3 Things we do wrong with the cell phone (and they are useless)

Established myths and beliefs harm performance or user experience.

At the dawn of mobile telephony there were certain habits that were essential to acquire under penalty of degrading the already low battery of the first phones. 

Those who enjoyed those years of revolution in terms of telecommunications will know well the expression “ memory effect ” of batteries, a phenomenon that ruined the life of the first cell phones on the market. 

3 Things we do wrong with the cell phone (and they are useless)
3 Things we do wrong with the cell phone (and they are useless)

Due to this, the battery was degraded prematurely if full charge cycles were not carried out —that is, up to 100% of its capacity—. This affected the first generation of batteries, but was completely overcome with lithium-ion batteries, which are in widespread use today.

We revive this memory because, even today, there are those who advise against partial charges in mobile phones and the issue of batteries has become one of the myths that still traps many users. What kind of beliefs are still established in the market? These are the most popular:

Myth 1: It is not good to charge the mobile all night

It is one of the most deeply rooted beliefs and there are still those who charge the mobile and when the battery reaches its maximum charge, unplug it at full speed. This is not necessary, since modern phones (and above all, their platforms) have charge management systems that prevent any possible degradation. The main problem that a mobile connected to the mains could face is overloading; that is, that the charger continues to power the battery when it is already at its maximum capacity. But the risk of overload is non-existent in modern mobiles.

Phones today have smart charge management systems, so when the battery reaches its maximum, additional power intake is cut off . Apple even has an optimized charging system that takes into account the user’s charging habits and cuts the power supply when 80% charge is reached, and then continues with the same so that 100% is reached when the user wakes up. Samsung, meanwhile, confirms that currently used batteries are not affected by what they describe as “charging myths.” “The negative effect that excess charging can have for a long time is negligible”, explains Santiago Izquierdo, product technical director at Samsung Electronics Iberia, “even so, the phone does not continue charging when it reaches 100%; the charge stops and recharges when it drops below 100%”.

“In general, batteries are replaced due to natural degradation and only in high-end models. It is very difficult to damage a modern battery by charging it incorrectly, ”Javier Sánchez-Romero, CEO of Bemovil, a company dedicated to cell phone repair, explains to EL PAÍS. In short, you can safely leave your mobile in the charger at bedtime without any problem.

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Myth 2: You have to force close applications to optimize performance and battery

As with the battery, there are beliefs that are so well-established that they survive over the years, such as forcing applications to close , the classic gesture of sliding your finger up on the screen and striking down the app because of the suspicion that there is something left. background process that eats up the battery and affects performance. But reality, once again, stubbornly indicates the opposite: mobile phones are not only smart enough to manage these resources, but also altering this management by forcing apps to close can only make things worse. This false belief went so far that even Craig Federighi, head of iOS - the iPhone operating system - denied it in an email in response to a client.

The systems “sleep” the apps that are not used and “suspend” them until they are opened again when the user demands it; if it is reopened at the user’s request, part of the processes are already launched, saving resources. That is, forcing the complete closure forces the system to reload everything again and the paradox occurs that more resources are consumed than simply changing the app. “It is not necessary to close each application after using it,” explains Izquierdo, “the fact that it remains open makes it faster to start up the next time it is used, since it does not have to be loaded again,” he confirms.

Myth 3: Better to disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to save battery

Apple suggests, as advice on its website, to always have Wi-Fi enabled to save battery: “There are two very simple ways to save battery: adjust the screen brightness and use Wi-Fi.” Why keeping Wi-Fi activated can help us save battery? This wireless technology is more efficient in the consumption of resources than the direct data connection with the operator. That, on the one hand, but on the other, modern cell phones use this wireless connection to geoposition the device instead of GPS, which consumes more battery and is only activated when an application that demands it is opened. “One of the problems is replacing the Wi-Fi network with mobile data when there is a good Wi-Fi network.If we use 4G on the street, we are already using more battery than having the wi-fi active . It takes more battery to look for good coverage than to have the wi-fi active”, explains Fran Besora , creator of the Apple Twitter community in Spanish.

The same can be said of the new versions of Bluetooth, designed so that their impact on the battery is negligible . In consumer tests, when it is activated and deactivated, there are no differences . Of course, when the Bluetooth connection is actively being used, for example, to listen to music, consumption here does have an impact on battery performance.

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