how to maintain phone battery

Are you looking for How To Maintain Phone Battery? Read through for how to preserve phone battery lifespan. You will also find how to make your phone battery last longer in the post.

There are many things you can do to get the best performance from your smartphone. Newly unboxed, a smartphone runs like a dream. The device is fresh and spotless, and it has that “new phone” scent. But as time goes by, your phone loses its luster: it just slows down. Maybe your phone is only dirty, lucky you. 

You might blame the phone’s aging circuitry, but the problem is usually much simpler than that. Apps, security issues, and battery use can have a profound impact on your phone, and a little maintenance can go a long way.

How To Maintain Phone Battery

how to preserve phone battery lifespan

1. Clean house

You probably have pages of apps and only use a handful. Time to purge.

On your iPhone, launch the Settings app, tap General, Storage, scroll and select the app you want to delete. Tap Delete App, and Delete again to confirm that you want to delete the app.

To delete apps from Androids, go to Settings, scroll, and tap Apps. A list of the apps on your phone will appear. Select the app you want to delete and tap Uninstall. Make sure to go back to your display window to remove the widget. If all else fails, Settings is the place to start when looking to delete apps. (Note that the steps in this post are for Samsung phones. Your exact steps may be different.)

Apps are only one way that advertisers track you through your smartphone. 

2. Don’t believe the app hype

Contrary to what most believe, letting apps run in the background is not bad for Androids. If you are constantly opening and closing apps, you can hurt your phone’s performance and battery life.

Apps on iPhones, on the other hand, don’t truly keep running in the background. If you are multitasking, the app you’ve stopped using will suspend itself, keeping its data in memory but not using resources.

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Closing apps and reopening them will drain your battery in the long run on an iPhone. If you want to use Background App Refresh, go to Settings, General, Background App Refresh and turn it on.

RELATED: Change this one setting to save big money when traveling.

3. More battery drain culprits

Your settings can siphon battery life. Whether you have an iPhone or Android, turn off Bluetooth, GPS, and Wi-Fi when you’re not using them. If you’re in a place with no Wi-Fi, use Airplane Mode. Your phone will stop hunting for a signal, which really drains the battery. Another straightforward trick is to lower the brightness of your screen.

To lower the brightness on your iPhone, open the Settings app, and tap Display & Brightness. To turn off the GPS on your iPhone, tap on Settings, Privacy, Location Services and slide the toggle to off. To turn off Bluetooth, open the Settings app, scroll down and tap Bluetooth, then slide the toggle to off.

For turning off Wi-Fi, launch Settings, tap Wi-Fi and slide the toggle to off. There’s also an easy way on iPhones to adjust your screen brightness or shut off your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi by accessing the phone’s handy Control Center. There you can see icons for Screen Brightness, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.

On your Android, open Settings, tap Display and you can either turn on Auto Brightness or use the slider to adjust the brightness manually. To turn off Wi-Fi, go to Settings, tap on Connection, find Wi-Fi, and slide the toggle to off. On the same page, you can also turn off your Bluetooth and GPS.

If your Android supports this function, you can go to your home screen and swipe down to see the Status Bar. From there you can click off the Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS simply by tapping the appropriate icons. You can also adjust the brightness of your screen.

4. Stay up with the times

When there’s an update for your phone, install it. Makers are continually fixing performance and security issues.

On an iPhone, back up files you don’t want to lose such as photos and videos. Next, tap Settings from your home screen, tap General, Software Update, Download and Install, enter Passcode if you are asked, tap Agree to the Terms and Conditions and Agree again to confirm.

Know that apps are not updated during an operating system update. You will have to go to each app to see if any updates are available.

On Android, tap About Phone and then Software Information. This step will tell you if you have the latest operating system. If you don’t have the latest version, tap Settings, Software Updates, and Download Updates.

5. To charge or not?

For iPhones and Androids, keep your phone charged between 40% and 80%. You want to restart your phone from time to time to give it a clean slate. And never let the battery overheat.

