How To Buy New Cell Phone Batteries

When it comes time to buy a new cell phone or replace a depleted battery, you may realize just how confusing cell phone batteries can be. It's not as easy as going to the store and picking up a package of AAA batteries and inserting them into the electronic device.

The selection of different battery types is much more complicated in the world of cell phones, as each manufacturer uses a different battery for a particular phone. Different batteries have a different weight, lifetime, talk time, and thickness. Each factor affects the use of your cell phone, so it's important to learn a little about cell batteries in general before you buy.

These are the main choices you will face when shopping for a new cell phone battery:

NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride)

Although this battery technology is almost obsolete, it is still out there, along with NiCad batteries, but they are quickly being replaced by Li-Ion batteries.

Some points: these batteries tend to cost less than other types, but they are equivalent to the "memory" effect, which means once in a while you have to completely discharge them and then recharge to reach optimal capacity again.

Over time, standby and talk time between each charge permanently decreases.

Li-Ion (Lithium-Ion)

Lithium-Ion batteries are now the most widely used cell phone batteries on the market. They are also the most advanced and are set to replace NiMH and NiCad batteries completely within a few years.

Key points:

  • Much lighter and slimmer than its predecessors
  • Lasts longer for more convenience
  • No problems with the memory effect experienced with NiMH and NiCad batteries
  • Cost more than other batteries; a typical Li-Ion battery can cost upwards of $ 59, while a standard NiMH battery with the same capacity usually costs about $ 20 less

Li-Polymer (Lithium Polymer)

This type of battery is not used very often, but it is the most advanced of the bunch, which is perfect for high-end phones that require batteries that are even thinner and lighter than Lithium-Ion batteries.

How can I lengthen my standby and talk time?

You can take a few simple steps to lengthen the life of your battery and make it work better overall. Reducing your energy consumption is quite easy to do, and will reserve your battery for a longer period of time.

Some tips:

  • Turn off the sound the keys make when you press them – this should be easy to do if you search the phone's settings
  • Ringtones use less energy, so avoid the vibrate mode whenever possible to save power
  • Reduce the backlight timeout setting so that you spend even less energy when using backlight to see your phone in the dark. Usually the light times out after two or three seconds, but this can be reduced even more
  • Analog systems drain more battery power than digital. If you have both a digital and analog phone, turn your phone off when you move through an analog area if you will not be using the phone. Digital phones in general offer more features for power management, just like on your computer. Analog phones do not provide the same level of energy saving. A typical phone in digital mode may, for example, offer 100 to 200 hours of standby time, whereas in analog mode only 30 to 50 hours are available.

Protecting your cell phone battery

Remember that cell phones have more than just a standby time and a talk time – they also have a certain lifetime, after which they need to be replaced. The manufacturers call this a "charge cycle." For instance, a battery may claim to have "300 charge cycles." This means you may have to replace the battery each year for optimal efficiency.

Take care of your cell phone's battery, especially by avoiding exposing it to extreme heat. Keep your cell away from heat sources such as the dash of your vehicle because this will negatively effect the lifetime of the battery.


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