Image for article titled Why You Shouldn't Waste Your Time (or Money) Worrying About Battery Health

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The condition of the battery is important, right? After all, our portable devices rely on it. However, these days, it’s not worth taking care of your health as much as you might think.

Both tech enthusiasts and regular users generally want the same thing: to maximize the life of our smartphones and laptops on a given charge. But we also want to make sure that the inevitable – and inevitable – battery degradation is slowed down as much as possible. How much do batteries decompose? And how much should we worry about expensive replacements or buying a new phone when our batteries run out?

What are battery cycles?

As batteries age and deteriorate, they lose their ability to hold a full charge. One of those reasons is due to cycling: A battery cycle is defined as using up all of the energy on your battery pack, which sounds simple enough, but that doesn’t just mean going from 100% to 0%. If you used half your laptop’s battery in one day, charged it, and used another half the next day, that would really be a cycle.

Another problem is the length of time on a full or high charge – that’s why many battery-conscious people try to unplug their devices from the charger overnight. The idea is to avoid charging devices this high, as these percentages have been shown to degrade faster over longer periods of time.

This is how the “optimization of the battery condition” works

The core technology of lithium-ion batteries has largely stayed the same, but manufacturers are implementing software solutions to slow down the degradation without us having to do much. One of the most common strategies we see these days is optimizing battery health. There are different names for this function depending on the manufacturer and device, but the idea is the same: Your device studies your charging habits over a set period of time and then determines when you are most likely to need your battery at 100% capacity. Until then, the device will keep its charge at 80% when connected to the power supply. If you only continued the charging process, you would reach 100% at this set time.

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This 20% difference will keep your battery below 100% longer and slow down the number of battery cycles if you unplug your device when the battery is 80% off. Both of these factors can slow down the aging of your batteries, which means more time for your devices to run on batteries.

It’s a handy feature that will show up on all devices. Smartphones, laptops and even wireless headphones like AirPods Pro analyze how you charge your devices so that they only reach 100% when you need it. Don’t bet against the house on these smart devices – you’ll just have to worry less about when to put your devices on and off as long as you do so consistently.

Why you shouldn’t worry about your phone battery

For something like your smartphone, it might be best to leave it plugged in while you sleep. Your phone will figure out the routine and keep the battery at around 80% for most of the night.

But apart from battery optimization, you shouldn’t worry too much about the condition of the battery. Batteries deteriorate; it’s just what they do. Eventually, you will notice a difference in your device’s ability to hold a charge. And at this point it may be worth replacing just the battery.

An iPhone battery change, for example, costs $ 49 or $ 69, depending on the model. That’s not necessarily cheap, but compared to the cost of upgrading your device, it’s a deal and you have a new battery to start over. In short, just enjoy your technology. And don’t forget your charger just in case.