What does Optimised Battery Charging do?

As much as we’d all like to avoid it, it’s an unescapable fact of using a mobile phone – over time, its battery will deteriorate and you will notice the effects. It’s one of the most common reasons people change phones, especially with the increasing number of phones with unremovable batteries often making a battery swap a right load of malarkey!

It can be difficult to pinpoint the true longevity of phone batteries because so many factors can impact their health. Charging is perhaps the most significant of these, due to the stress it puts on the components within the battery, causing them to degrade over time. In recent years, Optimised Battery Charging is a feature that’s been introduced to lessen the impact of charging and to help extend the overall lifespan of batteries.

What is Optimised Battery Charging?

Introduced in the 2019 iOS 13 software update, Optimised Battery Charging is a setting that limits the time an iPhone’s battery spends fully charged, by slowing the rate of charging when the battery reaches 80% charge.

Charging a battery to 100% seems like it would be the best thing to do, although charging a battery to full capacity means more time where the battery is under stress and so can actually be more detrimental to its health. Therefore, by limiting the time the battery is closer to a full charge, Optimised Battery Charging may help to extend your battery’s life and help you to enjoy greater performance and capacity for a longer time.

Better yet, if you have a regular charging pattern, your iPhone will be able to learn this and adjust the Optimised Battery Charging rate to ensure it is fully charged when unplugged. This can help you to enjoy the greater battery lifespan, whilst also ensuring you’re not left without charge when you need it.

How to turn Optimised Battery Charging on or off

Unless you’ve previously turned it off, it’s actually likely you already have Optimised Battery Charging activated on your iPhone, as the setting is turned on by default when updating an iPhone to iOS 13 or beyond. As iOS 13 was released in 2019 and we are currently on iOS 16, it’s likely your iPhone will have automatically turned on this feature at some stage, especially given iOS 16 is compatible on iPhones as far back as 2017’s iPhone 8.

Otherwise, you can find the setting by going to Settings, then Battery Health & Charging. On this page, you will find the toggle for Optimised Battery Charging.

Is Optimised Battery Charging available on Android?

Settings to protect your battery in similar fashion to Optimised Battery Charging are available on Android devices, but don’t always have the same functions or names. If you have a Samsung or Google Pixel phone, here’s how you can use the settings on each.

Protect battery on Samsung phones

Rather than prolonging the time it takes to charge to 100%, Samsung phones instead place a firm cap on the battery’s charge at 85% to avoid it entirely. To turn on this setting:

  1. Go to settings
  2. Go to Battery and device care
  3. Tap Battery
  4. Go to “More battery settings”
  5. Toggle “Protect battery” on

Adaptive charging on Google Pixel

Google Pixel phones have a more setting similar to Optimised Battery Charging in Adaptive charging. Like Optimised Battery Charging, this setting slows down the rate of charging to last over longer periods of time. If you use the alarm clock on your Pixel, adaptive charging can sync to this so that you can wake up to a fully charged phone. To turn on the setting:

  1. Go to settings
  2. Go to Battery
  3. Go to “Adaptive preferences”
  4. Toggle “Adaptive charging” on

What else can I do to get the best phone battery life?

As mentioned, charging your phone to higher levels can hinder its longer term battery life as it’s more demanding on the battery to operate at that level. Similarly, using your phone at lower battery levels also places a greater strain on the battery and so you may want to avoid this where you can if you’re wanting your phone’s battery health to last as long as possible. For this reason, it’s often suggested that you keep your phone’s charge between at least 20% and at most 90% for the best long term battery health.

If you have an iPhone, we’ve previously written about 17 Easy Ways to Save Battery Life on Your iPhone and How to use iPhone Low Power Mode, so you can find out the best ways to cut down the time you need to spend charging your phone and hopefully enjoy greater battery health for a longer time! While the posts are about iPhones, the same principles will apply for Android and other makes of phone, so be sure to give them a check and keep an eye out for any equivalent settings your phone may have that you would look to make use of.

  • SMARTY Team
  • August 4th, 2023