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The comments in this question say that I shouldn't wait until low battery charge level before I charge, because that reduces battery life (this is contrary to my understanding before that the faster we charge (without waiting for battery to discharge) the worse it will be for battery life). My question is, when I should generally start charging to avoid this effect? 20%?

Interesting question: If we always limit the usage of the battery only 20% and above, won't we, in effect, reduces our battery capacity to 80%, because we will only use the battery in 20%-100% state?

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This is not endemic to Android phones, either. See this post on the Electronics and Robotics Stack Exchange: electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/7992/… –  Al E. Dec 23 '10 at 16:56
    
Al Everett's linked question has an excellent answer - very detailed explanation of modern lithium battery care. –  Saiboogu Dec 23 '10 at 17:07
    
nice find, Al. Thanks –  Fitri Dec 25 '10 at 4:28
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up vote 14 down vote accepted

As soon and as often as you can. Spending time at any extreme of charge (high or low) can damage lithium batteries. High charge isn't that bad, considering how quickly modern devices will drain away from that state. Spending time at lower charge levels will damage the internal structure of the battery though.

Draining to "0" on the device won't actually immediately kill the battery though -- the battery protection circuitry will prevent it from going down to critical levels. But the more time you spend at lower charges, the more cumulative damage you do and the more time you take away from the lifespan of the battery. Do the best you can to avoid this, and you'll likely have a battery that still gives you 70-80% of it's life by the time the device is considered obsolete.

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So you mean I should always connect my phone whenever I have access to a charger or a USB port with cable? Boy I thought this reduces battery life. –  Fitri Dec 23 '10 at 15:59
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Yes, connect it every chance you get. It does not reduce battery life. That is only on Nicad batteries and you have a li-ion. –  Matt Dec 23 '10 at 16:01
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Exactly - charge whenever you have an opportunity. The only time you're likely to run into a NiCad (last tech that had significant memory effect) is in cheaper cordless power tools. –  Saiboogu Dec 23 '10 at 16:05
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... and some digital cameras. Most of those look like two AA batteries tapped together because they are two nicad AAs taped together. –  Matt Dec 23 '10 at 16:26
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No worries about unplugging early - If you can only squeeze in a few percent charge before moving on it's still beneficial and has no downsides. –  Saiboogu Dec 27 '10 at 13:29
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Lithium Ion batteries don't develope "memory" like Nickel Cadnuim batteries, so charging every day regardless of your discharge level will not affect the battery life. If my memory serves me right, because of the way that the batteries are recharged it is less strain on the battery if you don't let it get below 40% but I wouldn't worry too much about it. In that same respect, don't be hesitant to charge anytime you have the opportunity.

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