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Smartphone charging mistakes
© Victor Prilepa |
Tech tips

Smartphone charging mistakes you’re making and how to fix them

Sometimes we take our phones for granted. They’re powerful, incredible devices that we tend to misuse without meaning to. Some common mistakes you’re making with your smartphone now could damage its battery and reduce its lifespan.

We’ll explain how to properly take care of your smartphone to avoid these common mistakes.

Stop using cheap chargers

Some inexpensive charging cables from no-name brands are pretty terrible. The concept of having a wire draw power from the wall isn’t that difficult, but it isn’t enough to keep your smartphone safe.

Name-brand chargers have circuits inside of them that switch off when there’s too much power draw. This protects your phone battery from overcharging, breaking, or overheating your phone and damaging it further.

The chargers below are certified by Samsung and Apple, respectively. These chargers (and many other name-brand chargers) are the only ones you should use to keep your smartphone safe from overheating.

Be careful with power banks

You don’t have to avoid them altogether, but remember that power banks from inferior manufacturers don’t have overcharge protection. It’s a similar problem with inexpensive chargers.

Avoid power banks with quick charge options unless they’re from a brand you trust. Rapid charging can send too much electricity to your phone and cause battery damage. This high voltage could, at the very least, shorten your battery lifespan.

Quick charging cables and power banks mention that they charge the first 80% quickly because their onboard chip slows down charging when it reaches higher levels where overcharging is a more significant issue.

Draining your battery too quickly

Lithium-ion and lithium-polymer phone batteries only have a limited number of charges they can take. Eventually, the battery will die, which is why most people encounter battery problems after about two years of use.

If you have performance apps that monitor your battery life, they could ironically harm it in the long run. It requires power to monitor your battery life constantly.

Delete these battery-monitoring apps and close out all open apps and browsers when you’re done using them. This will reduce the power used to support background processes and be more effective than any battery monitoring app.

Just because a phone has overcharge protection doesn’t mean you should abuse it

Don’t leave your phone plugged in overnight. It’s not as harmful as it used to be, but it’s still not a good idea (and it’s a drain on your power bill).

Modern phones and chargers have overcharge protection, but by staying plugged in, you could damage the charger’s onboard chip and prevent that failsafe from working in the future.

Stop using it while it’s charging

We all want to access our apps while the phone’s at 1%. We plug it in to support what we’re doing, but we should leave it locked and let it charge. Using your phone while charging can rapidly increase the temperature, putting strain on your battery, screen and processor.

Plan out your phone time, so you don’t have to use it while charging.

Avoid using a phone case (while charging)

Phone cases can be a great way to customize your phone and add physical security. When it comes to charging, they can cause temperature problems.

If your phone battery heats up too much, it can cause damage to the rest of your phone. Whether you have a removable battery isn’t the issue: It will still damage your phone’s processor.

Take the case off while you charge. Your phone needs some amount of heat displacement to prevent damage.

What about wireless chargers?

Wireless chargers cause your phone to heat up more than a USB-C or lightning cable, but not much. One way to help avoid overheating is to remove your phone case to charge it wirelessly.

Monitor your phone’s heat while it’s charging wirelessly to be on the safe side. There’s always the chance that your wireless charger could run into its own problems.

Does charging my phone via my PC cause any problems?

Even though it results in slower charging, there’s no harm in charging your phone through a PC or laptop. In fact, it should result in lower temperatures during charging. Just be sure you’re not constantly unplugging it from the power source after marginal battery level gains.

Charge smarter, keep your phone longer

These charging mistakes can shorten or disrupt your smartphone battery life if you aren’t careful. Now that you know precisely what to avoid, be sure you have quality chargers and a safe place to store your phone.

Read more

Three clear-cut signs your iPhone charging cable could catch on fire

How to charge your iPhone much more quickly

We may receive a commission when you buy through our links, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

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