Phone Charging

Charging Mobile Phone Batteries

What most phone users want is a battery which will never run down, failing this they will probably put up with one which recharges in about 2 seconds by being waved in the general direction of a mains cable.

Reality isn't quite like this and phone and battery manufacturers have a number of competing and mutually exclusive requirements to meet.

    1.  The phone battery must last a long time.

    2.   It must be capable of being charged quickly.

OK, no problem so far - we have this nice big battery that.........

    3.   It must be small and light.


So a lot of energy storage potential must be built into a densely packed battery.  The small size makes heat dissipation a problem and getting rid of excess energy if overcharging occurs is also more problematical.  NiMH batteries are preferred to NiCd because of their better energy storage potential for the same size and weight, but they are not the easiest cells to charge correctly. Lithium cells have good energy density but are even more difficult to charge and potentially are quite dangerous so require special safety precautions to be built into the cells.  Litium and its derivatives are rapidly becoming the battery of choice for mobile phones as they have a power to weight ratio about 3 times better than NiCd.

Therefore phone manufacturers build pretty smart charging and battery protection systems into their phones (something you might care to think about before looking for the cheapest desktop charger seen this side of a Glasgow market).  Please also remember that the charging system built into a phone or its own charger is meant to work with the original family of batteries only.  Ideally, don't fit NiMH batteries to an old phone designed only for NiCd   Similarly a phone which will work well with NiCd or NiMH will not work with Lithium batteries unless specifically designed for them.  Usually a quick look in the instruction book will give you the answer you need.

A phone battery charging system must meet the following requirements:-

  1. It should charge the battery rapidly.
  2. It should protect the battery from operator misuse.
  3. It should work correctly whatever the charge state of the battery.
  4. It should be safe.

Phones are designed to do all this and their charge management system is pretty good.  You don't need "conditioners" or "dischargers" and we have never found an after market charger better than the one you got with the phone.  If you need an extra charger or a desktop unit for convenience look carefully at the specification and make sure it matches your phone.  Remember - if the battery consistently gets hot then there is something wrong.

For phone use you really need to remember just the following:-

There are few chargers better than the one that came with your phone.

There are few dischargers better than the phone itself.


Every now and again let the phone run down to the point where it switches itself off .

Use the phones own charger in preference to any other.

Charge overnight, but not for longer than 24 hours.


Plug the phone in to a car charger every time you get in the car.  In a car, charge for about 30 - 60 mins only if it needs it.

Plug the phone into any charger at short intervals.

Fuss over the battery - you will only catch hypochondria.


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