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Published on June 26th, 2014 | by Trishit Dutta

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About Li-Ion technology and (teardown) Review of Ambrane P880

MYTH VS FACTS

  1. MYTH : My phone’s battery would last more charge-discharge cycles if I discharge it to zero before putting it to charge again.

             FACT: This is the most common myth of all. And yes, its false.. As I earlier told you,Ni-MH batteries suffered memory effect. Memory effect is when a battery ‘remembers’ its capacity. If you don’t use the battery completely every once in a while, it ‘forgets’ its original capacity and ‘remembers’ only the capacity which you use. But thats not the case for Li-Ion cells. Infact, deep discharges damages the cell. When your phone reads ‘zero percent’, the battery voltage is about 3.0v. While 3.0 isn’t going to kill your cell, but it speeds up the decay process manifolds. While some people might tell you deep discharge is good one a month, but that has more to do with the battery calibration (software stuff) than the actual battery chemistry.

  1. MYTH : My phone will overcharge (and might explode) if I keep it plugged during the night.

              FACT: Surprisingly, this is also false. Modern phones have some kind of Battery protection circuit built in (others have them built into the battery, like BL-5C. Yup, theres a tiny IC inside the battery itself). This protection circuit might be very complex and in some cases even require signalling from the charger to even accept power. Such protection circuits function as over-charge protection, over-discharge protection, over-current protection etc. So even if you leave your charger plugged in, you’re phone will only charge upto 100%. After that, it’ll shut off the flow of current to the cell. The excess charge usually runs the phone while the cell sits back and relax.

  1. MYTH : My battery is rated for 800 charge-discharge cycles only. I’ll only be able to charge it 800 times.

              FACT : This is only partially true. Li-Ion cells won’t last forever and even the best of the best quality cell has a definite number of charge-discharge cycles before it can’t hold the same amount of charge anymore. So, you can be assured that your precious original battery will die, eventually. Now here comes the silver lining. One charge-discharge cycle is calculated as from 0% to 100% back to 0%. So if you charge your phone to 100% and discharge it to 50% and again to 100%, that’s counted as only half a charge cycle. So, you don’t have to worry about your battery dying on you for at least 2-3 years (Unless you think myth 1 is true, then its far less than 2 years for you)..

  1. MYTHI should not use my phone when its hot.

              FACT : This is a very true. This is one of the disadvantages of Li-Ion cells. They are very sensitive to heat and it decreases their lifetime. If your phone gets abnormally hot for some reason, it might be a good idea to turn it off and take out the battery and let it cool for 5-10mins. If you can’t remove your battery, just turn off your phone and leave it to cool off for some time.

  1. MYTH : Voice calling while my phone when battery is low makes my phone send out radiation that are 100 times more powerful than they are.

              FACT : This myth is plain stupid and also false. You might have seen numerous posts on facebook or whatsapp requesting you to ‘share’ but this is false. Your phone sends out radiation. That’s true. That’s how it communicates. Even if your battery is low, it sends out as much radiation as is required to reach the towers. This is not affected by low battery. What actually affects the amount of radiation your phone sends out is your distance from the tower and line of sight view to the tower. Its simple, because, if your phone is far from the tower and it needs to communicate, it needs to send out more powerful waves. Some people believe this is how the myth actually came into being, confusion between battery bars and signal strength bar.

  1. MYTH : Using my phone when its charging is bad and it might even explode/electrocute me.

FACT : This isn’t entire true or false. Your battery gets hot when its charging. And as I explained earlier, heat is bad. If you’re using the phone, you are most likely to hold it in such a way that the back is covered by your hand. That hinders the cooling and the battery just keeps getting hotter. There’s almost no chance it will explode, but if you’re using cheap not-so-original “chinese” batteries, you can never be too sure. Also, using an el-cheapo 50 buck charger also has the potential (pun intended) to electrocute you. Always buy original accessories for your precious device. You might save a few hundred bucks buying non-standard stuff, but really, is that really worth risking your expensive device, or your safety?   Now, lets get ahead with the teardown and review of the powerbank.

 

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About the Author

Trishit Dutta

I'm the experimenting kind of guy who goes around poking digital stuff. An electronics and robotics hobbyist with a taste for music and magic



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