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Home / Tips and Tricks / 6 truths about the battery life over the Galaxy S20, iPhone 11 and other top phones

6 truths about the battery life over the Galaxy S20, iPhone 11 and other top phones



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We have learned some tips to keep your phone's battery out of the red zone. Angela Lang / CNET

The life of your phone's battery is becoming increasingly important. As we do more with our phones over a longer period, the importance of all-day costs has become one of the most important functions that we are looking for after the screen size. The same applies to the life of your battery during the life of your device. And the packaging of a fast-charging adapter in your new telephone booth is being used more and more often, at least for advanced devices. Samsung does it and Huawei, Google, OnePlus, even Apple.

The growing emphasis on battery life is one reason why fast chargers are now so ubiquitous. If the battery is running low before the end of the day, fast charging is the next best thing. A 1

0-minute charge can make the difference between a sober energy-saving mode and complete power loss before you get home.

But now that fast charging is so easily available for phones, we have questions: what does a high-capacity charger do for a phone's battery? And is there a chance that fast charging can reduce the energy storage capacity of your phone over time?

And while we ask questions, we also want to know what can cause unnecessary wear and tear on your phone's battery over time.

To get the answers, we spoke with various battery researchers and engineers about the effects of fast charging on the life of your phone's battery. This is what we have learned.

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Your phone's battery is not quickly replaced

All mobile phones – and most personal electronics and electric vehicles – use rechargeable lithium-ion (li-ion) batteries. It is a tough job to make batteries that last longer, because battery technology has not changed in recent decades. Instead, much of the recent advancement in battery life comes from energy-saving features built into devices and from creating software that manages charging and discharging more efficiently, so you use power instead of slurping.

Unfortunately for mobile phones, the focus on extending the battery life is generally on cars, satellites and the power system of your home, areas where industrial batteries must function far beyond the two or three years that we expect from our mobile devices.

Another force that works against our phones is their battery size. Compared to a battery for an electric car, the power source of a telephone is very small. The rechargeable battery of the Tesla 3, for example, has a battery capacity that is more than 4000 times larger than that of the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Mathematics becomes a bit complicated because telephone batteries are measured in milliampere hours, while electric vehicle batteries are measured in watt-hours. But it is possible to draw equivalents. For example, the Pixel 4 has a 2,800 mAh battery (or 10.6 Wh) and the iPhone 11 Pro Max is reportedly supplied with a 3,969 mAh battery (15.04 Wh). Meanwhile, the Chevy Volt uses an 18,400 Wh battery and a midrange Tesla Model 3 shows off a 62,000 Wh battery.

Read more: Best wireless car chargers and holders of 2020

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The powerful battery of the Tesla Model 3 has more than 4000 times the capacity of that of the iPhone 11 Pro Max.


Nick Miotke / Roadshow

This is important, because the larger a battery, the more battery-saving tricks there are to extend the service life. For example, if you charge a battery, the voltage rises, putting it under voltage, especially during the last 20% of the charge. To prevent this stress, electric car manufacturers can charge new batteries up to 80%. Because of that larger battery capacity, the electric car can still travel an acceptable distance while avoiding the voltage of higher voltages. This can double the total lifetime of the car's battery.

Larger phone batteries can let you charge throughout the day, but usually only with the full 100%. And although that ensures that the battery lasts an acceptable time between charges, the battery also gets more stress due to the higher voltage needed to finish it.

Shortly after a major breakthrough in battery technology, improvements to our telephone batteries will be made by making the devices generally more energy efficient. (Here is a more detailed look at what stops the battery revolution.)

Fast charging will not damage your battery

A conventional charger has a capacity of 5 to 10 watts. A faster charger can improve that up to eight times. The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, for example, come with an 18-watt fast charger, the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus have 25-watt chargers in their boxes. Samsung sells you an extra-fast 45-watt charger for $ 50.

Unless there is a technical problem with your battery or charger electronics, using a fast charger will not damage your phone's battery in the long run. [19659006] This is why. Fast-charging batteries work in two phases. The first phase applies an explosion of voltage to the empty or almost empty battery. This gives you that blazing load of 50 to 70% in the first 10, 15 or 30 minutes. This is because during the first charging phase, batteries can quickly absorb a charge without major negative effects on their long-term health.

Samsung, for example, promises that its 45-watt charger can charge from zero to 70% within half an hour. Apple says the fast charger that comes with the iPhone 11 Pro can charge 50% in 30 minutes.

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With the 45-watt charger from Samsung and the Note 10 Plus you can go within half an hour from empty to 70% charged. Juan Garzon / CNET

Do you know how it seems to take just as long to charge the last 20 or 30% of the battery as to charge the first 70 or 80%? The latter part is the second charging phase, in which telephone producers have to slow down the charging speed and manage it carefully, otherwise the charging process can damage the battery.

