Smartphones are technological marvels, yet their battery life sometimes falls short of expectations. Fast
charging is there to provide compatible phones a boost of charge when time is of the essence.
However, as phone manufacturers test out ultra-fast charging, you might be worried about overheating and battery damage. Is the gadget in your pocket only one quick charge away from blowing up on your nightstand or in the middle of your upcoming flight?
How Phone Batteries Function
Like the majority of other lithium-ion batteries, phone batteries feature two layers: graphite and lithium cobalt oxide. Electrons are released as lithium ions pass via an electrolyte solution from the graphite surface to the lithium cobalt layer. The ions go back in the other way when you charge the battery and are stored to be released when you turn on and use your gadget.
After a prolonged charging session or prolonged use, you can notice heat emanating from the back of your smartphone as a result of that energy release. And over time, that heat could harm the battery.
Lithium-ion batteries have advanced, shrunk, and improved over time. Before they start to lose their charge capacity, they can withstand more charge cycles—going from fully charged to completely discharged and back again.
Why Smartphone Batteries Degrade Over Time
Your smartphone inevitably deteriorates as it goes through charge cycle after charge cycle. The electrolyte solution in the battery is one factor.
The salts in the solution may crystallize over time and form crystals that prevent ions from passing through the solution. Fewer ions passing through means fewer electrons being emitted, which reduces the battery’s capacity from when it was brand-new.
If your phone is subjected to severe heat, such as by putting a lot of juice into the battery at once with a rapid charger, this crystallization may occur more quickly. On the other hand, if you simply leave it in a warm area, like the dashboard of a car on a hot summer day, the same thing can occur.
Batteries can age and lose their effectiveness if they are overcharged. In a lithium-ion cell, there is a delicate balance that can be upset if you apply more power than the battery is intended to handle. This is because doing so causes the battery’s internal structure to be irreversibly altered by removing too many lithium ions.
And once the lithium is gone, it truly can’t be replaced.
If you maintain the battery, this deterioration will occur more gradually. No matter how well you take care of your smartphone, it ultimately happens to all li-ion batteries. Modern smartphones frequently include information on battery health in their setting’s menus.
How Smartphones Prevent Battery Damage
Batteries used to become extremely heated during rapid charging in the early days of fast charging. Phones were more prone to overheating since they weren’t designed to adequately evacuate excess heat from the battery. Modern phones don’t have this problem because they have greater ventilation.
They are now constructed with improvements to control heat and the power flow to the battery during a charge. To transport heat away from the battery, for instance, phones now contain cooling pipes, thermal layers, and heat shields.
Furthermore, even if the phone is plugged in, many phones these days are set to turn off the power when the battery is full. To optimize charging for when you actually need it, phones feature charge settings that can “learn” your behavior, for example, delaying charging until an hour or so before you get up.
There are several stages to fast charging. At its lowest point of charge, your phone’s battery receives more power since it can handle it more readily.
The rate of power trickles off as the cell gets close to 100% charge, so you’re not getting 80W of power throughout the time the phone charges. For this reason, overnight charging of a phone prevents it from catching fire.
In order to reduce heat and keep batteries working at lower temperatures, some gaming phones actually feature cooling components like fans. In order to accomplish those quick charging times, Xiaomi and other phone manufacturers occasionally divide their batteries into two cells.
So, does fast charging really harm your phone that much? No, and yes both. Your battery may suffer from it, especially if it operates at high power for an extended period. But in order to reduce the likelihood of significant harm, newer phones also have tools for managing battery charge.
Many of these innovations, meanwhile, are still too recent to determine whether they function as intended. Rather than relying solely on the manufacturer’s assertions, we need further information to provide a conclusive response to the question.
Therefore, we hope you now have your answer to if fast-charging damages your phone’s battery.