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Types of Cell Phone Batteries

The battery is the lifeblood of your mobile phone. The designers of mobile phones try hard to minimize and use more efficiently the power that the batteries use, which in turn gives longer service from smaller, lighter cell phone batteries.

There are four basic types of rechargeable battery used in mobile phones. Let us examine the advantages and disadvantages of each of them.

Lithium Polymer (Li-Poly) Batteries

Li-Poly are the newest and most advanced technology for cell phone batteries. Ultra-lightweight, they do not suffer from memory effect and will deliver up to 40% more battery capacity than a Nickel Metal Hybrid (NiMH) of the same size.

“Memory effect” happens when rechargeable batteries are not fully discharged between charge cycles; as a result the battery “remembers” the shortened cycle and is thus reduced in capacity.

Not needing a cell casing makes Lithium Polymer cell phone batteries thinner and lighter batteries. However, they are still quite rare.


Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) Batteries

This is the current and most popular technology for cell phone batteries. The only real drawback of Lithium Ion cell phone batteries is that they are expensive. As such, they tend to be supplied with only top-of-the-line phones. Lithium Ion batteries are slightly lighter than NiMH batteries, but they also have a longer lifetime.

A Lithium Ion battery may be damaged by extensive overcharging (continuously on a cell phone charger for more than 24 hours).


Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) Batteries

Nickel Cadmium cell phone batteries are old technology. This is the rechargeable battery that most people are familiar with. NiCd batteries suffer from memory effect, and they must be completely discharged before recharging or else damage can occur. The chemicals used in NiCd batteries are not environmentally friendly, and the disposal of cadmium-rich waste is an increasing problem.

They are the cheapest variety of phone batteries. Their affordablility helps to bring down the overall cost of mobile phones.


Nickel Metal Hydrid (NiMH) Batteries

Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries claim to be superior to NiCd because they don't contain cadmium. The cell phone batteries are made from non-toxic materials and are environmentally friendly. They also deliver a higher capacity in relation to their size and weight.

NiMH cell phone batteries are relatively new technology and are prone to the “memory effect", but only to a very small extent. To maximize performance, it is advised to completely discharge the battery after every 20th recharge.

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