previous point, it drains your battery.
  6. Ditch the automatic app updates. Whenever there’s a need for it, you sure will get a notification. Or, even better, you can check for them every once in a while and update when convenient.
  7. Delete the apps you don’t use. It’s great for your phone battery life and performance, and it’s good for your mental health. You declutter your desk and drawers, so declutter your phone too.
  8. Use power-saving mode when needed. I don’t recommend keeping it on all the time because there are background processes you want to run normally. But when you’re about 30% and just want to keep it going for as long as you possibly can, turn that on. Some modern phones can go even further than that with the option of an ultra saving mode or extra saving mode. You have them, so why not use them when you need them. 
    Use power-saving mode

Tips to help that battery live longer

Now, the equation is simple: the more often you charge your battery, the sooner it dies. That’s because it can work through a finite number of charging-discharging cycles.

There are a few things you can do to help your battery life in the charging process:

  1. Drop the habit of topping it up. The battery life counts in charging circles, so every time you put it on charge because it’s just 70%, you’re decreasing your battery life for no valid reason. Just wait until it’s on 30% before charging.
    don't top up your phone battery
  2. Try not to unplug your phone before it is full. For the same reason as the previous one: you’re adding up those cycles.
  3. Keep your software up to date. Within updates, there are some efficiency enhancements you want to have. These will help your battery life.
  4. Keep your phone out of the extreme temperatures. No freezer or Siberian wintertime woods for your phone. And no mid-day rant in the Sahara desert too. 
    don't freeze your phone
  5. Take the phone out of the case for charging. This does not apply to every phone case out there. Make an easy check: put your phone charging with your case on and without it. If it gets significantly warmer when the case is on, then make a habit of charging your phone without it.
  6. Try to use a timer enabled plug. This one is more relevant for the older phones but won’t harm the newer ones. Just set the smart plug to the time your smartphone typically takes to charge, so you don’t overcharge it. The newer phones and their chargers have a security feature that won’t allow overcharging, but it may still heat up: not something you want. 
    use timer enabled plug
  7. Make sure you use a quality cable and that it’s always intact. Cable malfunction will affect the charging efficiency or even be a fire hazard.



Wrap up

By the end of the day, the batteries we have in our phones have their limits. And they will die out sooner or later. The number of chargings it can take will not increase dramatically, no matter what you do.

So, all we can do is make sure we take as good care of our phones and their charges as we can. However, for my part, this is not such a bummer: the smartphone advancement is much faster anyway.

Hopefully, the new developments in battery technology will allow us to have longer living smartphones soon.