Cell Phone Basics explained

Cell Phone batteries explained, make phone batteries last long

Lithium battery, usually the Lithium-ion type known by its short form Li-ion battery, is now universally adopted by almost all cell phone manufacturers. Li-ion battery manufacturers have been trying to make the Li-ion battery more energy dense, that is trying to make the Li-ion batteries smaller and with higher charging capacity. In this race to make Li-ion batteries more efficient, some manufacturers try to cut corners which results in disasters, like what happened with Samsung with their infamous Galaxy Note-6.Now manufacturers have realized the danger of cutting corners with Li-ion battery production, and the Li-ion battery is safer than ever before. Lithium-ion batteries have built-in charge controllers that regulates the charging and discharge electricity to keep cell phone batteries safe.

Types of Lithium batteries

There are two popular versions of Lithium batteries, the Lithium-ion and the Lithium Polymer type. Lithium polymer type batteries are usually written as LiPo batteries. As to the question of what is the difference between a Li-ion and LiPo battery, we would refer to this article on the ~~~ Battery University.~~~ Quote: “what is the difference between a normal Li ion and Li ion polymer? As far as the user is concerned, lithium polymer is essentially the same as lithium-ion. Both systems use identical cathode and anode material and contain a similar amount of electrolyte…..Li-polymer is unique in that a micro porous electrolyte replaces the traditional porous separator. Li-polymer offers slightly higher specific energy and can be made thinner than conventional Li-ion, but the manufacturing cost is said to be higher…..”.Lithium Polymer batteries are safer and can hold a little more charge. Unlike Lithium-ion batteries the Lithium Polymer has a gel type electrolyte inside and is housed in a flexible plastic casing rather than in a metal casing of the Li-ion battery. Lithium Polymer is the better type of Lithium battery but it is a little more expensive.

How long does cell phone battery last

The lifetime of batteries is measured in charge cycles. A Cell phone battery can last about 400 charge cycles. How long the cell phone battery lasts depend on your usage and how many battery charge cycles are done. A battery charge cycle is when an empty battery is fully charged and then goes empty or fully discharged. To quote what ~~~~ Apple says about Lithium ion battery charge cycle ~~~~ “… A charge cycle happens when you use all of the battery’s power—but that doesn’t necessarily mean a single charge.For example, you could use half of your notebook’s charge in one day, and then recharge it fully. If you did the same thing the next day, it would count as one charge cycle, not two. In this way, it might take several days to complete a cycle.”How to make cell phone batteries last longer? If you follow just a few simple steps on how you use your phone, you can make your phone batteries to last longer.

How to take care of phone battery

First and foremost you should understand that phone batteries have limited life. It all depends on how many charge cycles the cell phone battery has undergone. But there are certain things you can do to prolong the life of cell phone batteries. We list a few cell phone battery care tips below

  1. Charge your phone at shorter intervals. Do not wait to charge the phone when it is nearly empty. Lithium Phone batteries tend to last longer when they are not allowed to reach zero charge situation, that is, completely discharged.
  2. Keep the cell phone battery cool. By cool we mean about the same as our body temperature. The phone should not feel too warm to our touch nor too cold, like ice cold. Avoid placing the phone in hot areas like a car parked in the sun, or on top of ovens, etc. While charging a cell phone it should be well ventilated. Do not charge a phone while it is on soft surfaces like on a bed or pillow. While charging a cell phone, it is a good idea to keep the glass side down on a non scratching surface with the back of the phone, which tends to get hot while charging, exposed to air.
  3. Keep the WiFi off when you are not within range of a WiFi network you use. When a WiFi is hunting for non-existent WiFi signal, it consumes a lot of power.
  4. Keep phone on Airplane mode in areas where there is no mobile signal at all. These days this is unlikely, but if ever you run into such a situation, the Airplane mode will save a lot of battery power. When a telephone is looking to connect to a non-existent signal, it consumes much more power.
  5. To store a phone for long periods without using it, it is better to have the phone almost fully charged than leaving it in an almost fully discharged condition. Lithium batteries do not like to be in almost zero charge conditions, they could go dead forever.
  6. Other tips to save battery power are things like keeping the brightness of your phone down, disabling Apps not required daily, and such other normal day to day steps to save battery power.

History of phone batteries

The first type of batteries used in mobile cell phones during the late 1980s and early 1990s, were the Nickel Cadmium or NiCD Battery. This battery had a serious problem known as ‘Memory Effect’. Memory Effect meant that the phone had to be drained completely before being recharged, otherwise the charge capacity of the battery got reduced.

The next generation of phone battery was the Nickel Metal Hydride NiMH battery. Though not having the memory effect problem, the NiMH batteries used to slowly discharge, even when not in use, and would get completely discharged in a few days, even if not used. This self-discharge in NiMH batteries was referred to as ‘Leakage’.

The third type of battery used in cell phones is the Litium ion or Li-ion battery. Lithium batteries were first introduced by Sony in the early 1990s. Li-Ion batteries do not suffer from either the ‘Memory Effect’ nor the ‘Leakage’ problem of the earlier generation batteries. The Li-ion batteries had much higher energy density, almost twice the energy holding capacity of similar sized NiMH battery. The main drawback of the Li-ion battery is that it is very expensive.

Future phone batteries

In future, we can look forward to an era of phone batteries that last for weeks and charge instantly. These are the new generation batteries known as Ultracapacitors or Supercapacitors. Ultracapacitors and Supercapacitors use the wonder material know as Graphene. It will not be that far away in the future when we can see these types of batteries in our phones. Research into Ultracapacitors or Supercapacitors are high on the priority list of leading Universities and research laboratories of the world. Working models are already being tested for applications like electric cars. Have not heard yet of Ultracapacitors or Supercapacitors being used in cell phones, but I am sure that day is not far off.

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