Get plugged in: Four tips for charging your smartphone

Looks like we've all been doing it wrong

Get plugged in: Four tips for charging your smartphone

Photo: PA Images

Turns out, we've been charging your smartphone's battery wrong for all this time. To be honest, did we even know there was a wrong way?

Battery University has detailed all the ways that we've been charging our batteries wrong and putting them under stress.

Normal lithium-ion batteries, the kind we use everyday, can be effected by their own kind of stress that's similar to the stress that us mere humans experience, and too much is really a bad thing.

The site has a few tips on how to best look after your phone's battery.

1. Charge it whenever you can

If you're near an available plug, get your phone charging. If you charge your phone at random points during the day, even if it's only for a few percent more, it keeps the battery active rather than letting it die completely and having to be brought back to life fully.

2. 100% isn't 100% for your battery

Charging to 100% puts your battery under a lot of stress to maintain that charge. Ever notice that your phone can stay at 100% for a good while, and as soon as it's done it starts tumbling down quickly? That's not such a good thing. That's why sporadic top ups during the day help.

3. Don't stay plugged in overnight

Most of us (I'm guilty as charged) plug our phone in beside the bed at night and drift off, waking to a phone that's more energised than we are. Well, that's not good either. When it reaches 100%, and that's pretty quickly for most modern smartphones, it goes into a system called "trickle charging".

This is when your battery is slowly topped up to keep at 100%, with just a little trickle of power. This is bad for the battery, keeping it in a highly tense and high stress state. When it reaches 100%, maybe just turn it off until the morning.

4. Keeping it cool

Smartphones just keep getting thinner, and that's not necessarily the best for dealing with heat. Try your best to keep the phone cool when charging, either by having it charge in a cool spot or by taking off any bulky cases or covers. If the phone gets exceedingly warm while charging, unplug it immediately. They're have been many cases of plugged in phones catching fire, so lets not have this happen to you.