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Paul608085
Aspiring Expert
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Message 1 of 23

New Mobile Phone - Battery Advice Please

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Yesterday I received my new phone, from the BT Shop. It is a Samsung A41, and my first ever personal mobile that I have owned from new - all previous pre-owned devices have eventually had to be replaced after the batteries no longer held a usable charge. One thing that I was always aware of with secondhand phones with non user-replaceable batteries was how the battery had been used by the previous owner(s).

Obviously I am keen to maximise the life of the battery in this new phone - I mean how and when to charge it, not how to get the longest life per charge.

According to spec sheets I have found online, the A41 has a Li-Po, (Lithium Polymer), battery.

The first type of rechargeable batteries that I can remember were Nickel Cadmium, where it was important to run the battery right down before charging to prevent "memory effect". Then came Nickel Metal Hydride when did not suffer from this effect, and on to Lithium Ion etc.

What is the current thinking on the best way to preserve the overall lifetime of a Lithium Polymer battery? There appear to be a number of options, each of which has been recommended to me over time for different types of battery:

1.) Let it run down as low as possible each time, recharging to full only just before the phone would otherwise die - as low as 2-4% if possible.

2.) Run it down low, but to no less than 10-15% and then fully charge.

3.) Top up the battery whenever there is an opportunity, regardless of the state of charge.

4.) Something else?

Also, this phone supports "Fast Charging", and is supplied with a charger rated at 9volts @ 1.67A / 5v @ 2A. Is fast charging a good idea or is it a marketing thing? For best battery life would it be better to use a basic 0.5Amp USB rated charger? Charging would obviously take longer, but I would have thought that the lower charging current would cause less heat in the battery? Or, is fast charging actually recommended for Li-Po batteries?

I have also been advised to remove the charger ASAP after reaching 100%, so I'm trying to get out of my long time habit of using the phone during the day and leaving it on charge overnight ready for the next day!

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Message 2 of 23

Re: New Mobile Phone - Battery Advice Please

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You could find information from  web search.

However, the general trend of thought at the moment is to keep the battery topped up to around 95%, and don’t let it drain to much below 40%. There’s clearly going to be times when you exceed these limits.

You may achieve a charge/ discharge count of up to 1000 times.

My A41 operates in standby most of the time...nearly a year’s use with a charge every 5 days or so.

Does BT shop give you any sort of warranty?

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Paul608085
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Message 3 of 23

Re: New Mobile Phone - Battery Advice Please

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@Ribblelancs 

Thanks for your reply.

I did do a web search but got differing answers, such as those I listed. Your personal experiences of the A41 are obviously the most valid.

To clarify, do you cycle between letting it drop to 40% and then charge up to 95%, or top it up regularly to maintain around 95%?

Also, do you use the official Samsung Fast Charger, or charge at a lower/slower rate?

A charge every 5 days? Wow! I have never had a smartphone that didn't need topping up at least once per day! Depends upon usage I guess. Last night was my first owning the A41, and I think that it lost around 4% in 8 hours standby - which I am very happy with.

Re BT Shop Warranty: I assume that it is the standard 1 year. The phone is sold as new, though I was a bit suspicious when I saw that the sales confirmation email had "Modified" after the phone's model name. When it arrived, the phone's box had a sticker sealing it stating that it was a model sold in another European country and it had been opened to replace the 2-pin charger with a 3-pin UK version and English language firmware installed. The Samsung warranty leaflet is in various East European languages, but not English. Does BT Shop deal in "grey" unofficial imports?

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NigelB72
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Message 4 of 23

Re: New Mobile Phone - Battery Advice Please

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Personally I charge my when it needs charging. In all the years I've had a mobile phone I've never had a significant issue with battery degradation and I normally keep them for at least a couple of years. 

Paul608085
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Message 5 of 23

Re: New Mobile Phone - Battery Advice Please

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@NigelB72 

At what point do you decide that it needs charging? As I said in my initial post, some opinion says as low as possible - 2 to 4%, whilst others say  charge at around 10-15%. Do you also have a Samsung A41, and do you use a fast charger or standard USB 0.5Amp?

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Andy005
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Message 6 of 23

Re: New Mobile Phone - Battery Advice Please

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When I had Samsungs I used to charge them first thing in the morning and then disconnect the charger. I charge my current iPhone 8, which is 21 months old, overnight and every night. It is still showing the battery health at 100%, and as I've seen no drop off in performance whatsoever I'm assuming that this is correct.

I've never researched it but I would think that how you operate your phone is just as, if not more important than how you charge it. When I leave the house I turn wifi off (I don't get a mobile signal), bluetooth is only on when I'm in the car, check brightness settings and app usage etc. A poor mobile signal can also sap the battery.

I think there are a lot of variables that can affect your battery life, more down to the user than how you charge it. On a daily basis, I rarely drop below 80%.

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NigelB72
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Message 7 of 23

Re: New Mobile Phone - Battery Advice Please

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If I've been out in the car, it'll be plugged in because I use Android Auto. If I haven't, I'll just plug it in overnight. The power management software in modern phones manages the charge rate to ensure proper battery conditioning.  The easiest thing to do is just plug it in overnight. Mobile phone battery technology has moved on considerably and shouldn't suffer any adverse effects from random plug-ins as should you need to top up during the day. 

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Message 8 of 23

Re: New Mobile Phone - Battery Advice Please

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Try not to let the battery drop to much below 40% on a regular basis. Charge it up to about 98% as and when. Use the fast charger supplied. ( You use a lot of power if you use the dual sim option).

There are Android apps available to check battery condition, but only for use as a rough guideline, as with Apple iPhone 8 ,e.g. It still shows battery healthy.

Examples. Of older devices: iPod - still running after  12 years. Galaxy S5, still running, but not in use.

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Message 9 of 23

Re: New Mobile Phone - Battery Advice Please

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@Paul608085 

You can ask the BT online chat for advice on your A41 terms and conditions.

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Paul608085
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Message 10 of 23

Re: New Mobile Phone - Battery Advice Please

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Thanks to all for your replies.  The general opinion seems to be that as long as I don't let it discharge too much, (40?%?), then pretty much anything goes with regards to charging?

I also use Android Auto, and had considered that this would upset any attempts at a strict charging regime!

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