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Old 04-11-2006, 08:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
-Ever-'s Avatar
Location: San Francisco
Battery life: When should I charge my cell phone?

Hey guys. Just picked myself up a new Motorola Slvr cell phone. I was reading an online forum and a handful of people said they get 3-7 days of battery life (moderate to high useage) on a single charge.

This got me thinking. My recent Motorola would completely die sometime in the afternoon if I didn't charge it the night before, IE it would go an entire day, through the night, and shortly into the next day on a single charge. I'm hoping to steer well away from this fate and am wondering what charge schedule I should work on.

Before, I would just charge it mainly through the night, every night, and sometimes during the day when I was home for extended periods of time. Is this either unnecessary or bad for these types of batteries? Should I go as long as possible until it runs out and then fully recharge it?

Thanks for any knowledge and info guys.
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Old 04-11-2006, 11:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
I'm no expert but typicaly you should only leave the phone pluged in for the period of time it takes to charge the phone. Having pretty much any battery based device pluged in for extended periods of time will effect the battery life.

As for talk time this again can vary wildly on usage and your location. The most the phone has to work to get a signal the shorter the battery life.
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Old 04-12-2006, 12:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
Young Crumudgeon
Martian's Avatar
Location: Canada
In the olden days the when and where of battery charging was very important - and in some devices, this is still the case. Cell phones, however, now use L-Ion batteries pretty much universally. L-Ion is good for that application, because of their charge characteristics.

NiCad (and to a lesser extent, NiMH) batteries suffer from a memory effect - essentially, this means that if you recharge the phone before the battery is fully drained, it will decrease the life much more quickly. NiCad is also prone to damage from overcharging. These are the finicky batteries that you have to charge properly.

L-Ion is different. There is no memory effect. An overcharged L-Ion battery doesn't happen either, but for a different reason; while the nature of the chemicals in a L-Ion battery is such that they don't have a charge memory, it's also formulated in such a way that the batteries will explode if overcharged. L-Ion batteries contain a failsafe device to prevent overcharging because of this.

The short answer is it doesn't really matter when or how you charge your phone. Bear in mind though that rechargable batteries do have a useful life and that L-Ion batteries have a particularly short one - approximately 400 charge cycles, or roughly two years. NiCad and NiMH are cheaper and last longer (600-800 charge cycles if properly taken care of), but the disadvantages of L-Ion are outweighed by the benefits in this particular application.

So, yeah. That's the long and short of it. Any questions?
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
Location: whOregon
thats an excellent summary,the biggest thing is that most people dont realize that cellphone manufacturers only intend for the usefull battery life to be 1-2 years. so people dont replace them, and then think that some usage characteristic of theirs killed it.

I just plan on replacing my battery every year and never have issues with charge life, its only 20-30 bucks if you shop around and find a good deal.
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