Many people think that the batteries are all the same and the most they know is that they differ in capacity. But this knowledge is not enough to understand modern energy storage devices. In fact, the differences between them are much more important than it might seem at first glance. Unfortunately, device manufacturers do not give a choice of the battery that is built into them, but you can choose another manufacturer or simply refuse the gadget. If you have ever bought a device with a battery or are just going to buy it, then it is better to read the materials provided in this article.
You can charge your phone in different ways, but the battery must be correct.
What batteries are in phones
It just so happened that lithium-ion batteries (Li-ion) were historically installed in smartphones and other similar devices. They do not have a memory effect, they are quite durable and not very heavy. We can say that everything in them is good. Well, or it was good up to a certain point.
Manufacturers have now begun to switch to a new type of battery called lithium polymer (Li-poly). This type is more versatile and suitable for all kinds of consumer electronics. Considering the problem of overheating of lithium-ion batteries, the transition to a new type is good news.
Battery safety, especially amid stories of exploding smartphones, is a major concern and an important topic of discussion. Let's see what they are and why you need to pay attention to them when choosing and especially when storing.
How lithium-ion batteries work
Few people know, but the lithium-ion battery appeared back in 1912, but it was used extremely rarely until Sony paid attention to it in 1991 and began to actively introduce it into its cameras, players and other devices.
The “new” type of batteries turned out to be relatively inexpensive to manufacture, had a high energy density and had no memory effect, that is, it was impossible to spoil it with frequent charges at half its capacity.
These batteries consist of two positive and negative electrodes separated by a liquid chemical electrolyte such as ethylene carbonate or diethyl carbonate. Due to the peculiarities of the chemical composition, such a battery can only be rectangular. This is why L-shaped batteries in smartphones are often just two batteries connected to each other.
This is how the battery can swell if something is wrong with it.
The capacity of a lithium-ion battery will decrease over time. The more charge cycles, the lower the battery capacity. And also such a battery has self-discharge properties. It can be discharged when it just lies and is not used. Even separate from the device.
A serious disadvantage of such batteries is that the electrolyte in them becomes unstable at extreme temperatures and shell punctures. This leads to “heat exhaustion” and ignition. However, do not immediately put the phone away in a room with concrete walls. This happens very rarely – it's just possible. In order to prevent this from happening, special controllers are provided that will do everything so that the battery does not overheat.
How lithium polymer batteries work
The technology of lithium polymer batteries is newer than lithium-ion batteries. The first such batteries were created in the 70s of the last century and only recently appeared in smartphones. For example, Samsung made the switch to a lithium polymer battery only with the Galaxy S20 series. Others have been using the technology for a little longer.
Lithium polymer batteries also use positive and negative electrodes, but the electrolyte inside them is not liquid, but solid, porous or gel-like. As a result, the risk of heat exhaustion and electrolyte leakage in such batteries is much lower. In addition, they are more durable and can even bend to a certain level. This is especially useful for some types of devices, especially those used in difficult environments. In short, they are a little safer, but they still use thermal protection systems.
The main disadvantage of this technology is the significantly higher production cost. Lithium polymer batteries have a shorter life cycle, and they also store less energy than lithium-ion batteries of the same physical size.
The batteries need to be charged. It is harmful for them to be discharged.
Which battery is better
Both types of batteries have their own pros and cons. Lithium-ion batteries offer the highest capacities at the lowest prices. Convenient if you want an inexpensive phone that lasts more than a day on battery. The disadvantage of Li-ion is the gradual self-discharge. For a daily gadget, this does not really matter, but with long-term storage, this must be taken into account. They are also more dangerous than their newer counterparts.
In comparison, lithium polymer batteries are safer, which is especially important these days with the development of ultra-fast charging. These batteries also have a very low self-discharge rate, so they barely run out of power if you're not using them – great for gadgets that aren't used frequently. However, all of these advantages result in higher cost, shorter lifespan and lower capacity for the same size. Although lithium polymer batteries are lighter and you get less capacity per unit volume, it will be more per unit weight.
Overall, lithium polymer batteries are replacing lithium-ion batteries in the smartphone industry due to their superior safety, form factor versatility, and weight performance in high-end and mid-range devices. The more affordable models, though, are likely to stick with lithium-ion battery technology for a long time to come.
Questions about choosing a battery
On the Web, in our Telegram chat and in search statistics, you can find the following frequently asked questions, which I will now give the answer to.
Li-ion battery safe
Malfunctions and accidental damage to lithium-ion batteries are very rare. Therefore, this technology can be considered very safe. Even against the background of the even greater safety of lithium-polymer batteries, it is still very, very high, and the cases reported in the press happen once in tens of millions of devices. So you don't have to worry. Especially if you avoid extreme heat and damage to the battery case.
Take care of the battery and it will not let you down.
Are lithium polymer batteries safe
First of all, the safety of lithium-polymer batteries is achieved due to the absence of a liquid electrolyte inside. Therefore, such a battery is more resistant to temperatures and mechanical stress. In the end, yes, it is safe. It is even safer than a lithium-ion battery.
Can i recycle lithium-ion batteries
It is not only possible, but also necessary to dispose of any batteries. This is a damn harmful thing that even alone can cause severe harm to the environment. Batteries are now accepted in a very large number of places, including shopping malls, office buildings and supermarkets. By donating batteries or a broken phone there, you will, without exaggeration, make a great contribution to the environment.
Can lithium polymer batteries be recycled?
What has been said about lithium-ion batteries also applies to lithium-polymer batteries. They must also be disposed of. This is important and correct. Don't think that one battery won't solve anything. There are too many harmful chemicals in it that will get into the soil, and these are the vegetables you eat and the water you drink. Better to recycle.