Now, this is important. If you need to replace your charging cable, make sure it comes from the original manufacturer or a certified brand. Generic chargers may save you a few bucks, but they can also be extremely dangerous. 

6. Stay vigilant on security

Smartphones can get viruses and malware. Here, an iPhone out-performs Android. Apple does not give its source code to developers, and consumers cannot easily modify the code on their own. That keeps hackers at bay.

Androids use open-source code that app developers can use, and hackers can misuse. If you own an Android and think you might have a virus, look for signs such as you’re blasted with pop-up ads, your battery is draining too quickly, you see spikes in data usage, and unexpected apps appear on your phone.

To get rid of a bad Android app, put your phone into Safe Mode. This step disables third-party apps. The method for doing this may vary depending on your phone, but for most, it involves holding down the Power key and then tapping and holding Power off. Tap OK when prompted to reboot into Safe Mode.

To remove the offending app, open Settings, tap on Apps, go through your list of apps, and tap on Uninstall. You can then restart your phone to get out of Safe Mode.

7. Clear things out

Delete the cache from whatever browser you’re using. On iPhone, tap Settings, find your browser and tap Clear History and Website Data.

To clear cache from third-party apps, tap Settings, General, iPhone storage and search through your apps. There may be a button to reset cache when you relaunch the app.

On Android, you can delete files by tapping on Settings, Storage, Free up space, pick a file to delete and check the empty box on the right. Then, tap Free Up at the bottom of the screen.

Why is it that your phone’s battery seems to get worse over time? At first it might have power to spare as you snuggle into bed at the end of the night, but as time goes on you find your battery is just half-full by lunchtime.

Partly it’s how you use your phone – the apps you install, the junk you collect, the customisations you make, and the more and more notifications you receive – puts more strain on the battery. (Read our tips on how to extend battery life.)

But the other thing to consider is that phone batteries do degrade over time, which means they are increasingly incapable of holding the same amount of power. While they should have a lifespan of between three- and five years, or between 500 and 1000 charging cycles, a five-year-old phone battery is never going to keep going as long as a brand-new battery.

However, armed with our tips for best battery care practice, you can maintain your smartphone battery health much longer

When should I charge my phone?

The golden rule is to keep your battery topped up somewhere between 30% and 90% most of the time. So top it up when it drops below 50%, but unplug it before it hits 100%. For this reason you might want to reconsider leaving it plugged in overnight.

Giving your phone a full recharge is not fatal for a phone battery, and it seems almost counter-intuitive not to do so, but giving it a full recharge every time you charge it will shorten its lifespan.

Likewise, at the other end of the scale, avoid allowing your phone battery to get below 20%.

how to make your phone battery last longer

No, or at least not every time you charge it. Some people recommend that you do a full zero to 100 percent battery recharge (a “charge cycle”) once a month – as this re-calibrates the battery, which is a bit like restarting your computer.

But others disregard this as a myth for lithium-ion batteries in phones.

To keep your long-term battery life in good health, frequent, small charges are better than full recharging.

Should I charge my phone overnight?

As a rule, it’s best to avoid, despite the convenience of waking up with a full battery in the morning. Each full charge counts as a ‘cycle’, and your phone is only built to last for a set number. 

While most modern smartphones have built-in sensors to shut off charging when they hit 100%, if still turned on they will lose a small amount of battery while idle.

Your best policy is to have Do Not Disturb and Airplane Mode switched on. Better still, you could completely switch off your phone, but that may not be possible if you rely on it as an alarm or wish to be ready to take calls at all hours. 

Some devices are also set to power up once the cable is connected by default. Even during waking hours, it’s best to catch your phone before it hits 100%, or at least not leave the charger supplying charge to an already full battery for too long. 

If you are leaving it plugged in for a long period of time, removing the case can prevent it over-heating.

Will fast-charging damage my phone?

