Gone are the days when we whined about internet connectivity and old technology. Today is all about “power hunger.” Our cellphones are now an integral part of our lives. And why not? We are always on the go because of these little wonder machines. We all love gaming, surfing the internet and listening to music on our cellphones. And with all those reminders, notes and documents on your mobile phone, you definitely want your power to last longer.

Your cellphone draws its power from a rechargeable battery as we know it. This domain is almost exclusively ruled by the Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. Read on to find out how these batteries work and how to utilize their highest potential.

Know your battery packs

The cathode (positive electrode) is lithium metal oxide, and the anode (negative electrode) is porous carbon, usually graphite. There are arrays of electrolytes depending on the type of battery. The capacity, voltage and the life of the battery changes according to the choice of materials of construction.

Apart from the Lithium-ion batteries, some other types frequently used in cellphones are the lead-acid battery NiMH (nickel-metal hydride) battery.

The workings

The ions from the anode flow toward the cathode through the electrolyte sending a current through the circuitry. This is the discharge cycle that is the mechanism with which your phone draws energy.

During the charging cycle, the exact opposite procedure is followed. A current is induced across the electrodes due to which the ions flow from the cathode to the anode, recharging the battery.

What does your cellphone battery offer?

They have a lifetime of 2 years. The best ones can go up to 3 years without any issue. If you are a heavy user, the average charge-discharge cycle is 400. Herein, the battery may work but will drain quickly. If the battery is replaceable, this is not an issue but nowadays,  internal non-replaceable batteries are common. Replacing them is a tedious task involving a skilled technician.

Even if the batteries are not in use, they degrade. Hence do not refrain from using them often. Ensure that the batteries of your cellphones are new. Look for their manufacturing dates.

The big question

Yes, all we are bothered about is how to make our batteries last long. No matter which phone it is, the battery life is crappy. On the other hand, with ultra-clear HD screens, superb gaming features, crisp audio and powerful overall performance, we can’t complain. Your phone is bound to use up that much power

How to make cellphone batteries last long?

With no permanent solution in view for this problem, all you can do is tweak some of your phone settings and habits to improve the battery life. Follow these tips to increase the battery life of your phone.

  • The 20-90 rule—Unlike popular beliefs, Li-ion batteries are not meant to be charged and drained completely. In fact, this reduces the battery life. It is advisable that you start charging the battery when it is well above the 0 mark. Also, do not charge it up to 100%.
  • Charge frequently—For Li-ion batteries, the more frequently you charge, the better battery life you get.
  • Turn off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and mobile data—These features are heavy power drainers. When you are not using Wi-Fi, turn off the Wi-Fi radio. Similarly, keep the Bluetooth and GPS off by default. Switch them on whenever required. Though the mobile data does not use up much battery, turning it off when not in use, especially during the night, can save you a great deal of battery time.
  • Turn down the brightness—Dim the brightness to the lowest. If required, use the auto brightness feature.
  • Keep the backlight timeout to minimum—This will save you several minutes of battery time.
  • Turn off vibration—Vibrating the phone requires a lot of power. Whenever possible, use the ‘only ringtone’ sound profile.
  • Keep the volume low—High volumes are linked to higher battery usage.
  • Cached processes and background applications—Background applications use up power. Although, they drain even more power while you launch them the next time. The trick here is to identify the frequently used applications and clear the ones that are not used
  • Do not use auto-sync—Using the auto sync feature frequently updates your data using both network and power. Instead, sync your data manually every time you open a particular application.
  • Choose the right wallpaper—It has been proven time and again that animated and live wallpapers heavily drain your battery. Also using a black wallpaper works best to save power.
  • Poor cellular and Wi-Fi coverage—When the Wi-Fi or cellular coverage is poor, the phone constantly looks out for signals. This is by far, one of the heaviest battery drainers. Whenever you notice that the network coverage is poor, switch the network off or turn on the airplane mode.
  • Avoid using email on the phone—Email constantly checks for messages. Especially if you have more accounts on your phone, your battery is sure to drain.

External battery packs

External battery packs, popularly known as power banks, have taken the mobile accessories market by storm. They are the best answer we have to the global distress of mobile users. They are handy, come in different sizes, capacities and can be used on the go. You can choose a power bank based on your requirements.

For now, we don’t see the scenario of our cellphone batteries changing, although with every passing year, we have better batteries coming up on the market. With futuristic technologies getting added to smartphones with every new model, batteries are going to have a tough time keeping up.

Optimizing your usage is all that can help right now. The simplest tool is keeping the usage to a minimum. Find out what applications really need to be used on the phone. Remove the unwanted applications. Apart from this, there are a variety of applications which can help you save and optimize your battery life.