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  • 3 Post By natehoy
  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default best charging method for battery longevity?

    I read up a lot about how to best treat the battery re. Charging, but am still not clear about one thing:

    Is it better to have the nexus plugged in and topped off while actively using it, or to charge it fully, then run off the battery a while?
    I understand it's bad to leave it on the charger once it's full, but not sure if that counts when it's in use too.

    If you don't really know what you're talking about, please don't ramble. :-)

    Thanks for any help!
  2. #2  

    Default Re: best charging method for battery longevity?

    Quote Originally Posted by yoryocor View Post
    I read up a lot about how to best treat the battery re. Charging, but am still not clear about one thing:

    Is it better to have the nexus plugged in and topped off while actively using it, or to charge it fully, then run off the battery a while?
    I understand it's bad to leave it on the charger once it's full, but not sure if that counts when it's in use too.

    If you don't really know what you're talking about, please don't ramble. :-)

    Thanks for any help!
    Every once in a while your supposed to let the battery on your phone or tablet run down to less than 20% and then give it a full charge.
  3. #3  
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    Default Re: best charging method for battery longevity?

    Quote Originally Posted by yoryocor View Post
    If you don't really know what you're talking about, please don't ramble. :-)
    Instead of rambling on and trying to summarize people who really do know what they are talking about, here's my major source for all things battery: How to Prolong Lithium-based Batteries - Battery University
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    bitseeker, retsaw and squirms like this.
  4. #4  

    Default Re: best charging method for battery longevity?

    While I'm far from an expert on the subject, I've read that you can leave the charger plugged into your Nexus 7, as it has battery protection to when it is fully charged, that it detects it, and stops charging, so that no harm will come to the device.....I'm sure someone will chime in if I'm wrong....Also I've also read about the 20% rule too!

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Android Central Forums
  5. #5  

    Default Re: best charging method for battery longevity?

    For LI batteries, heat is the major cause of premature aging. In power tools, extended runtime generates a lot of heat as the battery discharges. That heat degrades the battery's life span tremendously. Many manufacturers are adding more ventilation holes to their batteries for power tools. They're also adding heat sinks and some have gone so far as to add fans.

    In phone terms, it's not so much the charging of your phone that matters (unless you have a high output voltage on your charger), but it's charging while you're using the phone for something like streaming audio or video. Avoid charging while you have to use the phone and you avoid a lot of heat build up, giving you the battery life you should expect.

    I'll add this, while not necessarily on topic. Most of the third party insurance plans (AppleCare+, Target Mobile, as examples) cover batteries as part of their extended warranty. Carriers' insurance plans do not.
  6. #6  

    Default Re: best charging method for battery longevity?

    Some have said (and I am inclined to agree with them) that you won't want this "outdated" device well before the battery no longer provides a satisfactory charge cycle.

    Phones are supposedly on a 2 year replacement cycle, laptops on a 3 year cycle and my desktops get new components as needed.
  7. #7  
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    Default Re: best charging method for battery longevity?

    Quote Originally Posted by natehoy View Post
    Instead of rambling on and trying to summarize people who really do know what they are talking about, here's my major source for all things battery: How to Prolong Lithium-based Batteries - Battery University
    +1. But, in case you aren't up for reading all the details, here's the short and short of it for Li-Ion batteries:

    1. Fully charging the battery gives the best run time, but shortens the battery's life.
    2. Smart chargers (on quality devices) will automatically turn off charging when the battery is full, even if you leave it plugged in. The device will then run on the battery until the voltage drops a certain amount and then turn charging back on to "top it off". Nevertheless, see #1.
    3. Fully draining the battery also shortens its life.

    So, for best battery longevity, don't fully charge or drain it. Use it somewhere between 20%-90%.
  8. #8  
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    Default Re: best charging method for battery longevity?

    Quote Originally Posted by bitseeker View Post
    1. Fully charging the battery gives the best run time, but shortens the battery's life.
    [...]
    So, for best battery longevity, don't fully charge or drain it. Use it somewhere between 20%-90%.
    I'll note, though, that most device manufacturers program their devices' charging cycles so the battery rarely gets charged up to full capacity. In order to bring a battery to full capacity, you need to go through a process called "bump charging", which should be avoided unless you have a specific need for a single charge to last as long as possible (for reason #1 you mentioned).

    "Bump charging" basically involves charging the device when turned off (the charging algorithm found in bootloaders is often less sophisticated than the algorithm found in the actual device software) and repeatedly unplugging the device the instant it reads "charged" and plugging it right back in after a few seconds.

