We are finally answering the age old question of whether it is safe to leave your phone charging overnight. Hopefully after you read this, we can put this story to bed. Get it? Okay 🙂 But first, let’s understand how batteries work.
How Smartphone Batteries Work
Simply put, each time you use up your battery from 100 to zero, that is considered a full cycle. If you recharge it at 50%, then that’s half a cycle. Batteries start to degrade after about 400 cycles which comes to about one and a half year of usage on a smartphone. Leaving your phone plugged in and the battery at 100% does not affect your charge cycle, using your phone on the other hand does.
Rechargeable batteries slowly lose capacity over time, even if you don’t use them. For smartphones, you may notice a capacity drop after the first year of use. After two years you may not be able to get a full day of use with a single charge.
Your battery degrades fastest when you regularly charge it past 80 and let it drop below 20. In fact, phone manufactures note that your phone may work best around 50% charge. Hence the notion ” to have a longer lasting battery, try and keep it above 20 and below 80. This will mean almost 3 years of daily charges.
Is Leaving Your Phone To Charge Overnight A Problem?
In the broader sense, no. Since 2019, phones have come a long way and manufacturers have put safeguards to prevent your phone from overcharging. They have made phones smarter in the sense that every unit has a built-in chip that will prevent charging once 100% capacity has been reached. – Says a representative from Anker, a battery and charging accessories maker.
They term this feature as the trickle charge where most phones will do either on of two things. Stop charging when they get to 100% or get to 80% and slow charge till when you wake up.
However, prolonged charging can lead to increased temperatures which naturally degrade your battery. This could also lead to fatal situations for those who charge their phones and leave them on their bed as they sleep. The lack of airflow not only means potential damage to the phone but also increases the risk of fire.
Your best bet is to charge it when you wake up before you leave the house or in the evening when you get home and are preparing food or taking a shower. You reduce all risks when you do this and this lets you focus on the things that really matter. Unplug it before you sleep and plug it in right when you wake up.
How To Reduce Battery Drain
Assuming you take my advice and charge mostly during the day. you can also take some steps to reduce battery drain so that you charge it less.
- Use it less. The less yo use it, the less the battery drains
- Decrease the brightness.
- Decrease the timeout. The less time the screen is on, the better for you and your phone.