One of the most exciting times in modern life for us techies is when we make the decision to upgrade a mobile phone and receive the brand new shiny device. Even unboxing a new phone is a fun experience thanks to manufacturers who consider the packaging and user experience as important as the technology. Once you open that box and see your new mobile beauty, you are naturally eager to use it right away. But what about the battery? Is it charged? Can you use the phone right out of the box? And most importantly, how do you charge a brand new phone battery for the first time.
You may have heard that special considerations must be made when charging a phone battery for the first time. In fact, people may have told you that doing this incorrectly can permanently damage your expensive phone and drastically cut down on battery lifespan. Well, you can rest assured that this is (no longer!) the case.
Those folks may have their heart in the right place but their facts are a little outdated. You see, this belief stems from older battery technology such as nickel batteries (NiMH) that had certain requirements when it came to charge and discharge cycles. Luckily, today’s modern phones use Lithium-ion or Lithium-polymer batteries that don’t need such requirements.
Today’s advanced batteries don’t suffer from ‘memory effect’, a symptom of older batteries wherein not charging fully would create an artificial charging ceiling resulting in lower overall battery use time. Lithium batteries in fact, work best when NOT fully charged or fully discharged. Lithium batteries cannot handle overcharging and also suffer if fully discharged many times. The good news is that you rarely need to worry about these two conditions. Modern phones are equipped with smart technology that control the power input and output of the battery. This Integrated Circuitry (IC) will cut power to the battery when it approaches an overcharge condition and also protect it from and undercharged condition.
Since Lithium batteries like to operate in the middle of the charging range, and storing in a 100% charge condition can be detrimental to long-term battery life, most manufacturers ship new phones with a 40-50% charge. This is a great compromise, the phone battery is protected and you can still use your new phone right out of the box. Simply power ON and use the new phone as you would normally, then plug it into its recommended charger when it gets low. Or, if you prefer to wait a bit, you can give the phone an initial charge of a few hours to get it near to full.
One caveat, is that modern phones require at least one full charge to properly calibrate the battery level indicator. It isn’t necessary to do this immediately but better accuracy of the battery level indicator will result after the first 100% charge.
So to answer the question of how to charge a new phone battery, simply charge it as you would your old phone. Feel free to use the new phone right away and recharge it when necessary. Plus, remember a few precautionary tips that apply to your phone’s Lithium batteries…first, don’t store a phone for long periods of time at a 0% or 100% charge and avoid extreme heat or cold (anything outside of 32 & 95 degrees Fahrenheit). Avoid high temps from the sun or from overcharging. Any of these conditions may result in decreased battery lifespan.
So, go out there and get that new phone that you have been waiting for, open up the box and enjoy it knowing that your battery will be safe and give you years of dependable use.