All current Blackberrys use a Lithium-ion battery, or “Li-ion” for short. In the past, some BlackBerry devices used a Nickel-metal hydride batteries, or “NiMH”. This article focuses on the Li-ion battery.
Tips for new BlackBerrys and Batteries:
When you get a new Blackberry, charge it fully to 100%. There is no 120% or 130%, so once it hits 100%, it is fully charged. This normally takes about 2-4 hours for a new device. There is nothing wrong with “over-charging” the battery, however there is no real need to do so. Sometimes, new Li-ion batteries will come fully charged out of the box.
There is no “break-in” or “conditioning” required for the Li-ion batteries. They do not need the old “fully discharge – fully charge” routine for the initial three charges as was recommended on older battery technologies.
If you are a brand new BlackBerry user, keep in mind that you are likely using (or playing with) your BlackBerry much more the first few days than in normal routine use. If you think you are having quick battery discharge issues, give yourself a week or so until your daily BlackBerry usage levels off to a perceived normal amount.
Tips for routine charging and ongoing use:
There is no memory on a Li-ion battery, and thus it is recommended that you “top-off” the charge regularly during the day. Ten minutes now and then on your wall outlet, automobile or USB cable is recommended. The charger displayed above (the Doubletalk Charger) is personally my favorite all-around charger, allowing for only one charger for all of my needs - for auto or a wall outlet.
Roughly every 30 charges, deliberately discharge your battery to 10-15%, and fully charge to 100% afterwards. This will help maintain the accuracy of the “fuel gauge” on the device (your battery meter or scale). It has nothing to do with the battery memory (as mentioned, Li-ion batteries do not have memory) but helps maintain the accuracy of the device’s percentage of battery charge left.
Don’t drain your battery every day to 10-20% of its charge. You can actually expect battery problems by draining the battery. Again, to repeat, top-off your charge during the day whenever convenient - even ten minutes in the car or at your desk will give you an extra 20-25% charge.
Tips for reducing fast battery drain:
A BlackBerry constantly searching for signal drains the battery quickly. In an office building, residence, or rural area with low signal coverage, you will experience a quicker battery drain. Turn off the “radio” on the homescreen or the data signal if you must reduce battery drain in severe circumstances (Options > Mobile Network > Data Services = OFF).
Check your applications running in the background. There are commonly four or five applications that will always be running (Messages, Call Logs/Phone, BlackBerry Messenger, Homescreen, and the Browser; there are others such as BeamBerry and Alarms which will also run). Make certain that the browser is NOT on an active webpage (should return the bookmarks page only). Close any other applications that do not need to be running (the camera or a game you were playing or Google Maps). When exiting a program or function, use the BB menu button first, to bring up the options screen, then scroll to the bottom of the list and select close. Pressing the red phone button to close a function, merly suspends the program leaving it open to consume memory resouces.
Turn off the Bluetooth connection when you don’t need it (Options > Bluetooth).
Some applications such JiveTalk have a “battery save mode” when idle. Log off applications such as JiveTalk, AIM, Google Talk if you are not using them for long periods of time.
Use your sleeper-magnet enabled holster. The magnet in the holster is there for a reason - it puts the BlackBerry to sleep, saves the battery, and makes you a happy camper.
Turn your backlight down to 80%… for many, that is a barely noticeable difference in the screen brightness (Options > Screen/Keyboard).
Get an extended-life battery if you think you need it (Seidio Online has many choices for various models).
Li-ion batteries have a typical life-span of 300-500 charges, which averages out to approximately two years. A Li-ion battery will normally maintain more of a full capacity charge and then “quit working” suddenly, rather than gradually becoming worse in performance.
Store a Li-ion battery with about a 50% charge at normal room temperature. Hot temperatures (like an auto glovebox) will drain a stored battery quickly
This article was originally posted on BlackBerryForums.com by its author, Mark Rejhon. It has been updated with current information by JSanders, of BlackBerryForums.com and cruznthru, of BlackberryOS.com
THANK YOU for this post! It's accurate, informative and debunks some of the incorrect conventional wisdom that has been posted on various communities in the past.
Just to emphasize: Three things will dramatically affect the life of (or kill) a LiO battery.
-HEAT - Don't leave your phone (or charge it) in your car on a hot day. Don't expose it to other heat sources. It only takes one overheating event to do irreversible damage. Store unused batteries in a charged state (at least 40-50% charged) in a cool area.
-Repetitive Deep Discharges- As mentioned, LiO has a finite life rated on number of discharges (from full charge to low% charge state). Keeping your battery in a charged state is most beneficial! Regular deep cycling shortens the battery life. Recalibrating the "fuel guage" as described above every 30 days is appropriate.
-AGE - LiO batteries start dying from the moment they are manufactured. The chemical process taking place within the cells is not reversible and is going on even when not in use. When purchasing a replacement battery, buy one that is newly manufactured. THESE DO DIE ON THE SHELF so If you purchase a spare, use both the spare and the original battery on a routine basis.