You'd think that charging your BlackBerry is the easiest thing in the world, undeserving of a full BlackBerry 101 article. You plug in your power source and let it sit there. But for many of us, there are still some lingering questions about proper battery care.
I come from a time when batteries weren't as smart as they are today. There were all sorts of secret tricks and rules you'd have to know, or you'd kill your battery. You couldn't recharge a battery until it had fully discharged; otherwise, you'd limit the battery's capacity. Later years brought batteries that had to be "trained." Fully discharging and recharging multiple times.
Today's modern BlackBerry batteries are different. There's none of that to worry about. Charge your BlackBerry whenever you want. In the car? Charge it. Sitting at your desk for 10 minutes? Charge it. In fact, the only real trick to remember is to make sure the battery doesn't get too low. A study by Cadex found that many Li-ion batteries fail due to being over-discharged.
Your smartphone battery - like your smartphone itself - performs best when it's charged. There's no need to keep it at 100% all day, every day. But there's no reason to let your battery level fall into the red, either. Giving your BlackBerry a few minutes of power will do more good than harm, so go ahead.
There are many charging options for powering your BlackBerry. Inductive charging, solar charging, good ol' USB cables, and more... after the break
USB Cables - Your BlackBerry comes with a standard miniUSB or microUSB port. Any USB cable with the proper tip (mini or micro) can and will charge your BlackBerry. Plug one end into your BlackBerry and the other into a computer or an appropriate wall charger, and you're good to go.
Wall Charger - The tried and true wall charger, with a plug on one side and a USB tip on the other. Some chargers, like the BlackBerry USB Power Plug are simply a powered USB port. These chargers are extremely versatile as they can power any device that gets its charge through a USB cable.
Car Charger - I use the heck out of my BlackBerry when I'm in the car. Music and podcasts for shorter trips, games; movies; and the internet for longer trips (and I'm the passenger). With a charger in the car, I never have to worry about draining my BlackBerry. All I need is the appropriate USB tip, and I'm all set.
Charging Pod/Dock - The most stylish way to charge your BlackBerry. Seriously. Simply place your BlackBerry in the charging pod. Done. Small metal plates in the back cover charge your smartphone or, as with the Storm and Torch, through the USB connector.
Inductive/Wireless - PowerMat brings wireless charging to your smartphone by using a special battery door for your BlackBerry and the eponymous PowerMat. Just place the BlackBerry on the powered 'Mat, and your battery gets a wireless top off.
Solar - The sun provides a massive amount of power, solar cells allow us to harness a small fraction of that to power our devices. Many solar power options store energy within their own batteries, keeping a ready source of power even on cloudy days.