Just got the iPhone 4S today, and before I even *powered it up*, I made a point of digging around the Interwebs to find out whether I should (a) drain the battery & fully charge it a few times (to ‘condition’ it), or (b) charge it as much and as frequently as I can. I’ve literally heard both urban legends over the years, and even though I keep buying Li-ion battery’d devices, I can simply never keep it straight (or feel confident that the story is true and consistent).
Today’s research yielded a couple of great links, and while I’m sure this isn’t 100% definitive (I didn’t even go through the 2nd page of Google results), it’s compelling enough for me:
“Preparing new lithium-ion for use
Unlike nickel and lead-based batteries, a new lithium-ion pack does not need cycling through charging and discharging. Priming will make little difference because the maximum capacity of lithium-ion is available right from the beginning. Neither does a full discharge improve the capacity of a faded pack. However, a full discharge/charge will reset the digital circuit of a ‘smart’ battery to improve the state-of-charge estimation“
“Similar to a mechanical device that wears out faster with heavy use, so also does the depth of discharge (DoD) determine the cycle count. The smaller the depth of discharge, the longer the battery will last. If at all possible, avoid frequent full discharges and charge more often between uses. If full discharges cannot be avoided, try utilizing a larger battery. Partial discharge on Li-ion is fine; there is no memory and the battery does not need periodic full discharge cycles other than to calibrate the fuel gauge on a smart battery.
A partial discharge reduces stress and prolongs battery life. Elevated temperature and high currents also affect cycle life.“
Somehow the battery lasts *longer* and retains a *greater* maximum charge if you fully discharge it as *little* as possible. “Topping it off” as much as possible is the best way to keep it from running down.
Further, these articles made it clear to me that there’s no such thing as “conditioning” a Li-ion battery – unlike a car engine, which urban legends make clear should be run at lower speeds for the first XXX miles, the Li-ion battery seems to be as good as it gets when it leaves the factory, and needs no special handling.
Suh-weet – just act like I always have with my previous phone and I’ll be laughing.