Saving money and maybe increasing battery life in a smartphone?

I doubt many people read the instructions to things, especially new smartphones and electronic gadgets, or at least they don’t read them all the way through. I know I try to but really the excitement of a new toy gets in the way. And have you seen those instruction books? (it’s the little bit of paper that falls out saying ‘Read First’ in big letters, the bit you throw away) They are LONG, and boring and say things like ‘Don’t use your hairdryer in the bath’, so we rarely get past ‘how to switch the device on’ before we are playing.

But most devices with rechargeable batteries do have an important bit to read, the bit about charging.

eg from Samsung
When the battery is fully charged, first unplug the USBcable from the device, and then unplug the USB power adapter from the electrical socket.

To save energy, unplug the USB power adapter when not in use. The USB power adapter does not have a power switch, so you must unplug the USB power adapter from the electrical socket when not in use to
avoid wasting power. The device should remain close to the electrical socket while charging

Ensure maximum battery and charger life
Avoid charging batteries for more than a week, as overcharging may shorten battery life.
Over time, unused batteries will discharge and must be recharged before use.
Disconnect chargers from power sources when not in use

Now far be it for me to waffle on about over charging, you can read all about that here, and here and here. But it’s a thing. Overcharging your device wears it out faster and makes the battery rubbish much quicker. Overcharging is that thing you do that you call charging, ie plugging your phone in at the wall and going to bed.

Most smartphones suggest a charge time of three hours (check the iPad 3 though as this is slow to charge, and Apple products often have rules of their own!). And in this case more is not better. But when do we have a three hour slot to charge? Never, we are using the damn thing and the cable is approximately 3 inches long!

So when I discovered there was a plug you could buy that switched off after 3 hours I was filled with mixed emotions, anger that no one had told me about it before! Excitement, joy, geeky gladness.

And it works, I’ve been using it a week and already notice that the battery in my tablet computer is lasting a bit longer, not days or anything, but a bit.

And the plug I bought (yes ladies and gentlemen this is not a sponsored post, I bought mine from Amazon) has other options too. Half an hour or 6 hours. So it’s great for saving you from burning down the house by leaving the coffee machine or your curling tongs on, or for switching off a child’s light when they have been told they can have  half an hour to read in bed, to switch your radio off when you want to fall asleep listening but not be woken at 4am by the shipping forecast

I shall be buying a few more of these handy gadgets for the many rechargeable things we have around the house, the 24 hour recharge is dead (so is the battery) long live the 3 hour recharge.

Oh and it saves electricity too.