The majority of modern smartphones support some form of fast-charging, however this often requires you to purchase an additional accessory. The industry standard is Qualcomm’s Quick Charge, which delivers 18W of power.

However, many phone makers have their own fast charge standard, many of which can deliver even faster speeds by adjusting power management code to request a higher voltage charge is sent. Samsung is now even selling a 45W charger!

While fast-charging itself will not harm your phone’s battery, which is built to support it, the heat generated will potentially affect its lifespan. So it’s on you to balance the advantages of faster charging with the convenience of quickly topping up your phone before you dash out the door.

In the same way that phone batteries don’t like extreme heat, they also don’t like the cold. So it goes without saying that you should avoid leaving your phone in a hot car, on the beach, next to the oven, out in the snow. Typically, batteries perform at their optimum somewhere between 20 and 30°C, but short periods outside of this should be fine. 

Can I use any phone charger?

Where possible use the charger that came with your phone, as it is sure to have the correct rating. Or make sure that a third-party charger is approved by your phone’s manufacturer. Cheap alternatives from Amazon or eBay may harm your phone, and there have been several reported cases of cheap chargers actually catching on fire.

That said, your phone should draw only the power that it needs from a USB charger.

Also see: Best USB Chargers for your phone and Best Wireless Chargers.

Battery memory effect: Fact or fiction?

The battery memory effect concerns batteries that are regularly charged between 20% and 80% and suggests that the phone might somehow ‘forget’ that extra 40% you routinely ignore.

Lithium batteries, that are in the majority of modern smartphones, do not suffer the battery memory effect, though older nickel-based (NiMH and NiCd) batteries do.

Avoid Parasite Loads

If you charge your phone while using it – for example, while watching a video – you can “confuse” the battery by creating mini-cycles, during which parts of the battery continually cycle and deteriorate at a faster rate than the rest of the cell.

Ideally, you should turn your device off while charging. But, more realistically, just leave it idle while charging.

Keep the phone battery cool

As you might expect, heat is a battery’s enemy. Don’t let it get too hot or too cold – especially when charging. If a phone gets too hot, you will be damaging its battery, so try to keep it cool where possible.

Storing battery tips

Don’t leave a lithium battery lying around too long at 0% – if you’re not using it for a while, leave it with around 50% charge.

You’ll find the battery will drain between 5% and 10% each month, and if you let it discharge completely it might become incapable of holding a charge at all. That’s probably why an old phone’s battery life is so much worse after a few months in a drawer, even when it hasn’t been used. 

THE BEST PHONES TO BUY IF YOU’RE A PHONE ENTHUSIAST 2021

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G

1. SAMSUNG GALAXY Z FOLD 2 5G

THE BEST FOLDING PHONE BECAUSE YOU KNOW YOU NEED ONE IN YOUR COLLECTION

Folding phones are the future, right? You can’t call yourself a Real Phone Enthusiast without one in your life. Hands down, the best folding phone you can buy right now is Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G. It’s got everything you might want from a modern smartphone, but it also opens up into a tablet-sized screen that lets you put more than one app side-by-side or look at a giant version of Google Maps. It’s easy to justify because you can tell yourself that you will get SO MUCH WORK done on it, right after you finish watching that YouTube video. Promise.

The Fold 2 costs more than most laptops, you have to baby it, and there’s a really good chance the screen will crack or break on you even if you are careful, but that’s just the price you have to pay to be on the bleeding edge.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

  • $1,799

If you’re buying a folding phone and are willing to pay the cost to get one, you should buy the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2.

iPhone 12 mini
Apple iPhone 12 Mini

2. APPLE IPHONE 12 MINI

THE BEST IPHONE FOR WHEN YOU’RE DOUBLE-FISTING AN ANDROID PHONE

Look, I know that you know that everyone in the world has an iPhone and it’s the farthest thing from an “interesting” phone. But at the same time, it’s hard to ignore what Apple’s doing, and really, iMessage and the Apple Watch are pretty great. Lots of people carry an iPhone alongside an Android phone, and you could be one of them.

