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I'm about to buy a Samsung Galaxy Ace (it's not much expensive and I think it's a pretty good phone), however everyone has been complaining with the battery life but admitting that isn't bad compared to all the other smartphones.

I read about how to save battery with tips/tricks, and I'll certainly do it; but I'd like to know whether a battery life would increase recharging it only when completely empty (some old phones used to gain life expectancy from that, I don't know if things are changed now)

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This isn't quite what you asked, but: I've heard that if you charge the battery fully before you use it for the first time, that'll improve the battery's life. (The manual for my phone, for example, says "Before you use the phone, insert the battery and charge it fully".) –  offby1 Mar 25 '12 at 23:43
    
Related: skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/5102/… –  Flow Apr 2 '12 at 12:10
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3 Answers 3

up vote 16 down vote accepted

Modern phones use Li-ion and Li-poly batteries. So the battery life is not affected by whether you charge them at 0% or 90%. It only has a long term effect. Batteries degrade with every charge cycle. A cycle is usually a recharge from below 50%. So charging while the battery capacity is still relatively high has a long term effect of less degradation.

The other frequent pseudoscientific habit that has no roots is a technique many call "formatting", where you leave your battery plugged in for 16 hours or 3 * 8 hours with discharge in between or any other baseless claim by anyone on any forum or phone shop. If they don't have scientific evidence don't believe them.

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In fact, purposely draining and recharging 'uses up' charge cycles that could have been put to good use (i.e. discharging by actually using the phone for useful stuff). –  Martin Mar 25 '12 at 22:53
    
I have never heard of using a charge cycle to improve the actual capacity. Completely discharging the battery and then recharging it again to calibrate the battery gauge sounds quite plausible to me, though. –  Erik May 6 '12 at 9:07
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@Erik this calibration required got a few devices to function properly, but I've never seen an android phone needing it. Most cases of low battery life is rooted in the owner's usage. –  Richard Borcsik May 6 '12 at 9:48
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Full discharges put a strain on the battery.

This topic might be of some help to you (the first answer specifically).

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If I could split "correct answer" points between you and Richard I would do it, but right now seems that I can't :( –  paulAl Mar 26 '12 at 5:33
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When you say old phones, I think you meant devices which had Ni-Cad batteries. That practice of recharging only when the battery was run down is known as the Memory Effect

Like Richard said, most phones don't use Ni-Cad anymore but Li-Ion or Li-Poly, which don't exhibit that behavior.

I keep my devices plugged in as often as possible.

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