Cell Phone Battery Information & Tips

Cell Phone Battery Information & Tips

New Cell Phone Batteries

New cellular phone batteries should be fully charged using your overnight charger before use. For the first 3 cycles, a new battery may show a false full charge (as indicated on your phone or charger) and/or the battery may not power up the cell phone because of low voltage. You should charge new batteries overnight and then fully drain the battery before recharging for at least the first 3 cycles.

Cellular Phone Battery Standby & Talk Time

If you've ever purchased a wireless phone or battery for a cellular phone, you've heard the terms "Standby" and "Talk Time". Standby time is the estimated time your battery will hold a charge and Talk Time is the estimated time you can talk on your cellular phone before the battery discharges completely. Your battery will discharge at a much greater rate when you're actually talking on it than when it just sits unused. The Standby and Talk Time estimates given by the phone or cell phone battery's manufacture are exclusive of each other. In other words it's either X number of minutes for Standby OR number of minutes Talk Time.

There are many factors that will effect your cellular phone battery's standby and talk time. Some Factors are:

  • Cell Phone Current Consumption
  • Cellular Phone Battery Capacity
  • Cell Phone Charger Performance
  • Wireless Network Technology (Digital or Analog)
  • Mobile Phone Software and Hardware
  • How Close Your Cell Phone Is To A Cell Site
  • Signal Strength From A Cell Site
  • Cell Phone's Antenna
  • Signal Obstructions (tall buildings, hills, etc.)
  • Phone Features Activated (back light, minute counters, calculators, etc.)
  • Temperature
  • Amount of Use

Cell Phone Battery Capacity

Capacity changes over product lifetime depending on usage. Capacity is affected by discharge rate - NiCD 1000 mAh battery has a capacity of 1020 mAh at a 180 mA discharge rate, but only 928 mAh at a 900 mA discharge rate. (better capacity in standby mode versus during conversation) Temperature - both high and low temperatures decrease capacity. Cellular phone battery power is diminished when unused for extended periods.

Cell Phone Charger Performance

Cell phone chargers can perform differently at different temperatures.

FAQ Cell Phone Batteries and Chargers

Q: My cell phone battery keeps going dead. Why won't it hold a charge ?
A: The battery may not have been conditioned properly. Some new batteries need to be fully drained and fully charged three times when they are new and then once every month after that. The drain can be done during normal use of the phone. Be sure to fully charge your battery each time you charge it.

A: Your cellular phone battery may be worn out. Most batteries are good for over 500 charges. If you need to discard an old battery, please see the rechargeable Battery Recycling Program below

Q: Do all cell phone chargers work with all cell phone batteries?
A: No. Make sure your charger is rated to be able to charge Li-Ion batteries before trying to charge one. NiMH batteries are designed to charge rapidly and require a Rapid Battery Charger.

Cell Phone Battery Care

NiCD Cell Phone Batteries

Maximum performance and power retention is optimized in NiCD batteries when the battery is properly "conditioned" throughout its life. Conditioning consists of completely discharging the power supply prior to recharging, and then charging to full capacity.

If the battery is frequently charged without first being fully discharged, or if the battery is often provided with less than a full charge, the batteries power reserve capacity can be temporarily diminished. This temporary capacity loss is commonly referred to as "memory effect."

To keep your NiCD batteries performing at peak levels, it is recommended that you condition your battery at least once a month. Many after market brand chargers offer a discharge option. Look for the term "Conditioning" before buying your next charger. Putting your battery through one complete discharge/charge cycle per month will remove any "memory effect" that may exist.

NiMH Cell Phone Batteries

Nickel Metal Hydride cell phone battery products are less affected by "memory effect." However, long storage periods will result in a temporary discharge of power. Most manufacturers recommend "conditioning" at least once per month.

Li-Ion Cell Phone Batteries

Lithium Ion cellular phone batteries deliver more energy per unit (known as "energy density") than Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) or Nickel Cadmium (NiCD). In other words, used on the same phone, Lithium could deliver substantially more talk/standby time than NiMH or NiCD. In addition, Lithium batteries are generally lighter than NiMH or NiCD batteries of the same capacity.

Recycle Your Cell Phone Battery

During the late 1980s tests were performed that indicated potential negative environmental effects from disposing of batteries in our landfills. An organization was formed to recycle Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion (Li-ion) and Small Sealed Lead* (Pb) batteries free of charge. This service is known as the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC).

The RBRC program was initiated on July 1, 1995. When the life of your cellular phone battery is exhausted, the RBRC will direct the consumers to the nearest RBRC collection box (various retail, county or municipal locations). The RBRC then recycles the cell phone battery components to manufacture more battery products. You can visit the RBRC at