What is a lithium-ion battery?
Most electronic devices that are rechargeable-including smartphones, tablets, and laptops-use lithium-ion batteries. According to Popular Science, this is how they work: "When the battery is charging, positively-charged lithium ions move from one electrode, called the cathode, to the other, known as the anode, through an electrolyte solution in the battery cell. That causes electrons to concentrate on the anode, at the negative side. When the battery is discharged, the reverse happens. As for those electrons, they move through circuits that are external to the battery, providing juice."
Despite tons of updates over the years, these batteries can only be discharged and recharged a number of times before they just get worn out. Generally speaking, these batteries only last for 2-3 years before needing to be replaced, or before you need to buy a new device. But what if there was a way to extend your battery life beyond that window? Well, there is.
What's the best way to charge your phone?
Many researchers say that you should not allow your battery to charge to 100 percent each time that you plug it in, because it puts too much strain on the battery. A 50 percent charge is suggested, as this will help your battery life last longer. The same goes for the discharge. You shouldn't wait until your phone has 3 percent battery left before plugging it in. Try charging it when it's around 50 percent. This is called "shallow discharge" and "shallow recharge."
In addition, if your battery is at 100 percent, you should not leave it plugged in. That means if you are one of those people that leaves their phone on charge overnight, you are doing it wrong! Interestingly enough, research shows that allowing your phone a full discharge (down to about 5 percent) once a month is good for the battery life and will help recalibrate your phone's self-assessment (meaning, your "estimated battery time remaining" will be more accurate).
Keep your phone protected from extreme temperatures.
Another way to lengthen your battery life is to keep your phone or other electronic device protected from extreme temperatures. You shouldn't keep your phone out in direct sunlight if you are heading to the beach, for example, and you don't want to have it out while you're shoveling during a blizzard. You should also try to avoid leaving your phone in your car for these same reasons.
If you plan on not using your device for an extended period of time, you should power it off. You shouldn't allow it to sit on charge for days on end, for instance, nor should you allow it to sit and completely drain. Powering your device off and storing it in an area that is room temperature is ideal for battery life. You should also make sure that you are using a factory charger for the best possible results.