Should I calibrate cellphone battery?

Discussion in 'Computing and Networks' started by tjohnson, Jul 18, 2015.

  1. tjohnson

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 23, 2014
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    Recently I got a Galaxy S3 smartphone, and I'm interested in prolonging its battery life. After charging it overnight and using it for a day, the battery usually starts running low in the evening. This doesn't seem bad to me since I use it a lot, primarily for web browsing, GPS navigation, and playing games (all CPU intensive tasks), which I do more of than talking or texting.

    From the research I've done, it seems like there are at least three ways to prolong battery life:
    1. Use power saving mode, which limits the maximum CPU performance, reduces the screen frame rate and lowers the brightness, and disables the vibrate function. I've turned this setting on.
    2. Get a battery that will last longer (7000mAh Li-ions are available on eBay that can replace the standard 2100mAh one). I probably won't do this, but I do want to get a car charger so that using the GPS won't drain the battery so much.
    3. Calibrate the battery. I'm not sure how to do this, or even if I should, because I've read different things about it. One article I read said you should fully drain the battery first, but another one said you shouldn't because that's bad for your phone. Yet another said that calibrating the battery is unnecessary because it happens naturally over time as you use your phone and recharge it.
    So that's why I'm asking: Do you think I should calibrate my cellphone battery? If so, what is the proper method?
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015
  2. Alec_t

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
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    I'm not sure what you mean by 'calibrate' in this context? Calibration normally means taking one or more measurements for comparison with a reference. How does that relate to extending battery life?
     
  3. tjohnson

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 23, 2014
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    Here are some questions (on StackOverflow) that may help explain what I mean by battery calibration:
    The first question is basically the same as my own, but it wasn't answered definitively as far as I can tell.
     
  4. ian field

    Distinguished Member

    Oct 27, 2012
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    Discharging a lithium battery below a certain voltage is just as bad (but not as dangerous) as overcharging it - the phone should have a UVLO shutdown to prevent over discharging.
     
  5. tjohnson

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 23, 2014
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    I suppose the answer to the first StackOverflow question I linked to is accurate:
    So basically, it seems like it's not really necessary to explicitly calibrate batteries, since it will happen as a side effect. Because the long term effects of doing so are disputed, it's probably safer not to as well. Am I correct?
     
  6. ian field

    Distinguished Member

    Oct 27, 2012
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    It was common for nickel cadmium batteries to improve with the occasional total discharge - with lithium, the opposite is true.

    The less deeply they're discharged the better.
     
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  7. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I'm calling, "B.S."
    Link in post #3 leads to complete debunking of the alleged purpose of battery calibration, which is supposed to have some effect on the battery monitor app, which does not do what somebody thinks it does.

    ian_field finished the thread.
     
  8. JohnInTX

    Moderator

    Jun 26, 2012
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    @tjohnson I have a Galaxy S3. The original Samsung battery was never very good and a Samsung replacement was worse. I replaced it with a compatible one from Anker and it's great. I get at least two days of full use (calls, internet, Pandora etc.) with no particular thought to conservation and still have some battery left.
     
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  9. tom_s

    Member

    Jun 27, 2014
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    just turn off the gps (now called location)

    you don't get lost that often do you? :rolleyes:
     
  10. tjohnson

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 23, 2014
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    Right now I get lost easily, because my family moved just a few weeks ago and I'm still getting used to the area.;)

    Even if that wasn't the case, I'd still want to leave the GPS on, so that I can use Where's My Droid to locate my phone if l ever lose it.
     
  11. tjohnson

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 23, 2014
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    So I understand that this calibration stuff is nonsense, but I have another related question. I remember reading somewhere that it's good to always keep a cellphone battery between 20% and 80% charged, and I've read different opinions about whether or not it's good to leave a battery charging after it's reached 100%. What would you say about this?
     
  12. ian field

    Distinguished Member

    Oct 27, 2012
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    Some laptops have a "fuel gauge" chip embedded in the battery pack, sometimes they're also called Coulomb counters.

    A quick look at a typical LiPo datasheet shows a figure for a minimum permitted cell voltage - I'll assume for the purposes of this discussion that anything with as much smarts as a Coulomb counter, will also have a UVLO to shut everything down when the minimum voltage is reached.

    There may well be intelligent Coulomb counters that remember how much energy the cells gave from the last charge, but in the past the counter has got more optimistic as the cells wear out.
     
  13. ISB123

    Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2014
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    When battery reaches 100% inside circuitry shut downs the charging circuit.
     
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