    A lot of hassle, it will buy you maybe 10-15% extra life out of the one charge, and doing it repeatedly will lower the overall capacity of your battery.

    So the net result is "feed it when it's hungry, use good-quality chargers, slow-charge it whenever you have sufficient time, try to keep it between 20% and 80% as much as you can without stressing about it, and focus on ENJOYING YOUR DEVICE and trust the software that was built in to handle all the details."
  9. #9  

    Default Re: best charging method for battery longevity?

    Quote Originally Posted by natehoy View Post
    Instead of rambling on and trying to summarize people who really do know what they are talking about, here's my major source for all things battery: How to Prolong Lithium-based Batteries - Battery University
    As this article indicates, it's better to not let your battery discharge a significant amount. Those who advocate letting the battery go down to 20% or less are steering you wrong. I keep a charger with me at all times and I never let the battery on the Nexus 7 go below 40%, usually it's on the charger at 70% +, if possible. And it usually is. If I'm able to use it while it's charging, I do.
    Maxwell was the 1st "Smart" phone user......
  10. #10  

    Default Re: best charging method for battery longevity?

    I have always heard (be a phone, tablet, computer whatever) that you should always let the battery go to less than 20% before you charge it......so what's the correct answer?

    And another question, but how often are you charging? I am less than 20% everynight and I have to recharge, but according to the widget I should be able to go 2 days without needing to charge, now granted the last couple of days I have been uploading book files via an OTG cable and from Dropbox, so that might be why she is so overworked.
  11. #11  
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    Default Re: best charging method for battery longevity?

    And it usually is. If I'm able to use it while it's charging, I do.
    In general, I'd avoid that, though the difference is pretty negligible. The problem in using the device (especially for processor-intensive activities or constant-screen-on activities) is going to be heat. But keeping the battery above 40% is not a bad practice. Anything that avoids all but a rare below-20% discharge is going to be good practice overall, so I'm picking nits - the chances of heat-related damage are actually pretty low.

    But they are also the riskiest bits of heat-related damage, because if a Lithium battery overheats you're basically talking about a lap full of thermite. It'll take your mind off battery longevity, though. (grin)

    Quote Originally Posted by irratebass1 View Post
    I have always heard (be a phone, tablet, computer whatever) that you should always let the battery go to less than 20% before you charge it......so what's the correct answer?
    The correct answer is that ideal battery longevity is generally found if you keep your battery between 20% and 80%. The advocacy of a deep-discharge is to counter the "memory effect".

    Lithium batteries are not susceptible to that effect, and I guarantee you your shiny new Nexus 7 ain't sporting a NiCad battery!

    The "full discharge" advice is hopelessly obsolete, but it keeps getting perpetuated.

    It's not a BAD idea to bring the batteries down to "device powering off" once in a while - like once every couple of months. But it's not especially helpful either.

    Bringing it down to low battery levels repeatedly and intentionally isn't terribly harmful because the actual charge remaining in the battery is at a very safe-from-harm level even when the Nexus 7 tucks itself in for beddy-bye. But there's no actual reason to inconvenience yourself by doing it.

    Seriously, though, at the end of the day we're all picking nits. Battery technology has come a long way. Lithium batteries are very capable of absorbing a lot of abuse and still going strong, and those places where they are weak (like their tendency to explode when truly abused) are generally covered with multiple layers of both software and hardware protection systems.

    Relax, enjoy your Nexus, plug it in when there's power nearby, unplug it when it's convenient to use that way.
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  12. #12  

    Default Re: best charging method for battery longevity?

    Quote Originally Posted by natehoy View Post
    In general, I'd avoid that, though the difference is pretty negligible. The problem in using the device (especially for processor-intensive activities or constant-screen-on activities) is going to be heat. But keeping the battery above 40% is not a bad practice. Anything that avoids all but a rare below-20% discharge is going to be good practice overall, so I'm picking nits - the chances of heat-related damage are actually pretty low.

    But they are also the riskiest bits of heat-related damage, because if a Lithium battery overheats you're basically talking about a lap full of thermite. It'll take your mind off battery longevity, though. (grin)



    The correct answer is that ideal battery longevity is generally found if you keep your battery between 20% and 80%. The advocacy of a deep-discharge is to counter the "memory effect".

    Lithium batteries are not susceptible to that effect, and I guarantee you your shiny new Nexus 7 ain't sporting a NiCad battery!

    The "full discharge" advice is hopelessly obsolete, but it keeps getting perpetuated.

