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Updated by Gavin Phillips on 04/22/2017
Faced with a low battery warning right before you need to leave? These neat tricks can help you charge your smartphone faster than usual so you aren’t left with a brick in your hand.
Now, these hacks are not going to get you more battery life out of the phone. We are going to concentrate only on the speed of charging, so that when you have a plug point nearby, you’ll know what to do!
Switch It Off Or Switch Off The Right Settings
It’s simple logic. If you switch your phone off, it doesn’t have to look for Wi-Fi networks, hop on a 4G network or even mark its location on GPS. Since the phone is turned off, the battery has to do nothing but charge itself. An alternative proposition is to put your phone on Airplane Mode to speed up the charging process, but you must refrain from using it while it’s charging — your screen is the biggest battery drain.
This is the easiest advice to follow but most people will ignore it through fear. “What if someone wants to get in touch with me and my phone isn’t turned on?” If you need to receive calls, keep your cellular reception enabled, and switch off everything else, especially your data connection (3G/4G). Also, turn your screen’s brightness to its lowest setting and keep the screen off for as long as possible.
Use The Right Power Adapter and Cable
This can’t be stressed enough. All gadgets work with different chargers, so the power adapter that comes with your smartphone is what you need to charge your device. Ryan Dube has explained how chargers work in detail, so I’m going to stick to just what you need to know: pay attention to the amp rating. Your charger will have something like this written on it: 5.0V->1A.
That 1 amp of current is what most smartphones need. If the charger has a higher amperage rating, don’t worry — your phone will still charge, but at a faster rate. If the rating is lower than 1A, then your phone will charge slower than it probably should. Note that this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, but is true for most modern smartphones and tablets.
It’s also important to use the right cable with your power adapter. Again, it’s best to stick with what you received in the box.
Use A Wall Plug Point, Not A USB Port
The great part about your smartphone is that it can be charged through your laptop’s USB port. But this charges your phone a lot slower. There are a few reasons for this.
First, just like we talked about with power adapters, USB ports usually only charge at 0.5A, so it’s going to take more time compared to a 1A power adapter. Even a USB 3.0 port only goes up to 0.9A at its maximum — and chances are, you aren’t going reach that. Second, if you connect your iPhone to your Mac, for instance, it’s going to start syncing immediately, which causes your phone to charge even more slowly.
If you absolutely must use a USB port, then ExtremeTech recommends spending $25 to grab yourself a Practical Meter, which is a little gizmo designed to optimize charging through a USB port. And yeah, you can also use it in conjunction with any wall adapter too!
Remove Cases and Covers, Find A Cool Spot
While you don’t need to always remove the cases and covers when charging a smartphone, it’s beneficial to do that when you need to be quick about it. Smartphone batteries use lithium-ion, which follows a simple principle: a cooler battery is a better battery. So removing cases and covers will help keep the battery at room temperature or lower. It’s also smart to look for a cool spot, like the blast from a wall-unit air conditioner. Of course, none of this is needed if the average temperature in your room is already below 30 degrees Celsius.
Don’t Forget About Power Banks
While these tips are great to charge your phone faster, they do tie you down to a spot. I have found that power banks (battery packs) can be a great way to keep charging your phone even after you are no longer near a plug point.
How do you keep your phone cool while it charges? Do you have any fast charging tips for our readers? What is your go-to power bank? What’s your take on power banks? Would you rather use that over these tricks, or is it another cumbersome gadget to carry around? Let us know your thoughts below!