Tech Trends

Battery Life and Improving Battery Health

Americans spend an average of four hours a day on their cell phones.  There are only 24 hours a day!  So one-sixth of our day is spent on our phones.  I think it’s safe to say, among other things, that we depend on our phones.  More importantly, the battery life of our phone!

Using cellphone and draining battery life throughout the day

From sending emails to taking pictures to actually making phone calls, our phones are becoming indispensable in our daily lives.  Because of this, battery life and all the charging that comes with it becomes a prominent topic of discussion.

My Phone is About to Die

How long does it take to charge your phone?  How often do you need to charge your phone?  What charging solutions work for you?

I thought this phone had a quick charge battery!

Isn’t this a fast charging phone?

My phone takes forever to charge.

Charging your cell phone to increase daily battery life

You’re not alone.  We all have charging issues.

There are several charging solutions available, and each requires a different kind of investment from you as a consumer.  I’m talking time and money.  To maximize your expenditure in both departments, you need to know the capabilities of each solution, as well as the capabilities of your specific phone and battery.  This information coupled can significantly limit the amount of times you catch yourself saying “My phone is about to die…”

Quick Charge 

 Qualcomm Quick Charge Logo

There is a difference between Quick Charge and fast charge.  Quick Charge is a technology owned by Qualcomm Technologies designed to deliver “lightning-fast charging in phones and smart devices featuring Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile platforms and processors”.   When using the right Quick Charge certified device and Quick Charge certified adapter, along with any USB connector, you can refill your battery up to four times faster than conventional charging.  This means a lot less time tethered and a lot more time out and about.

Smartphones, tablets, portable devices, power banks to restore battery life

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Qualcomm Quick Charge has a growing list of devices, adapters and banks that bring you lightning fast charging speeds.  Certified devices are the only devices that guarantee faster charging times, so look for the Qualcomm Quick Charge label.  Among the most popular devices are the Moto X, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and above, Samsung Galaxy S6 and above, HTC 10, LG G6, Nokia 8, Nexus 6, and the Xiaomi MIX.  Quick Charge power banks (portable battery chargers) include the Anker PowerCore, RAVPower, Poweradd and Aukey.  Remember: Quick Charge requires a Quick Charge device AND Quick Charge adapter to fully realize the faster speeds.

Another Charging Solution

There is, however, a Quick Charge solution that doesn’t require a bulky adapter or power bank.  The Top Greener TU1152QCAC3 is a wall outlet compatible with Qualcomm Quick Charge 1.0-3.0 technology.

Topgreener in-wall USB charger receptacle

It has a Type A and Type C port and you can use any cable to achieve Quick Charge speeds with certified Quick Charge devices.  You can also charge non Quick Charge devices such as iPhones and iPads at their max 2.4A.   Get it now for 20% off!

Fast Charge

Don’t confuse Fast Charge with Quick Charge.  Fast charge does not come with proprietary technology or features.  It is just a way of describing the time it takes to charge something.  Don’t get it confused with certified Qualcomm Quick Charge labels.  Fast charge does not have the same guarantee.  A product claiming “fast charge” makes claims based on charging voltage capabilities, which in turn boosts wattage.  You may experience faster charge times than standard equipment, but don’t expect lightning fast speeds from Quick Charge.

Samsung adaptive fast charger to increase battery life Motoral turbo power charger to increase battery life

Other technologies out there worth mentioning that aim to achieve faster charging and reduced wait time are Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging (built into all Samsung devices starting from the Note 8 and Galaxy S8 and compatible with Quick Charge 2.0) and  Motorola’s TurboPower standard (built into all Motorola devices and compatible with Quick Charge 2.0).  Use a certified adapter to achieve the charging speeds they boast.

