Li-Ion battery calibration, funny myth? Personal thoughts

I regularly lurk over at XDA since I started -happily- using my HTC HD2 Leo (actually, I just brought it to a collection center for warranty servicing… dead touchscreen, sigh). Since then, I began reading about “funny” practices regarding lithium ion battery usage to prolong their life. Even before that, when I still used older pocketpc’s (namely, iPaq’s) I would always run down the battery to about 30% and then recharge to full, and I avoided at most to recharge before it was “time”; on the other hand, you can often read guides saying that LiIon batteries get better the more often you recharge them, and get worse the bigger and less frequent the charges (sure, now tell me your laptop battery improves by always using it attached to the mains charger…).

Following is an excerpt taken from here (I suppose these are pretty standard steps, I’ve read similar ones on some XDA threads):

  1. Run the device down until it turns itself off.
  2. Turn it back on and wait for it to turn itself off again.
  3. Remove the battery for 10 seconds.
  4. Replace the battery, but leave the device off.
  5. Charge the device until full and then for another hour.
  6. **Root users only** Using a Terminal Emulator, type “su” enter, followed by “rm /data/system/batterystats.bin”
  7. Run the device’s battery down until it turns itself off.
  8. Turn the device on and charge for at least 8 hours.
  9. Unplug the device, turn off, then charge for another hour.
  10. Unplug the device, turn on, wait 2 minutes.
  11. Turn off again and charge for another hour.
  12. Restart and use as normal.

Now, the least of my intentions is to criticize their work in any way (believe me), yet, personally (very personally) I think you could insert in any place in that list the following statement:

  • Dress in a striped white and greenish scottish skirt, and, while wearing ONLY that, during a full moon, jump yelling “IIIOOOONNNN” around your charging phone

and it would perfectly fit in the overall mood of said list.

On a side note, when the charging device says it’s full, it stops sending energy to the battery, so for any kind of purpose you could leave the charger attached for a whole day after the led got green, it won’t really make any difference.

I am an extreme case, and I know it, but I can very honestly report my experience: I have the standard original battery, and I bought off chinese eBay other 3 clones (1230mAh, perfectly identical to the original except a slightly tinier barcode), together with a desktop charger.

I use the phone until it runs down to ~20% (lately down to 10% or even 5% if I’m doing something I don’t want to interrupt, like reading manga) at which point I take out the battery, and put inside the next charged one (I have them numbered, from 1 to 4). The drained battery goes straight inside the desktop charger (or in my pocket, until I get back home).

I rarely use the car charger, but I kind of regularly use the phone inside the car as MP3 player/navigator.

I have gotten, on very light use, up to 4 days uptime. Yes, you read it well, FOUR days uptime; I may have used it very little, yet it’s still 96 hours. Are you going to tell me that with those tricks you read about it could’ve lasted even longer?

6 thoughts on “Li-Ion battery calibration, funny myth? Personal thoughts”

  1. In realtà quando l’indicatore di carica batteria segnala “telefono carico”, il caricatore continua ad inviare corrente al tel, appunto per mantenere carica la batteria (carica di mantenimento).

    Cmq concordo su quanto da te detto, anzi mi pare di aver letto da qualche parte che non c’e’ proprio nessun vantaggio a fare tutte queste procedure sulle batterie al litio di ultima generazione…. quello che conta sono solamente i cicli di carica/scarica, più se ne fanno, più si logora la batteria (e mi pare pure molto logico).

  2. Bella Andrea 🙂
    Il caricatore è scemo e la corrente la invia comunque, tuttavia se non sbaglio, e nel caso correggimi, è il telefono che la usa “per sé” invece di attingere dalla batteria, ma non la invia alla batteria per ricaricarla se la rileva come già carica.
    D’altronde, come dicevo, qualunque proprietario di notebook sa (o impara presto) che ricaricare costantemente la batteria è una brutta cosa.

  3. @Andy
    Thank you for taking the time of checking out this page.
    I honestly hope you didn’t get upset by this post, even if I reasonably reckon it’s almost impossible otherwise.
    Just keep in mind I am voicing my very personal opinion, and also running down to 5-10% my batteries on a regular basis, to fully charge them once again after that, is pretty much the same thing, just with way less overhead, and/or less stress for the batteries.
    I suppose neither of us ran any rigorous tests to compare “my way” against “your way”, and see which one is longer (intended pun), still I am strongly convinced of what I say.
    Other than this, I come in peace! 🙂

  4. la procedura ha senso per far rilevare al telefono correttamente la capacità della batteria, non per prolungarne la durata.
    le litio se usate bene hanno una vita che cala proporzionalmente alla loro età, vuol dire che comprarle e non usarle per 4 anni oppure usarle (bene) per 4 anni avrà lo stesso effetto sulla pila.
    Motivo per non farsi tanti problemi a usarle, motivo per comprarne di nuove e non pile che sono state in magazzino per dei mesi..

    e io aggiungo: comprate le pile cinesi, costano una sciocchezza, se anche durano meno basta comprarne due che costano comunque meno di una originale.

  5. che dire, parole sante 😉
    Riguardo al telefono, dovrebbe aver senso solo per quei sistemi operativi che compilano un “registro consumi” della batteria, e per WM6.5 non credo che sia il caso; su Android ho letto che accade, e per questo si cancella il log della batteria prima della “calibrazione”. Ma non ho alcuna esperienza di quell’OS.

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