What Is the Life Span of a Cell Phone Battery?

By Jeff Columbus

Although cell phones have advanced exponentially since their introduction to the wireless market, they are still rendered useless by a dead battery. Consequently, it is important to monitor and optimize battery performance. A cell phone battery's lifespan depends on a number of factors, and most of them hinge on the care taken by the owner.


The average life span of a cell phone battery is from 400 to 500 charge cycles. That means the average battery lasts from one to two years. A decrease in the duration of the battery's lifespan between charge cycles indicates that the battery should be replaced. Lithium ion batteries usually maintain their full capacity for most of their lifetimes, and then die suddenly.


You can maximize your cell phone's battery by limiting your number of charges. Charging a phone when it is at half power, as opposed to a phone with depleted power, trains a battery to hold only half of a charge. If possible, only charge the phone when its power has been completely depleted. If this seems like too much, charge the phone every other day rather than plugging the phone in every time you're near an outlet.


Extreme temperatures also hurt battery life, so if you must leave the phone in a warm or cold environment, ensure that it is well protected. Avoid sunlight during the summer, and keep the phone well covered during the winter. Leaving a phone in a car in the middle of the afternoon, where temperatures can exceed 80 degrees Celsius, is a common mistake that hurts battery life.


The two most common types of cell phone batteries are nickel cadmium (NiCd) and lithium ion (Li-ION) batteries. Nickel cadmium batteries are low maintenance with a high performance rate, which means they can sustain normal power until the battery is nearly exhausted. Lithium ion batteries have twice the energy of nickel cadmium batteries, and they are 33 percent lighter. Most new cell phone batteries are lithium ion.


Dispose of cell phone batteries at the nearest recycling facility. Cell phone batteries contain toxins that can hurt the environment if the battery is disposed of improperly.