The best iPhone for doing this is the iPhone 12 Mini. It does everything its bigger siblings can do, but it can easily fit in a secondary pocket and isn’t a burden to carry around. The battery life is kinda lousy, but who cares, that’s why you have a second phone on you anyway, right?

Apple iPhone 12 Mini

  • $699

The iPhone 12 Mini is the smallest phone in Apple’s lineup and the best small phone you can get.

Asus ROG Phone 5 Ultimate
The Asus ROG Phone 5 Ultimate comes with a clip-on fan and has 18GB of RAM.

3. ASUS ROG PHONE 5 ULTIMATE

THE BEST PHONE FOR SEEING WHAT THIS “GAMING PHONE” TREND IS ALL ABOUT

Gaming phones are so hot right now (unless they’ve got a great cooling system) — it seems like a new model is released every three months. You can’t call yourself a true phone enthusiast without being up on this trend, and the best one to dip your toes into it with is the Asus ROG Phone 5 Ultimate.

The ROG Phone 5 Ultimate has a ton of features that can make any mobile accomplisher swoon. A massive battery. A ridiculously high refresh screen. An OLED screen on the back you can customize to show whatever you want. A bunch of accessories to make gaming better. 18GB of RAM! How could you not buy this phone?

Asus ROG Phone 5

  • $1,000

The Asus ROG Phone 5 is the quintessential example of a modern gaming phone. It has over-the-top specs, lots of gaming accessories, and a head-turning design.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

4. SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 20 ULTRA

THE BEST PHONE FOR PRETENDING YOU’RE GOING TO USE A STYLUS

Writing on a phone screen with a pen is so cool! It feels futuristic and is just so natural. At least, it is for the first week until you forget about it and it never leaves the little garage built into the side of the phone again.

If you’ve been telling yourself that little “I’m gonna be a stylus person” lie, you need a phone that supports one and it’s hard to see buying anything other than Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20. It’s got a low latency S Pen, a bunch of software features that can utilize the stylus, and all of the other bells and whistles of a modern smartphone, which means it works quite well long after you’ve forgotten about the stylus.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

  • $950
  • $1,300
  • 27% off

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is one of Samsung’s top-tier non-folding phones, and it has excellent battery life.

The Google Pixel 4A has an incredible camera.
The Google Pixel 4A

5. GOOGLE PIXEL 4A

THE BEST PHONE FOR MESSING AROUND WITH THE ANDROID 12 BETA

Okay, I said I wasn’t going to recommend anything rational in this guide, but this is perhaps the recommendation that makes the most sense: if you want to mess around with the Android 12 beta but don’t want to install it on your main phone, you should just buy a Google Pixel 4A. It’s only $350 (that’s just $20 more than it costs to fix a broken screen on an iPhone 12 Pro Max) and can work with Google’s latest and greatest software even before it’s released to the public.

You know the Android betas are going to be messy — battery life is going to be bad, there will be lots of bugs, certain apps might not work correctly — so you don’t want to put it on a device you actually need to rely on. Once the beta period is over, the Pixel 4A is a great device for experimenting with the aftermarket ROM world. Get a Pixel 4A and flash those ROMs to your heart’s content.

Google Pixel 4A

  • $349

A very inexpensive smartphone with one of the best cameras for photography you can get on any smartphone at any price.

The Microsoft Surface Duo

6. MICROSOFT SURFACE DUO

THE BEST PHONE FOR MAKING PEOPLE GO “WHOA, IS THAT A PHONE?”

As a phone enthusiast, you already know this harsh truth: the Microsoft Surface Duo is not a good phone. It has an old processor. The camera is worse than any iPhone of the past five years. The battery life is decidedly Not Great. It gets hot doing simple tasks. There are SO MANY software bugs. It’s got a generation-old version of Android. It doesn’t even support wireless charging or NFC payments! Oh yeah, and there’s that questionable build quality to worry about.

