What the Tech? Overnight phone charging

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(ABC 6 News) – It’s a question almost as old as smartphones themselves. Should you leave a phone on charge while you sleep?

Charging a phone while you’re catching some Zzzzs is convenient. You wake upwith your cellphone fully charged, an and you hope it makes it through the day. Does it affect the battery being on charge for 8 hours? It does, and here’s why.

Most batteries’ lifespans are counted in charging cycles. The iPhone has about 500 charging cycles before you start noticing a big difference. But Apple counts charges not by the number of times you put it on charge, but by the number of times it totals a full charge.

It’s basically true for other phones because they all use the same battery technology. If it’s on charge at night, the phone stops charging at 100%. But when it hits 100%, it drops to 99% before returning to 100% again. That’s called ‘battery trickle’, and it’ll do this throughout the night.
Over time, that 1% drop and recharge will total a full charge. It will happen dozens of times each night.

Newer iPhones have a feature where ypur phone learns when you go to sleep and adjusts how it charges. You can see it on an iPhone by looking at the battery settings. You’ll probably notive that the phone is will be charged to 80% about an hour after you put it on charge at bedtime. Then, just before you wake up, it’s charged to 100%. You should check th battery optimization is turned on in the battery settings.

Android phones don’t have this particular feature, but it does have battery optimization, which closes programs you’re not using.

You should also check your battery’s health within your phone settings. This will show how the battery has aged. Older phones will likely only be capable of using 80% or a little more of what a new battery can deliver.

All that said, what’s the best way to charge a phone? Optimally, charge it to about 88% before you go to bed and leave it off the charger while you sleep. When you wake up, plug it in and charge the battery fully. But if you typically upgrade your phone every year or so, you won’t notice a huge difference, so charge it any way you want.