(Video) Smartphone batteries: what you need to know

10 January 2019 by Mikey Anderson

2.71 billion people in the world own a smartphone. With such a large number owning these pocket computers, we thought we would release a video that gave you some top tips about how it works - namely its battery!

Remember: if you suffer a data loss, be sure you know what you are doing if you try to recover it yourself. Your best bet will always be to get help from the specialists.

Video transcript 

Hi, I'm Mikey from Ontrack and you're joining me in one of Ontrack's mobile device recovery labs. In this video, we're going to be talking about mobile device batteries and how they work. We've all been there, you're buying a new smartphone and your battery life is amazing and it lasts you all day but you
find that after maybe a year or two it starts to drop and you start having to charge your phone before the end of the day again which is never great. So what
is actually happening there?

One of the main issues is that our smartphones have gotten a lot smarter which means they require more power than ever thanks
to their complex processors and their large HD screens, yet the batteries have got much smaller as companies have made their phones thinner and sleeker. A smartphone uses a lithium-ion battery like this one because they're light and they hold a charge for a long time and it works by moving lithium ions between two electrodes a cathode and an anode. When you charge your battery the ions collect on the anode and when it discharges the ions move back to the cathode and this is called cycling. So this sounds like a great process doesn't it but unfortunately, it's not 100% efficient. Each time you charge your battery a film of lithium atoms remain bonded to the anode reducing its capacity. After that's happened a few hundred times you will see a noticeable drop in your battery life.

So now you know all the science behind it how can you protect your battery? Well here are our top tips. 

  • Now only do a full zero to 100% charge of your lithium ion battery about once every month. The optimal place you want to keep it at is around 50% charge. 
  • Most of us do this but it's actually bad for your battery to leave it charging overnight and that's because it gets to a 100%  and then fluctuates back down and back up to 100% after it's already charged fully.
  • If you're charging your phone in your car only plug it in after the car has been started. If you do it the other way around then what will happen is by starting your car you can have a big surge of electricity going into your phone and that's not very healthy for it.
  • Lastly, try to only use genuine and charging accessories. If you use very cheap or fake charges it has the potential to cause severe damage not only to your device but it also could be a fire hazard too.

Thanks for watching our video, we hope you found it interesting. If you've got any other questions feel free to leave them in the comments below.