battery life

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.

Why is Carbonite killing my laptop battery?

Episode 1074

Tommy from Birmingham, AL

Tom has a Carbonite account and when he runs it, it really drains the battery. Leo says that could be because that initial backup will keep going and not allow the laptop to go to sleep. But once it does, it may not be as drastic. Leo also says that the battery indicator isn't exactly accurate either. It's more a general idea and Leo thinks it gets better over time.

Disclaimer: Carbonite is a sponsor.

Why does my laptop get such poor battery life?

Dell XPS laptop

Episode 1068

Jeff from Redondo Beach, CA

Jeff is having trouble with his Dell XPS laptop because he can only get an hour and a half of battery life. Leo says that the XPS is considered a "desktop replacement," and an hour and a half really isn't that unusual. It's likely that if he looks for the "fudge words" in the ad, he'll see that his mileage may vary. That's why Leo advises never to buy a new piece of hardware without reading legitimate reviews. An ad is always going to stetch the details.

Why is my battery life bad after an Android update?

Episode 1036

Aaron from Glendale, CA

Aaron has updated his Samsung Galaxy S3 and now his battery life has decreased. Leo says it may just be that the phone is older and the battery has diminished some. The phone isn't old enough to have battery life issues, though. So it's likely that there is a bug in the update that's causing some programs to run in the background. Doctor Mom in the chatroom had the same problems and suggests turning on power saving mode in Android.

Why does my iPhone die with battery life left?

Episode 1036

Rafael from Oporto, Portugal

Rafael's phone dies while he still has battery life remaining. Leo says that the phone guesses how much battery life remains and often it's an inaccurate guess. So it should be taken with a grain of salt. It may have just crashed, though. Leo says to charge the phone all the way up and then run it down until it shuts down. Do this several times and he will essentially "teach" his phone how long its battery life is.

It may also be a defective phone. Leo advises documenting his experience with it, and taking it to the Apple Store.

Why am I only getting 3 hours of battery life on my iPhone 4S?

Episode 977

Damian from California

Damian is 10 and has an iPhone 4S, but the battery dies in about 3 hours. Leo says that's largely because Damian plays with it a lot. He also noticed that the phone crashes after overheating. Could there be something wrong with it? Leo says there probably is. He advises taking it to the Apple Store. They'll replace it if it's still under warranty. To preserve the battery life, he should turn down the brightness, turn off bluetooth, and check email manually.

How can I improve the battery life on Android Ice Cream Sandwich? (Part 1)

Episode 924

Sidney from Irvine, CA

Turning off extra services like Bluetooth can help. If he has 4G turned on, that'll really eat up the battery. So if LTE isn't available in his area, it's a good idea to shut that off. Leo also suggests backing up the Android phone and performing a factory reset, which often fixes issues. Leo also suggests getting an extra battery for his phone. Or if battery life is really important, the Droid Razr Maxx HD has the best battery life on the market.