Phone Battery 101

Smartphone battery charging
Get the scoop on everything you need to know about the battery that powers your phone.

When you're in the market for a new phone, you might notice details about batteries and their capacity as you do your research. And if you're like many people, you might not be sure what to do with that information. Does the type of battery matter? What does the information really mean? Here, Net10 covers the basics of phone batteries to help you understand the technology that powers your phone.

Common batteries

Each battery type has its own chemistry and unique qualities.

Batteries all provide power for your phone, but each different type has its own chemistry and unique qualities. There are many types of cell phone batteries available today, but the following are the most common:

  • Lithium-Ion: Known as “Li-ion,” the high-energy density of lithium-ion batteries can be found in a large majority of cell phones. Lithium is the lightest of all metals and offers the most energy density per weight, both of which make it a popular choice for handheld device power.
  • Lithium-Polymer: “Li-ion polymer” for short, this newer type of battery offers all of the benefits of a traditional Li-ion battery, but its ultra-slim design makes it the ideal choice for modern smartphones.
  • Nickel Cadmium (NiCd): These batteries offer long life and an economical price, but also feature a high discharge rate and lower energy density. Because of this, they are less commonly found in cell phones, but frequently used in two-way radios, power tools and video cameras.
  • Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH): These environmentally friendly batteries have a higher energy density compared to NiCd, but also a reduced cycle life. They can be found in mobile phones and laptops, but they are more commonly used in other household devices.
mAh measurement explained

While cell phone batteries come in an array of shapes and sizes, they all have one thing in common – the mAH measurement. By definition, the term mAh represents a milliampere hour, which measures a battery's electrical capabilities. This value is calculated by multiplying the discharge current’s amperes by the amount of time the battery stays charged.

Of course, the level of use can also affect a battery's efficiency. Two users with the same battery capacity might find that their phones need charging at very different rates. For example, if one user sends a few texts and checks her email, but another streams videos, uses GPS navigation and scrolls through social media, the second user will diminish her battery capacity much more quickly.

All in all, battery type and capacity are an important consideration in choosing the right smartphone. It's important to read reviews and evaluate your phone usage to determine how much battery power you'll need. That way, you can rest assured you'll be able to use your device without restriction.

Moving forward

Understanding the technology inside your phone makes it easier to find a device that works for you. Now all that's left to do is choose a wireless provider who does the same. Net10 makes it easy with flexible service plans to fit your needs with additional deeper discounts for AutoPay and nationwide coverage on one of America's largest and most dependable 4G LTE networks. Find a new device or keep your own phone – either way, you'll enjoy everything you love about your current network for less.