Battery Charging Tips and Basics Few Smartphone Owners Know

Earlier this year, I shared with you some applications that can help you in maximizing the juice out of your smartphone’s battery. Now, I want to tell you some useful tips for charging your devices faster and more safely.

Inspect Your Battery for Abnormalities

The battery is the main source of life of all mobile electronic devices. Hence, it follows that the level of care that you put into your mobile phone should also be the same with regard to its battery. If you notice that your phone has been charging longer than expected, check its battery for any abnormalities. These may be in the form of corrosion on its terminals, dents around the body, or even bloating. Once any of these abnormalities are present in your smartphone’s battery, it is highly recommended that you replace the pack as soon as possible. Who knows what could happen to your phone if you keep using a damaged battery.

Battery Charging Tips, Battery Bloating
The battery pack on top is clearly bloated. If you're seeing this on your phone, replace the battery as soon as possible -- and save your device from a possible explosion.

Check Your Charging Cables

Battery Charging Tips, USB Cable

Aside from its battery, the data cable of your smartphone may also be the one dragging your charge. One of the reasons that a slow charge is happening may be due to the poor connection made by the cable to your phone’s charging port.

There was that span of months last year when my phone would regularly take more than 3 hours to fully charge. It was fine with me because I thought that was normal -- until one day, I tried playing Plants versus Zombies 2 on my phone while it was plugged. What happened next was both shocking and depressing - It was discharging fast even while plugged on a wall socket!

At first, I thought that it was caused by the game since my smartphone tends to heat up when I play Plants versus Zombies 2. But after trying other applications and games while plugged in, I found out that the charging time was really slow so I tried to look for solutions to speed up my charging time. That was when I tried using the data cable of my other phone (since all Android phones mainly use micro USB’s for their charging ports). Thankfully, the charging time was reduced to half and now, my phone's battery is finally charging even when applications are on (though, it would be better if you left your phone alone to charge).

Enable Airplane Mode or Turn Off Connectivity for Faster Charging

Battery Charging Tips, Airplane Mode

Why put your phone on airplane mode while plugged in? How can that help speed up charging? Simple. Our phones continuously eat up their batteries' juice throughout the day even when the screen is off because of the devices' radios - like those for WiFi and mobile connectivity - that need to be powered up.

What airplane mode does is that it turns off all the radios on the device, which could really speed up your charging process (Note, though, that different radios on different devices have varied rates of power consumption. This means that the boost in charging speed may vary from one device to another.) Use airplane mode only if it's alright for you not to receive calls, texts, or any important notifications while charging your smartphone. Otherwise, you can simply turn off WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, Location Services, and Mobile Data; The charge will be a bit slower compared to when Airplane Mode is on but at least you'd still be able to receive calls and SMS.

Charging from An Electrical Outlet or via USB 3.0 Port is Faster

A lot of us want to be connected all the time, so what we do is charge our smartphones via our computer’s USB port while we're surfing the internet using the computer. This is indeed convenient -- but this is not the fastest way to charge our smartphone’s battery.

Few notice that their phones' charging time via USB port on most computers actually takes longer to finish compared to when they are charged through a wall socket. This is because your computer’s standard USB port provides only about 500mA (0.5A) of current compared to 1A of current provided by your standard chargers when connected to a wall socket. But what's great is that there now USB 3.0 ports that provide up to 900mA of current, so I would suggest that you use those if your computer has them.

Battery Charging Tips, USB 3.0
This is what a USB 3.0 port looks like. The tongue has a distinct blue color. The output is not quite as powerful as that of a wall socket but it's close enough.

Get a Powerful Powerbank

Battery Charging Tips, Powerbank Output
My powerbank delivers an output of 1A, similar to my smartphone’s wall charger.

Not all powerbanks are the same -- and that goes not just for the charge they can hold but also for the power of their output. Try to purchase ones that deliver up to 1A of current or more in their energy discharge. Higher current outputs may mean that the powerbank can charge your phone faster, unless there are components inside the phone that regulate the current passing through it (for safety reasons).

Higher output are perfect for larger gadgets? Not always true. Although there are powerbanks that deliver more than 1A of current output, that doesn’t mean that they charge devices that are bigger than your phone like a tablet. Smartphones and tablets have different charging requirements so you should take a look at the current output of your tablet’s standard charger if you want to buy a powerbank that can properly charge it.

So there go! These are the items currently on my checklist whenever I charge my smartphone. Do you have any other ways to make your smartphone charge faster, TP Friends? Let us know in the comments below!

#TPWriterFellows Batch 1 Member and DLSU student, Nico Aguila is the self-proclaimed 'official' tech support guy of his friends. He's always ready to give you tips and tricks with Android devices and even gives you advice on which phone or tablet you should get whether it be running on Android, iOS, or Windows Phone operating system. Nico sees TechPinas as the best tech website in the Philippines and also as his safe haven when he reads tech news that is happening in the country. When he graduates, Nico plans to find a stable job in tech, have a family when he can, and of course, expose his future kids to technology and TechPinas so that they'll enjoy great bonding times together.