But there’s something undeniably cool about the Surface Duo, like it’s a device from the future coming here to bless us in the early 21st century. It’s so thin, it has two screens, the hinge is incredibly neat. Open it up in public and you’re sure to get someone to ask “wow, is that a phone?” which we all know is the ultimate goal here. You can then show them all of its cool features, right after it’s done rebooting itself for the fifth time that day.

Microsoft Surface Duo (unlocked, 128GB)

  • $636
  • $1,400
  • 55% off

Microsoft’s first Android phone was its ambitious foldable Surface Duo. It features two OLED displays, and its high-end design fits in with the greater Surface family of products.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

7. APPLE IPHONE 12 PRO MAX

THE BEST PHONE FOR TELLING YOURSELF THAT YOU DON’T NEED AN ACTUAL CAMERA

For years now we’ve been told that phone cameras are so good that you don’t need an actual camera. The iPhone 12 Pro Max might be the best example of that yet. It’s got a bigger sensor! It’s got three focal lengths! It can shoot video in Dolby Vision HDR!

At the end of the day, it’s still a phone camera and can’t really hold a candle to the image quality or creative control you get with a larger mirrorless camera. But hey, it’s fun to live in that lie and you can totally see the difference between the 12 Pro Max images and other phones. When you blow them up on a big screen. And zoom in.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

  • $1,099

Apple’s top-of-the-line iPhone 12 Pro Max has a better camera system than you can get in the other iPhone models this year.

Oppo Find X3 Pro

8. OPPO FIND X3 PRO

THE BEST PHONE FOR SAYING “YOU CAN’T GET THIS IN THE US”

Perhaps the ultimate phone flex is pulling a phone out of your pocket that nobody else is going to have. If you’re in the US, the Oppo Find X3 Pro is that phone. It’s got features you can’t get on any American phone and a design you won’t see everywhere, like a microscope camera and softly rounded camera bump. Sure, it won’t really work great on the cellular networks here, importing it is an expensive hassle, and you won’t have any warranty whatsoever. But just think of the envy on your friends’ faces when you tell them they can’t have this phone.

Oppo Find X3 Pro

  • $1,178

Oppo’s Find X3 Pro is the company’s latest flagship and it’s not sold in the US. It has a unique camera system and head-turning design that you won’t see on American phones.

The OnePlus 9 Pro
OnePlus 9 Pro

9. ONEPLUS 9 PRO

THE BEST PHONE FOR WHEN YOU REALIZE THAT PIXEL PHONES AREN’T GREAT, BUT YOU DON’T WANT A SAMSUNG EITHER

Google’s Pixel phones have such great software and then… mediocre everything else. Samsung phones have incredible hardware but are laden with heavy software and actual ads inside of the stock apps. The OnePlus 9 Pro splits that difference — it has software that’s similar to Google’s on hardware that’s virtually a Samsung with a different logo on it.

The 9 Pro is just what the phone enthusiast ordered: a high-end, bells-and-whistles device with All Of The Specs but none of the cruft.

OnePlus 9 Pro

  • $1,069

The latest flagship phone from OnePlus. It features a 6.7-inch QHD+ display, an adaptive refresh rate of 120Hz, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

10. SAMSUNG Z FLIP 5G

THE BEST WEEKEND PHONE FOR WHEN YOU’RE “DISCONNECTING”

Here comes the weekend, with all of its promises of relaxation and enjoyment. You don’t need a phone that’s going to make you more productive, you need something that’s going to slip into your pocket and won’t distract you with a colorful display unless you absolutely need it to.

The Z Flip 5G is this phone. You can flip it closed to ignore it and then pop it open and have a full smartphone inside, complete with every feature you get on non-flippy phones. You’re making a compromise without really making a compromise, because we all know that you had no intention of actually disconnecting for the weekend.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G

  • $1,200

The Galaxy Z Flip is a folding phone designed to fit a full smartphone easily into your pocket.

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