Tip of the Week: Is Keeping Your Smartphone Plugged In So Bad?

Tip of the Week: Is Keeping Your Smartphone Plugged In So Bad?

Of all the small inconveniences that plague modern life, a dying smartphone battery is among the worst of them—which explains how the tendency so many have to constantly keep their phone plugged in came about. However, it’s been said that this is actively bad for the device. Is this still the case? For this week’s tip, we’re diving into the factors that drain your device’s battery, and what the best way to handle this power reserve is.

Poor Reception

Your phone doesn’t like not being connected to a tower. Basically, whenever it does lose that connection—particularly in places where reception isn’t the greatest—it will only send out more signals, hoping to reestablish this connection and using up more power in the process. While switching your device to airplane mode will help preserve its battery in these times, it doesn’t exactly help get you connected.

Heavy Use

It stands to reason that the more that is demanded of your mobile device, the more power will be expended to meet these demands. Placing phone calls, taking pictures, and especially filming video will pull battery much faster than other uses, like texting.

“Extreme” Temperatures

Your mobile device can be persnickety about certain things, including the temperature around it. Both high and low temperatures can wreak havoc on its battery capacity. Keeping your phone at a moderate and controlled temperature is best for its battery longevity.

An Older Device

Have you ever heard of planned obsolescence? One of the tricks that phone manufacturers use is now to build a device around an irreplaceable battery and put in a battery that simply won’t last. A dirty trick? Perhaps, but there is little that can be done from the user’s end. 

Too Many Application Alerts and Permissions

Each time your phone registers a notification, it requires some power to be drawn. Too many notifications can therefore suck quite a bit of life out of your battery. The same goes for the permissions that you’ve given to the applications installed on the device—particularly location services. Using the device’s built-in GPS can quickly drain down the battery, particularly if this data is collected even while an application isn’t in use. Adjusting the settings for these communications can help ensure your battery lasts a bit longer.

Bluetooth Connections

Again, as happens when your device is constantly searching for a network connection, maintaining a connection via Bluetooth can take a lot of power. It is best to pare down the number of connections you keep open and active, or to even keep Bluetooth deactivated when you aren’t actively using it.

How Bad is Constantly Charging Your Phone?

There is no shortage of methods that people use to keep their phone powered up throughout the day. Some prefer to simply have it charging whenever the opportunity presents itself, while others religiously maintain their battery within the 40 percent to 80 percent range. Data, however, tells us that these efforts are largely for naught.

Regardless of your method, recharging your battery will gradually diminish its performance, and although preventing it from fully discharging and avoiding charging it to capacity will help, it can only do so much.

Therefore, it really doesn’t matter how you charge your device. When it comes to the battery’s maximum charge cycles (or the number of times the battery can be filled to capacity) any charging done acts cumulatively. Charging it by 20 percent, and then 15 percent, and then by 75 percent doesn’t count as three charge cycles… it only counts as one.

So, it is pretty safe to say that charging your battery the way that suits your needs is just fine, just so long as you understand the tradeoffs that come with each method.

How often do you need to charge your phone? If you have any other questions about your IT and its maintenance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 978-482-2020.



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