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I have just received my 'new' HTC one V. The instructions clearly state to charge the phone up before first use, yet the the phone switched on and showed full charge straight away, before I had chance to charge it. My worry is that I have been sent a phone that someone else has had and I really want to be sure it is brand new to me.

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Did you buy it in the shop? Was the seals on the package broken? If it was used, the packaging with the handset in it would have the seals broken. –  t0mm13b Aug 18 '12 at 18:43
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Unlikely. Batteries almost always ship with some charge. The instructions are probably a precaution to ensure you have a good experience. –  Al E. Aug 18 '12 at 19:39
    
tOmm13b, I got it online, the box was sealed etc, but then I think items can be repacked. –  PBR Aug 18 '12 at 20:41
    
Al Everett, thankyou, I feel more reassured about it now that you have explained that. –  PBR Aug 18 '12 at 20:44
    
It looks like you've purchased an battery based electronic device for the first time. Such instructions are normal. –  Sachin Shekhar Aug 19 '12 at 20:12

3 Answers 3

It is not uncommon that rejected/refurbished phones find their way back to the market as "new" ones.

But in my (and at least Al Everett's) experience, batteries are almost always shipped with some charge. I wouldn't worry, as long as there are no other indicators that your device was pre-owned.

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I'm actually trying to find some "official" papers regarding this. But yes, same happens for all phones at Portugal. (+1) –  Zuul Aug 19 '12 at 12:05
    
Standard for giving the batteries best life is 40% charge during storage, so often a charge of 40% is kept on the batteries until you receive them. –  Kortuk Sep 11 '12 at 0:25

All batteries have some self-discharge so whatever their charge was initially they will discharge when sitting on the shelf. Also most batteries effectively "die" if they undergo very deep discharge. This is why all batteries are shipped charged - either fully or partially. So when you buy a battery (or a device) the battery will always be charged to some level which will depend on the manufacturing process and the time the battery spent on the shelf. This is why the battery level showing "full" chargealone is not a sign of the phone being not new.

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Thanks sharptooth, everyone is saying the same as you so as the phone looked new, I guess it was new after all. I just wish the manufacturers would state that there may be some charge, but that the phone would still need charging before use. The instructions just say the phone comes uncharged and will need charging. –  PBR Aug 20 '12 at 17:47
    
@PRB: Well, Li-Ion batteries just can't be shipped uncharged, otherwise they die on the shelf, it's the manufacturer's fault that he doesn't have clear wording in the manual. –  sharptooth Aug 21 '12 at 7:51

See Wikipedia on Lithium-Ion battery technology (especially sections "cell life" and "safety").

In short:

  • Cell life is best at ~50% charged
  • Safety requires the battery to be charged to above 3V (and below 4.2V)
  • The best consumer experience would be to charge the battery to 100%
  • The LiIon battery discharges itself during shipment/storage
  • The battery's internal charging level detector may be incorrect and needs some cycles to self-adjust

As a trade off, it's charged to (my guess) 60% and then shipped. It's not full and may be even almost discharged when the customer gets it, thus tell them to charge it the first time. I guess the manual doesn't say it's empty, does it? It's the best tradeoff between cell life and the customer's first user experience with the device.

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