For most people, plugging in their Apple or Samsung phone when they go to bed at night seems like the natural thing to do.
Smartphone batteries always seem to drain quickly, and letting your gadget charge up while you sleep means you wake up to a full charge.
But frequent charging can take its toll on the lithium-ion batteries which invariably power up most of our smartphones.
However, this is not because they can be overcharged, according to Edo Campos – a spokesman for phone charger maker Anker.
Speaking to The New York Times, he said: “Smartphones are, in fact, smart. They know when to stop charging.”
Android phones and iPhones have chips which STOP them from absorbing excess electric current once they are fully charged.
So worry not, there should not be any damage from charging your phone overnight with an official charger.
However, the act of charging itself is bad for your phone’s battery.
Most phones are designed to accept electrical currents as fast as possible, which helps to reduce the amount of time needed to charge.
However, as the current flows rapidly from one side of the battery to the other it corrodes the battery.
This is fine if you plan on keeping your phone for a couple of years, but it eventually will shorten your battery’s lifespan.
Hatem Zeine is the founder, chief scientist and chief technical officer of the wireless charging company Ossia.
Speaking to the NYT, he said: “When you charge fast all the time, you limit the life span of the battery.”
Zeine advised that if you plan on keeping your smartphone for as long as possible, you should use a charger that is meant for a less powerful device.
However, he was not able to guarantee if that would work or not.
He said: “For example, if you used an iPhone charger on an iPad Pro, it’s going to charge very slowly.
“If the electronics are right, they can actually preserve the battery because you’re always charging it slowly.”
People who want to preserve their phones’ batteries should also make sure they don’t become overheated.
This is because high temperatures can further put pressure on lithium-ion batteries which leads them to deteriorate quicker.
Apple’s website warns users that temperatures above 35C can “permanently damage battery capacity.”
However, for most people who upgrade their smartphone regularly this won’t be an issue.
Batteries usually start to show signs of wear after two years – which is the typical period between upgrades for smartphone users on a contract.
Frontpage September 29, 2020