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An Expert’s Opinion on Swelling Batteries & Power-Saving Apps

Like having a Ferrari with no petrol, having a powerful smartphone with a poor battery isn’t an ideal situation, and will often leave you staring at a black screen rather than enjoying your spiffy device.

Looking after your battery is an important facet of owning a smartphone these days, and thankfully, the experts over at weFix have given us some tips and tricks (other than the obvious ones) to keep your device in tip-top shape. We chatted with weFix’s group technical manager Ben la Grange to get a little more info on battery preservation.

“Batteries are ultimately a consumable, so by far the biggest cause of battery troubles is simply due to the battery being at the end of its useful life,” explained la Grange.

One of the common concerns with users is the ‘swelling’ of batteries and the dangers around that; but what exactly is going on when your battery becomes engorged? And is it something to worry about?

“Batteries swell due to a build-up of gases inside, due to a phase change of the electrolyte from liquid to gas, usually due to overcharging and overheating. This is becoming increasingly rare, due to the safety circuitry built into batteries nowadays,” said la Grange.

It’s also common and considered “normal” for batteries to swell up to 10% over the course of 500 charging cycles, but of course, if there is anything out of the ordinary, it’s best to take it to a professional.

“Extreme cases where the swelling damages the device are rare but can indeed be dangerous. It’s best  to remove from charger immediately and take it to the professionals who will be able to dispose of the battery safely.”

While batteries can’t be repaired and can only be replaced, there are third-party battery regulating apps to manage your power-saving, but do these actually work?

“Many third-party apps end up using more battery than they save. Best is to limit background app GPS- and data usage and lower your screen brightness,” suggests la Grange.

And regarding some practical tips on keeping your battery in tip-top shape, la Grange suggests some simple yet effective methods to extend the longevity.

“Keep battery charge between 20% and 100%; don’t leave device in charger after it’s fully charged; and don’t expose your device to extreme temperatures, for example don’t leave your phone in a car on a hot day.”

If you’re wondering if you need a new battery, or some tell-tale signs that your battery may be running its course, la Grange identified a symptoms to look out for.

“If your phone dies before your battery gets to 0% (even turning off at around 20%), your battery drains quickly after a full charge, or your phone software seems to be running slower to preserve power, you may need a battery replacement“.


If you’re in need of some smartphone repairs, get in touch with the trustworthy guys in town, WeFix. Check out the weFix online store and Tweet @weFix to say hi!