Thursday, 25 October 2012

Complete Battery Guide
            When it comes to smartphones battery is the Main concern that bothers people. In this guide i will be talking about two things , Battery Backup & Battery life . Battery life section refers to the whole lifetime of battery . And please do understand that this article never deals with any specific device or brand, it applies to any mobile phone manufactured anywhere in the world , be it a basic phone, Smartphone or a Windows phone. Please be patient enough to read the two sections completely .

Prolonging  your battery life

          Its a fact that the Lithium batteries start dying from the day they are out from the factory.Usually at a rate of 10-20% an year. The battery is stored at 50% capacity in the shelf for extended life.That's why when you buy a phone its charge would be around 40-50% . So during  the first usage its recommended to do a topping recharge before discharging to reach 100% charge.

When the battery is at less than 10% the battery voltage will be really low. Around 3340 mV [ In Sony LWW ]. At this point charging produces a high current . You might have noticed your battery heating up while charging when battery is low. Higher charging/discharging currents can overload the battery and heat up causing degradation in capacity.If charging from battery low , take care not to heat up the battery . Avoid using the phone while charging.

Higher voltages - Nearly fully charged
When battery reaches higher capacities the current flow lowers and the voltage will keep rising until its cutoff at 4.2V . A higher capacity can be obtained by over crossing this limit. But the problem is higher voltages produces high pressure [Voltage is equivalent to pressure ] on the battery and hence degrade the capacity.So its not recommended to Charge to the full capacity.

Safe Charging
Charge before your device goes down to battery low or <10%.
Never charge to full capacity . Turn off charging when It reaches >90% or the Led turns green.
Remember an n ideal battery life is obtained at maintaining at 40-60% [Practically Impossible ].
Practically you can maintain it at 10-90% at least .
Avoid calls/Music while charging .
Do a complete discharge and charge to 100%  once in a fortnight .
Safe Discharging
Avoid heating up the battery . Heating is caused by two things - Processor heating up the battery ,Internal heating up due to higher currents .
Avoid Multitasking if battery is heating up .Like wise try to use an earphone while playing HD or gaming ,turn off Data while Playing Music on speakers etc.
Try to maintain battery at room temperatures . Do not freeze or heat.
Remember your phone body is made of plastics and the temperature inside will be several times that you feel outside. Especially the processor region .
Understanding your [Sony] battery

Most of the Sony devices use a Costly Lithium-Polymer cell unlike the Lithium-ion cells used by other manufacturers . Lithium polymer cells have an advantage of smaller size, weight & better performance compared to Li-Ion cells . Rest of the characteristics are similar with Li-ion batteries . And i guess a Li-polymer battery is far more stubborn compared to Li-ion cells

Battery backup

Basically battery backup rely on the OS you use , Hardware optimizations and the purpose you use the device for .
Here is an approx statistics of % of battery used per hour  by your phone for various purposes.

Gaming - 20-25%
Video on Speaker[SD]-25%
HD video on Ear buds- 20%
Gaming on Earbuds -20%
Calls -20%
2G data -25% [Depends on signal strength]
3G data-20%  [Depends on signal strength]
Music on Speakers[Full Volume] -20%
Video on Ear buds[SD]-12.5%
Music on Ear buds -7%

Improving backup
Turn low the brightness ,Enable auto Brightness etc. as display draws a major part.
Use ear buds whenever possible.
Turn OFF data and WiFi when not in use.
Bluetooth and Gps draws less in standby .
Move to an area with better coverage when using data.
Use WiFi for Data .
Disable vibration feedback as it uses mechanical motors inside.
Switch to airplane mode when in an area with lower coverage.
Choose an operator with Better signal coverage in your area .
Signal strength can be measured from "About" in the Phone settings.The More the "asu" value ,better the strength .
Remember the volume of speaker playback is inv-proportional to the battery backup .
Turn Off unwanted services like sync , facebook etc.
Remove unwanted apps that run in background.
Avoid using a live wallpaper , it consumes a lot.
Use task manager to kill unwanted apps running in background.
Some times certain apps that are wrongly designed may contain bugs and keep on pulling battery even after they are closed. If you find any suspicious drainage of battery in the battery graph , try to identify any recently installed or opened apps and remove them .Keep an eye on the battery graph in your phone settings menu or using a 3rd party app from play store. battery curve actually shows the voltage level of the battery .

Frequently Asked Questions ?

Q: Is it Ok to charge the phone Overnight ?
A: Overnight charging does not over charges the battery. Protection circuits automatically cuts off charging once full.After a certain period when the battery level falls , its again raised to 100% .So during this time your battery may show either 99% or 100% .Even the Sony website says it is safe to charge overnight.

Q: Do a Li battery have memory effects ?
A: No. Still its recommended to do a Full discharge once in a month for calibration purposes.

Q: Can i use any charger ?
A: Highly recommended that you use a stock charger or any genuine charger of some other phone.
Counterfeit chargers provide less protection and varying voltages. If using any other branded charger check the current rating .A lower mA charger can heat up the charger [Wont harm your phone ].


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