Problem: Your phone dies by lunchtime

Why does it seem like phone batteries just aren’t getting any better? Every year we’re promised battery life that bests what’s currently on the market and after six months we’re back to having dead smartphones before we even have a chance to dig into our lunch. Well, I have good news and bad news: The bad news is that because virtually every smartphone relies on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, and that particular technology has a habit of degrading in a big way over time, it’s pretty much impossible to trick your battery into being more hardy. The good news, thankfully, is that you can take steps early on to keep your battery in the best shape for a longer time.

Solution: Treat your battery better
First things first: Batteries get worse over time because rechargeable tech can only handle a limited number of recharges and full discharges before it starts to poop out. Letting a lithium ion battery discharge almost to the point of dying is extremely bad for it, and the universal consensus is that you should do everything in your power to keep your phone from falling below 20%. If you make a habit of letting your phone hit 2% before recharging it, it’ll degrade faster than normal, and you’ll soon see your phone biting the dust right in the middle of your day. Do everything you can to keep your phone topped off, and avoid running it dry.

Okay, so what do you do if you’ve already got a busted battery and your phone is one of the many that don’t allow you to actually swap it out? You have a few options, but your best bet is to grab a portable battery pack — the ones built into cases, like the Mophie Juicepack, are a great option if you’re prone to losing things, but you can also go for a separate accessory like those from Anker, which can provide several full backup charges.

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