BlackBerry 101: Charging your battery

BlackBerry Charging
By Joseph Holder on 8 Apr 2011 03:02 pm EDT
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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

BlackBerry Charging Options

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.

More information / purchase USB Cables

 

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.

More information / purchase wall chargers
More information / puchase USB wall chargers 

 

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.

More information / purchase car chargers

 

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.

More information / purchase charging docks

 

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.

More information / purchase PowerMat

 

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.

More information / puchase solar and emergency charging options. 

20 comments

aliakberk

Thanks for the post... always thought you should let your battery die before recharging it. Glad to hear (read?) thats not the case

eve6er69

glad you posted this. now when the battery questions start coming in i can refer to this thread to answer them.

crewcab49

I am at a desk for a few hrs each day so the Blackberry dock is my choice for Torch 9800... I also use the same one by my bed at night in combination with the new Wakeful alarm that talks to me in the am w/news. In my vehicle I use the iGrip dock & a Griffin power port that has usb connection, the iGrip rocks for using BB Traffic app driving, these two docks keep Torch on power & ready for use as it should be.

PostMortem

Sadly, the USB is NOT a universal solution as I've tried an Android micro USB that didn't work at all and some others that the phone has even told me that there's not enough power provided to charge 'this' phone.

Different cables, same PC and phone.

salamahoy

Funny, I had almost the exact same thing posted on my blog yesterday. Weird.

http://roflmaocopter.com/2011/04/07/blackberry-tips-tricks-101/

vandy73

wait a second you said the exact opposite "Most BlackBerry users love their battery. But they don’t know how to use it efficiently! Simply put, only charge your BlackBerry once it is dead."

You sure you read the article?

Radius

I have been saying this for a long time. As a member of an R&D team who has been there and done that, I have spoken directly to the engineers of battery companies about LIon batteries and I know for a fact you should never ever discharge them.

In fact, depending on the battery, going below 40-50% is very bad for them.

A LIon battery is best used by charging it whenever you can. If it's at 90% and you are at home, throw it on the charger. It loves that and you keep the battery going for longer than if you charge it when it reaches 50%.

Keep those suckers plugged in when you can!

Buzduganjr

Grate Post :)
Oh and seems to all this years i got it wrong :( now good to know is better to have it full all the time !

Thanks for this grate Post !

jwn66

i just can't bring myself to not let any battery in anything almost die (atleast 10%) before re-charging, it's hard to break habits lol

Joel_Zimmerman

So, my 9700's M-S1 is Li-ion? That means I can charge it whenever, even if I charge it at 85% or 27%? There are still sites which say that you should only charge your battery from the point when your device won't turn on again. I'm guessing that's the deal with old Li-polymer batteries and wouldn't that put them within risk of a deep discharge?

Gamesdmc3

thanks for the info,time to keep my battery healthy and off of life support (solar power here i come)

JWMichel77

I would carry two batteries around just in case. This is good info to know.

bibeberry

i also bring a spare battery, i bought another one when my bb toasted my battery i thought the battery was the prob cos it smelled bad and drains every 2 hours. but it was my software that kept hanging and using the battery too much needed a complete wipe!

qwertyup1232000

So is leaving it plugged in for an extended time after it's fully charged safe as well?

Bad Larry

I always keep my batteries fully charged as much as possible. I have two backup batteries, two wall chargers and cradles, one for home and one at work. My car charger is used daily and I also have a Case-Mate fuel lite rechargeable battery pack/case for days when I feel like giving my Seidio 2600 battery a rest. I try to never let a battery get below 50% power and this practice has been working fine for me so far.

petrpuck

Wow . Thanks for the info . Never wanted to charge my 9700 to soon , for fear of killing the battery . Learn something new every day . :)

blackcaneaddict

I love how fast my Curve charges compared to my other smartphone. 20 minutes on the charger and I can gain about 30 percent. Let's just how RIMs new set of phones follow the same trend.

aldente_D

I just got a new Bold 9900. How long do I need to charge the battery for first time use? My previous Curve was nightmarish near the end, using 2 batteries a day. Just wanna get it right. Also, I think battery life might be different now?

Nirmalya Biswas

Mr. Holder... you are doing a fantastic job....Thanks for this... always thought you should let your battery die before recharging it. Glad that's not the case... This is my 2nd bb... and mine is 4 days old... both the times that i have charged it after it has died off... hope its not done any damage.. nevertheless.. now on will be careful... Thanks for this... Cheers! By the way ... I just love the blackberry.... I am sure that its forever to stay....