Four Battery Myths Debunked!

Four Battery Myths Debunked!
Zishan Mahmood

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When it comes to our portable devices- be it mobile phones, laptops or tablets, battery longevity is always an important concern. In order to prolong the battery life even by just a little bit, many of us follow certain tips and tricks that apparently 'work wonders' when it comes to making the battery go that extra mile.

But do these tips actually work? Or is it merely a psychological phenomenon with no actual results? Let's go see for real.

1. Always charge a device fully before using it for the first time

This is actually quite common in Bangladesh- whenever we buy a gadget or any electrical appliance, the retailer will inevitably suggest us to 'fully charge the device' before we start using it, otherwise there may be problems. And without stopping to judge the merits of the statement, we usually follow suit.

Now, charging the battery fully before using isn't a bad idea- after all, it means you can play around with the gadget for longer, it also doesn't mean failure to do so will disrupt your device. Manufacturer recommend it as this helps to 'calibrate' the battery, but most batteries these days are self calibrating, so this is largely a redundant step.

2. Leaving device plugged in to the charger 'overcharges' it

Now this little 'factoid' is anything but a fact. Laptops, mobiles and other devices, including AA and AAA chargers are capable of detecting the level of charge and can stop automatically when the device is fully charged. Once charging has stopped, the device remains that way until battery level drops by a few points, at which point it starts charging again.

Having said that, it should also be mentioned that you shouldn't leave your device plugged in for extended amounts of time- it does damage the battery, albeit to only a small extent.

3. Drain out the battery completely before charging

Some people believe that it is harmful for a device if you charge it before the battery is drained completely. The only thing harmful about this is harbouring such an idea!

Even when a device shows it has '0' charge left, it usually retains some. With this remaining charge, which is around 10%, the device can prompt you to charge it if you try to power it up.

So there's no real need to charge a device only when it has completely drained; you can plug it in whenever you want.

4. Batteries can be kept in the refrigerator to prolong life

While some people follow this to prolong their batteries, it eventually has the opposite effect. Batteries are essentially chemical storages, and if you do something to upset the balance of these chemicals, your battery won't function properly. Manufacturer Energizer recommends storing batteries at standard room temperatures- 20-30 degrees Celsius, which should provide a shelf life of 10-15 years for standard lithium batteries.