Battery life has become a huge deal for phone owners all around the globe. Phones have replaced everything from Calculators to flashlights. With such great power in the palm of our hands, prolonging the battery life has become very important. The recent trend of fast charging has significantly helped reduce charging times, often only requiring 30 minutes to top up to 50% charge.
This growing emphasis on battery life has made fast chargers so ubiquitous, that they are slowly replacing regular chargers. Most phones these days do not allow the users to swap batteries by popping the back, so they are sort of permanent. A phone that is opened up for a repair rapidly loses its market value, so not only is a replacement battery going to cost you , but it will also decrease the value.
Well, not exactly. A conventional charger has an output of 5 to 10 watts. While a fast charger such as the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus’s 25-watt chargers will charge a phone 8 times faster, it will not cause damage due to the fast charge.
Fast-charging batteries work in two phases. The first phase applies huge voltage to the drained or nearly drained battery. This gives you that rapid charge from 50 to 70% in the first 10, 15 or 30 minutes. This is because during the first phase of charging, batteries are able to absorb a charge quicker without major negative effects on their long-term health.
To explain the rhetoric, we’ll use a sponge as an example. A dry sponge is able to quickly soak up water, for a battery this is the fast-charging phase. However, as more and more water enters the already wet sponge at the same rate the liquid will bead up on the surface as no more water can enter the sponge. For a battery, this un-absorbed charge can result in short circuits and other issues that could potentially damage the battery.
However, a battery’s management system is responsible for monitoring the two charge phases and drops the charging speed during the second phase. This allows the battery more time to absorb the charge and does not damage the battery. That is why it takes longer to get those last few percentages of charging.
While in the past overcharging was an actual thing, it does not need to be feared. The fear was that charging a phone overnight would charge a battery beyond its capacity, making the battery unstable, ultimately causing it to blow up or catch fire.
However, modern smart phones in the last decade have been using a battery management system which is designed to shut off the electrical charge once a battery reaches 100%. There is no risk of overcharging and damaging the battery, however it is advised to not let the battery drain completely as it does affect battery life.
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