    It's not a BAD idea to bring the batteries down to "device powering off" once in a while - like once every couple of months. But it's not especially helpful either.

    Bringing it down to low battery levels repeatedly and intentionally isn't terribly harmful because the actual charge remaining in the battery is at a very safe-from-harm level even when the Nexus 7 tucks itself in for beddy-bye. But there's no actual reason to inconvenience yourself by doing it.

    Seriously, though, at the end of the day we're all picking nits. Battery technology has come a long way. Lithium batteries are very capable of absorbing a lot of abuse and still going strong, and those places where they are weak (like their tendency to explode when truly abused) are generally covered with multiple layers of both software and hardware protection systems.

    Relax, enjoy your Nexus, plug it in when there's power nearby, unplug it when it's convenient to use that way.
    Thanks for easing my mind......now one more thing, what about turning it off during the day when I am not using it or just leaving it in "standby" mode? See I work a part time job that offers wifi and that's when I can play with my N7, and during the day at my reg job no wifi and can't play with it.....so today I just turned it off, left it in the car and will turn it on when at my 2nd job....is this a good practice or again am I overthinking it?
  13. #13  
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    Default Re: best charging method for battery longevity?

    Quote Originally Posted by irratebass1 View Post
    Thanks for easing my mind......now one more thing, what about turning it off during the day when I am not using it or just leaving it in "standby" mode? See I work a part time job that offers wifi and that's when I can play with my N7, and during the day at my reg job no wifi and can't play with it.....so today I just turned it off, left it in the car and will turn it on when at my 2nd job....is this a good practice or again am I overthinking it?
    Turning it off will keep the battery from draining, especially if the poor little dear can't get any WiFi lovin' and its plaintive cries for a connection go unheard. If you find it's discharging too much during the day, turn it off.

    Leaving it on will allow you to press the on button and get instant gratification. If it's not discharging too much during the day, there's no reason to turn it all the way off.

    Neither will do anywhere near as much harm as leaving it in a hot car. I'd question that practice long before worrying about whether it's on or off.

    I never turn mine "off". It sits on the bedside table during the day, happily charging up. I plug it in just before I leave for work, and it's fully charged for the evening when I get home.
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  14. #14  

    Default Re: best charging method for battery longevity?

    Quote Originally Posted by natehoy View Post
    Turning it off will keep the battery from draining, especially if the poor little dear can't get any WiFi lovin' and its plaintive cries for a connection go unheard. If you find it's discharging too much during the day, turn it off.

    Leaving it on will allow you to press the on button and get instant gratification. If it's not discharging too much during the day, there's no reason to turn it all the way off.

    Neither will do anywhere near as much harm as leaving it in a hot car. I'd question that practice long before worrying about whether it's on or off.

    I never turn mine "off". It sits on the bedside table during the day, happily charging up. I plug it in just before I leave for work, and it's fully charged for the evening when I get home.
    Well it's not hot here, but I totally understand what you are saying and I thank ya
  15. #15  
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    Default Re: best charging method for battery longevity?

    Quote Originally Posted by irratebass1 View Post
    Well it's not hot here, but I totally understand what you are saying and I thank ya
    I should have also said "or very cold", since cold things brought suddenly indoors will tend to get condensation on and in them, and that tends to be life-limiting for electronics doodads, not to mention not so great for the battery.

    Batteries, and electronics in general, tend to be intolerant of a lot of temperature change. More so than anything you need to worry about by sub-optimal charging practice.

    In any case, glad to be of service, and to cross one more person off the list of those still accepting that really old "discharge fully" bit of once-useful advice.
  16. #16  
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    Default Re: best charging method for battery longevity?

    Quote Originally Posted by natehoy View Post
    The correct answer is that ideal battery longevity is generally found if you keep your battery between 20% and 80%. The advocacy of a deep-discharge is to counter the "memory effect".

    Lithium batteries are not susceptible to that effect, and I guarantee you your shiny new Nexus 7 ain't sporting a NiCad battery!
    Correct! No memory on Lithium. That applies to Nickel-based rechargeables.

    Quote Originally Posted by natehoy View Post
    The "full discharge" advice is hopelessly obsolete, but it keeps getting perpetuated.
    Not obsolete. It just doesn't apply to Lithium-based batteries like those in the N7, laptops and cell phones. However, if you use AA or AAA rechargeable batteries that are based on NiMH, then you should fully discharge them periodically.

    Battery University has all the details.

    Quote Originally Posted by natehoy View Post
    Relax, enjoy your Nexus, plug it in when there's power nearby, unplug it when it's convenient to use that way.
    +1

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