The history of batteries is a fascinating story. Due to the advances in technology, modern batteries have become amazing powerhouses for today’s portable devices. They have their own advantages and disadvantages that make them right for particular purposes. The following is the more popular varieties, particularly in mobile devices:
Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) battery: Lightweight and offers a high energy density. It can be charged between 500 and 1,000 times. Many smartphones and mobile devices sold today, such as the Droid Maxx and HTC One M8, feature this type of battery.
Lithium-Ion-Polymer (Li-ion polymer) battery: Similar to Li-ion, but it tends to be slimmer and can be charged between 300 and 500 times. Some smartphones such as iPhone 6 and laptops feature this type of battery.
Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd) technology has been around for a long time. It’s economical, but NiCd battery doesn’t hold a charge as long as Lithium-ion batteries. It can be charged roughly 1,000 times. Your cordless home phone and numerous other electronic devices likely feature this type of battery.
Nickel-Metal-Hydride (NiMH) battery has a higher energy density than NiCd so it can be smaller at a given energy capacity but it has a shorter lifespan—between 300 and 500 charges. It’s free of toxic metal and, like NiCd, is commonly found in household electronics.
Nickel-Zinc (NiZn) is similar to NiCd but provides a higher voltage. It’s known for lower cost, higher power output and a wide range of operating temperatures. NiZn batteries can be charged between 200 and 300 times and contain no toxic metals.
Rechargeable Alkaline battery is expensive and offers a longer shelf life than other types, but its capacity decreases with every charge, and it can be charged less than 100 times.
How to properly charge your battery
Whatever the batteries of your mobile devices, let’s first face it, they don’t last long, and we need to maximize their life through smart charging practices:
1. Use the right charger for your battery. Chargers are optimized based on their target battery, and some chargers can damage batteries they’re not designed for.
2. Don’t charge too often. For optimum performance, “reboot” your battery whenever you can by waiting to charge until the battery is down to about 10 percent. Then, fill up to 100 percent—and don’t overcharge it. Overcharging actually reduces a battery’s capacity, and every rechargeable battery can only go through the cycle a limited number of times.
3. Charge the battery in a well-ventilated room when your device is turned off and at room temperature. Extreme temperatures can affect performance and potentially damage your battery.
4. Drain your battery regularly. For optimum battery performance in a tablet, once a month, let your battery drain completely before recharging. It appreciates the exercise.
5. Follow the usual guidance for new NiCd, NiZn and NiMH batteries, which is to charge them for 16 to 24 hours before the first use.
6. Carry a high capacity portable charger that doesn’t require an outlet. Even if you can’t be wired to a power outlet, you can still charge the battery of smartphone, tablet, kindle, camera and mp3 player with an accessory such as the Kinkoo Infinite One 8000mAh Portable External Battery.