Arthur Shi, a demolition technician at the iFixit do-it-yourself repair shop, suggests presenting a battery as a sponge. When you pour water on a dry sponge for the first time, it will quickly absorb liquid. For a battery this is the fast charging phase.

While you continue to pour water at the same wet sponge at the same rate, the liquid on the surface will bead while fighting to soak in the saturated sponge. For a battery, this non-absorbed charge can lead to a short circuit and other problems that can damage the battery.

Damage is rare if everything is well managed inside. The battery management system closely follows the two charging phases and reduces the charging speed during the second phase to give the battery time to absorb the charge and prevent problems. Therefore it can take 10 minutes to get those last few percentage points.

The casing of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7's tragically exploding battery resulted from design errors in the battery instead of the battery management techniques of the phone software.

You cannot overcharge the battery of your phone

Overcharging caused anxiety among the phone owners. The fear was that constantly connecting a phone could recharge a battery above its capacity, which could make the battery unstable, which could degrade the overall life of the battery or build up too much internal heat and cause the battery to burst or catch fire.

However, according to the experts we spoke with, the battery management system is designed to turn off the electrical charge as soon as a battery reaches 100% before it can overcharge.

"Unless something goes wrong with the battery circuit, you can't overload a modern phone," says Venkat Srinivasan, a battery researcher at the Argonne National Laboratory and director of the Argonne Collaborative Center for Energy Storage Science. "They have built-in protection to prevent that exactly."

Remember, however, that you can power a battery while charging 100% as described above. (It is why electronic vehicle manufacturers cut off the charge of new batteries by around 80%.)

Apple cleverly approaches this issue in the iPhone iOS 13 software that up to 100 iPhone battery % charges without causing long-term damage.

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iOS 13 can help reduce the charging of your phone. Angela Lang / CNET

If you keep your iPhone connected regularly during the day or during your sleep, you can enable an iOS 13 battery setting called Optimized Battery Charging, which monitors your charging schedule and keeps your iPhone's battery capacity at 80% so that it stays out of the stress zone. After that point, the load is replenished up to 100% just before you regularly disconnect your phone. This works best for people who have a normal loading pattern.

For a manual approach you can also disconnect your phone when it is charged for 80%, but the disadvantage is that you might miss out on additional hours of use you would get from a fully charged phone.

You do not have to drain your battery to zero

Once you wanted your phone to be completely discharged every now and then to recalibrate the battery's charging status. But that is not so much a problem with modern telephone batteries.

Completely discharging a battery can cause chemical reactions that can shorten the life of a battery over time. To prevent a complete discharge, the battery management system contains safety functions that switch off a telephone when it reaches a safe level above empty. You only think that you have reached zero when you see the last warning about a low battery.

If you want to take a more active hand in the health of your battery, connect your phone when the battery level drops by around 30%, well above the stressfully low battery levels.

High temperatures can damage your battery.

Heat is a real enemy of your battery. High temperatures are known to shorten the life of a battery over time.

You want to keep your phone out of the bright sun, away from window sills and from the dashboard of your car to prevent overheating, which may make the battery less efficient over time. In extreme cases, an overheated battery can explode.

Temperatures as high as 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 ° C) can reduce the effectiveness of a battery, said Isidor Buchmann, founder and CEO of battery technology company Cadex Electronics and the corresponding website for battery university education.

Does this mean that you want to keep your phone in a refrigerator? No. But keep it away from high temperatures as much as possible. If you are in the sun for a long time, try to put a towel or T-shirt over it or put it in a bag with your cold water bottle. The idea is to prevent the internal temperature of the phone from rising.

Chargers and cables that do not match are not harmful to your battery

Unless you use counterfeit or damaged chargers and cables, mixing and matching of cables and chargers will not be caused by damage to your battery. However, you may not charge quickly, such as when you use the ones that came with your device.

Some phones, such as those from Huawei and OnePlus, use their own charging design – with part of the circuit responsible for fast charging built into the charger. To fully benefit from the rapid charging of the device, you must use the compatible charger.

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OnePlus uses its own charging design for its telephones, including the OnePlus 7T Pro.


Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Other telephone manufacturers, such as Samsung and Apple, adhere to industry-standard fast-charging rules and allow you to effectively charge quickly with a variety of compatible cables and chargers.

The safest bet is to use the chargers and cables included in the box, because when mixing and matching chargers and cables with your phone, the device could use the lowest possible charging speed as standard.

How else can I save the battery power of my phone?

To get more energy from your battery, you can use the usual energy-saving tricks to save the battery, such as dimming the brightness of your screen, turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when not using it, limit the use of background data by monitoring settings and apps that use GPS.

But the truth is, no matter how careful we are, our phone batteries will last so long. The trick is to get as many months out of our battery as possible without being constantly concerned about the charge.


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