batteries

Is it harmful to use an external battery with my iPhone?

Apple iPhone Battery Case

Episode 1254

Kenny from Temple, TX

Leo says it isn't harmful at all, and Apple even sells an external battery for the iPhone 6/6s. In general with these charging cases, when you charge the case it will also charge the phone. On the Mophie cases, there's a switch for when you want to switch to the battery. When it comes to Lithium Ion batteries, though, the best thing to do is keep it charging. The battery will last longer if it stays charged vs charging and discharging. It's definitely not good to let it fully drain.

How could I charge my old HTC Resound phone?

Episode 1233

Joe from Santa Monica, CA

Joe's HTC Resound phone is about 5 years old now, and it no longer will charge. He's wondering what he should try next. Leo says he should probably get a new phone at this point. These phones aren't meant to be kept for as long as 5 years. With computers, we expect to keep them 5 years, but with phone manufacturers expect people to upgrade every couple of years. It could just be that the battery has reached it's limit for charge cycles. If he wants to get a new battery, Leo definitely suggests getting the battery from HTC.

What mobile phones have swappable batteries?

Episode 1195

Mark from WGMD

Mark is on his third HTC One phone. It keeps breaking and has lousy battery life. Leo says that is the most annoying thing about smartphones is battery life. It's awful. There are two ways that Android phone manufacturers have addressed it ... the first is Quick Charge, which will recharge your phone in about an hour. The other options is to choose an Android model that allows you to swap out a secondary battery. LG has the G4 and it's easy to open and replace the battery. In fact, LG offers a second battery in a kit with a mini sd card. The Samsung Galaxy Note IV is another.

Why does my laptop freeze up?

Episode 1181

Jane from Redding, PA

Jane's laptop consistently freezes up when she's doing things. Can that be caused by the battery? Leo says one way to test it is to remove the battery and plug it in to the AC adapter. If that resolves the issue, then it probably is the battery. But the battery is one of those that either works or doesn't work at all. It could be the power supply that is failing.

Are Lithium Ion batteries getting better?

Battery

Episode 1173

Mike from San Diego, CA

Dave has seen a website that promises upgraded Lithium Ion batteries for better safety and to increase battery life. Leo says that once he sees a study that verifies the claims, he'll buy into it. Leo has seen a lot of promises on the internet over the years and very little in the way of delivery. It's definitely something that users want, but the proof is in the pudding.

Why does my laptop say I need to replace my battery?

Episode 1162

Riley from Boston Spa, NY

Riley has a Windows 7 laptop and he's getting an error message that his battery should be replaced. Since Riley's laptop is about two years old, the time is about right for Riley to replace that Lithium Ion battery since they only have 500 fixed recharge cycles. So yes, Riley probably needs to replace the battery. If he keeps his laptop always plugged in, he'll be limiting the number of recharge cycles. He should only recharge the battery when he needs to for being out and about.

Does it hurt to leave my phone plugged in after it's finished charging?

Episode 1075

Tiff from Redding, PA

Tiff wants to know if it hurts the phone to keep it plugged in after it's done charging. Leo says it actually doesn't hurt it at all. Cellphones use Lithium Ion batteries and there's a limited number of full charge cycles. Keeping it plugged in when it's not being used preserves and improves the lifetime of the battery. It also has circuitry that prevents overcharging.