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How To Extend Your Cellphone's Lithium ion (Lithion) Battery

Updated on August 7, 2007

With the use of cell phones quickly replacing the use of land lines, increasing the life of the cell phone battery has become more important. Lithium Ion batteries are an immense improvement over what users have had in the past, but there are things you and I are doing that is killing battery life.

According to Battery, lithium ion batteries should last 2-3 years, yet the average user reports that their battery dies after only one year of use. Much of the loss of usage comes from too frequently charging your phone or leaving it plugged into the charger for too long.

To prolong the life of your battery, it is recommended that you do the following:

  1. With a new battery, follow the manufacturers' instructions for charging. Lithium Ion batteries function best if they are "conditioned" when you first start charging them. The first three times you charge your battery, allow it to drain completely before recharging and charge it overnight. Always use the manufacturer's recommended charger.
  2. It is much better for your battery to have partial recharges as opposed to frequent full recharges. Contrary to popular belief, lithium ion batteries to not retain memory, so beyond the first three charges, full discharge is no longer necessary.
  3. If you have to store your battery for any reason or have a backup battery for convenience, it is better for it long-term use if it is charged to 40% capacity.
  4. Keep your battery cool. Don't carry your phone in your pocket or leave it in the car. Heat of this type can damage the battery and reduce it's life, so if the phone feels hot, place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  5. Periodically clean the contact terminals on both the phone and the charger to ensure proper performance. Most manufacturers recommend using rubbing alcohol.

There are some simple things you can do to increase the amount of time between charges:

  1. Turn off your phone when it is not in use. If you don't answer your phone when you're sleeping or at work, turn it off. It also helps to turn it off if you are in areas with no service, or if the phone starts roaming for a signal. This uses up a lot of battery power as well.

  2. Keep your calls short. The less time you use your phone, the longer the charge will last.
  3. Turn off Vibrate on your phone; it uses a lot of battery power. Use a ringtone and keep it set at the lowest level you can.
  4. Use the power save function. Most phone will now have this feature.

  5. Don't use your camera or internet access. These will run down your battery very quickly. Also, disable your BlueTooth capability when it is not in use.
  6. Backlight is a battery hog, so turn it off if you can. If you need to use it, see if you can set the length of time it is on per use. One to two seconds should be long enough.


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      PP Pants 5 years ago

      Stupid tips... "never use your camera or internet" LMAO. that's what smart phones are for. plus you should never fully discharge the battery, and never fully charge the battery. Leaving it plugged in overnight is definately going to overcharge it. Wow whoever wrote this must be a pantor!

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      Fali 7 years ago

      muli makes a very important point: In 1. you say you need to condition a lithium-ion battery by letting it fully discharge for the first several uses. This is not true! You should never let a lithium-ion battery fully discharge, this actually shortens the battery lifetime.

      If you continue to read the battery university website that you reference, you will note that it also says to never fully discharge a lithium-ion battery.

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      zBoost YX510 8 years ago

      If you have a weak cell phone reception at home the tendency is your phone will work harder to get a strong signal - making your battery life shorter. Cellphone repeaters can improve both your cell phone signal and your battery's life. :)

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      muli 9 years ago

      Lithium-ion is a very clean system and does not need priming as nickel-based batteries do. The 1st charge is no different to the 5th or the 50th charge. Stickers instructing to charge the battery for 8 hours or more for the first time may be a leftover from the nickel battery days.

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      memoryman1 10 years ago

      Great tips. I think chargers should dedect when the phone is fully charged and shut the power off when the phone reaches that piont. Of course their sales on batteries would go down so I doubt that will happen.