Power Less to Power Up

Without purchasing anything special, there are small and simple ways to improve your battery life.  Business Insider found average users use their phones 76 times per day.  The New York Post found that Americans check their phones over 80 times per day.  I think it’s safe to say we turn on our screens a lot.  Keeping the screen off between checks is an effective way to increase battery life.  Check your phone’s settings to see that the Always On Display option is disabled.

adjust smartphone always-on display settings to increase battery life

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Use a lower resolution to improve battery life. When you purchase a brand new phone, it is preset to its maximum resolution setting.  If you’re flipping through email or sending a quick text, it’s not necessary to be look at a super high resolution quality display.  Save that for when you’re playing games or watching videos.  At all other times, save the battery by turning off high-performance mode.

Did you know you can set the time-out time for your phone?  Your phone screen will automatically shut off at a pre-specified interval and this saves a good amount of battery life.  It’s a tried and true solution that you can control.  If you’re not sure what to set it at, start with 15 seconds.  Adjust it to 30 if you need to, but anything longer is really wasting your battery.

smartphone putting apps to sleep to increase battery life

You can put an app to sleep, significantly decreasing the amount of work your battery is doing.  It might not occur to you that your phone is working even when you’re not touching it.  The screen doesn’t have to be on.  Our cell phones, especially smart phones, are constantly receiving and sending notifications and signals, updating, locating, etc.  If you put an app to sleep, it will pause until you use it again.  Don’t worry, you’ll still get all your notifications and updates everything else, when you wake it up!

Battery Life

Here’s the skinny on cell phone batteries: they’re necessary.  So we need to first make sure we’re doing what we can to maintain and get the most out of a battery’s life.  Almost 100% of the time the battery that comes with your phone is the best battery for your phone.  Replacement batteries will almost never be as good as the original.  So take care of your original battery.

Cell Phone Batteries

When you first get your phone, charge it completely, out of its case, without using it while it’s charging.  Then, use the phone and drain the battery completely.  Charge it completely again, out of its case, without using it while it’s charging, and then let it sit fully charged for a few hours undisturbed.  Then use your phone like normal.  Charge it when needed.  There’s no need to get it to exactly 100% every time, and definitely avoid charging it overnight.  Many newer phones and adapters are built with some kind of overcharge defending technology, but it’s best to limit the time your phone spends with your charger.  You will increase your battery life and battery overall health.

Additional Charging Tips

Extreme heat or cold definitely affects your battery.  Normal temperatures for optimal battery performance and health are between 20-30 degrees Celsius, or 68-86 degrees Fahrenheit.  Taking the phone out of its case while charging is always a good idea to keep the temperature low.

When your phone is left idle, or just not going to be used for a significant amount of time, leave it at least half charged.  Say you’re going on a hike and leaving your phone because there’s no signal at the top of the mountain.  Leave it to rest in a cool place, at least 50% charged.  You won’t always be able to control your environment, but try to come as close as you can for optimal battery performance.

The New Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

The new Samsung Galaxy S9 and Samsung Galaxy S9+ is rumored to be coming out in March of this year.  With the recent successful launch of the Galaxy S8, S8 Plus and Note 8, we can only imagine what great features Samsung is adding on.  Among the rumors are a better camera and new screen technology allowing for the phone to decrease in thickness and weight.  While there are no credible leaks about a battery life upgrade, be assured that the TU1152QCAC3 will be able to support its Quick Charge function.  Not only can you charge USB-powered devices with this wall outlet, but you’re still left with a receptacle to power an additional appliance at the same time.

Topgreener Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 in-wall charger receptacle

It’s normal over time no matter how well you take care of your device for your battery to just wear down.  That’s the nature of technology.  At some point, everything dies.  Taking these precautions can prolong the life of your battery.  When you just can’t get any more out of your battery, be sure to check your phone’s manufacturer recommendation for battery replacements.

Charging in the Future

We’re getting closer to over the air wireless charging technology entering our everyday lives.  At NES earlier this year, several companies unveiled plans to launch wireless charging technology that can charge devices at a growing radius.  The FCC is evaluating several prototypes and has already issued approval for a device capable of charging from eight feet away.  We will always depend on batteries and always need to charge them.  But hopefully over time, charging time continues to decrease.  Any bets on how soon the sun will be able to do it while the phone sits in our pockets??