Is It Wise to let Your Smartphone Charge Overnight?
Well, most of us run out of battery before bedtime; you’ve probably been there yourself. We casually resolve to let our smartphone charge overnight.
Is it okay to do so? Let’s find out!
So, you want to wake up to a 100% fully-charged smartphone, but you’ve probably heard that doing so damages the battery on the long run. You’d like to take advantage of your sleeping hours, but at the same time you wouldn’t want to ruin your phone. We get it.
Well, there’s a lot to discuss regarding this matter. Yet, before we rant on with the techy details, let’s give you a short answer: don’t worry! You can still leave your phone plugged in the charger. Things have changed regarding phone batteries, and we should let you know why it’s okay now to leave your phone plugged for a longer period of time. Also, we’ll be discussing some things that you should avoid in order to preserve the battery of your smartphone.
Lithium and Nickel: the Power behind Your Phone
Most of the smartphone batteries today consist of lithium ions. This wasn’t the case years ago, though. Back then, manufacturers used to make the batteries out of nickel, just like the ones used by Energizer and Duracell’s regular batteries. Nickel batteries are not so smart to fit smartphone, though!
Nickel batteries have what they call a “cyclic memory.” Once the batteries are not given a full charge, they might forget their actual capacity to hold a charge. Let’s say that you’re in a hurry and charge your phone to just 45%. Next time you’re going to recharge your phone, the battery is going to “think” that it can only be charged to the last amount it was given to it, which is 45 percent. Maybe you haven’t encountered this problem, as most mobile manufacturers transitioned to lithium ion batteries since the beginning of the 21st century.
Luckily, lithium batteries don’t have the same memory problem that its nickel counterpart has. Actually, lithium batteries revolutionized how manufacturers designed and produced mobile devices. First and foremost, lithium batteries can hold much more power than nickel-based batteries, while maintaining their compact size. This allowed manufacturers to design better-looking smarphones; and highly effective, too, as lithium has a better lifespan than nickel. However, the only downside to lithium is its sensitivity to temperature.
Heat Melts It Away!
Think of heat as the nagging old neighbor that is threatening to call the cops if you don’t keep the noise down. Well, your battery hates both the cold and the heat, but when it comes to the latter, leaving your phone plugged overnight can cause a bit of a problem.
You see, your lithium battery can receive a charge from a current at a temperature of 32° to 113℉. However, it can discharge its power at incredibly low temperatures, like -4℉. Lithium batteries are best charged at a temperature ranging from 41° to 113℉, but it can never go below 32℉, as the recharging process will not have proper conditions to occur.
First and foremost, don’t go throwing your smartphone in the freezer so it may keep its charge! As we said, lithium batteries can discharge at very low temperatures. Secondly, the reason why you might notice your phone getting warmer as it recharges is that lithium ion tends to increase its temperature as it receives power from a current, so it may recharge faster. This causes a problem when you leave your phone plugged in the charger overnight. Once the battery is fully charged, it cannot receive any more power. So, in attempt to discharge the incoming excess current, lithium batteries reproduce it as heat.
Don’t worry, there’s a smart solution to this problem.
Smartphones Are Smart!
Duh! Your mobile device is called a smartphone for a reason. Phones have improved drastically over the last two decades. When it comes to the lifespan and the battery health of your phone, you don’t need to worry that much anymore. The software of your device takes care of the power optimization process, allowing your phone to preserve the health of its battery much longer.
So, without further ado, the answer to the unyielding question: should I leave my phone plugged overnight? Well, you better!
As we said in the previous section, the main aspect that endangers your smartphone when it comes to overcharging is heat. However, as our smartphones are “smart,” we don’t need to pay much attention to that. Once the battery is fully charged, a smarphone disconnects the charger and uses the current as its primary source of power, allowing the device to keep its full charge and also discharging the incoming current. What a deal!
Now you can sleep soundly when you leave your phone plugged in the charger. Although overcharging your battery doesn’t have a side effect on its lifespan, other charging habits will definitely affect your smartphone’s battery. We’ll let you know about some of the common tips that you should do in order to preserve your battery and keep your smartphone healthy and “smart.”
Smartphone Charging 101: What Can You Do Better?
- A lithium battery has a finite number of recharging and discharging cycles. The capacity is slightly reduced with every cycle of charging and using your phone. With that on mind, we’d like to keep the battery for as long as we can. So, try to keep your phone’s battery power between 40% and 80%, not going below 40% too often, and not fully recharging to a 100 percent on regular basis.
- Some smatphones have an option of “fast charging.” Try not to use that too often; keep it only for emergencies. As we said before, heat is not so good for lithium batteries, and fast recharge option pumps up the temperature of your battery pretty quickly. If you’re choosing that option on regular basis, it might shorten the lifespan of your battery.
- We said before that lithium ion batteries don’t have the same problem with cyclic memory like nickel batteries. However, the power meter within your smartphone might get a little bit confused after time. In order to reset it to its normal functionality, try to use your phone until its dead, and recharge it once again to 100%. This should fix the problem of an improper power meter. Try to do that once a month or so to make sure that your internal battery meter is working properly.
Enjoy Technology, but Be Smart as Your Phone!
Waking up to a fully charged smartphone is something wonderful. The myth of damaging your battery with overnight recharges is already dismantled, so, make sure to enjoy the full capacity of your phone.
Always remember to apply proper maintenance and habits to your charging cycles, so you may keep your battery for as long as you can. Have you noticed a habit that seemed to weaken the health of your battery? Drop it in the comment section below and let us know!