How to Charge and When to Charge?

Explore what conditions are best when charging any battery.
Early batteries were reserved for commercial use only, such as telecommunications, signaling, portable lighting and war activities. Today, batteries have become a steady travel companion of the public at large to reach a friend, they allow working outside the confines of four walls, provide entertainment when time permits and enable personal transportation. Best of all, batteries help in missions when people are in need.
Folks are eager to learn more about this wonderful portable energy device and one of the most common questions asked is, “What can I do to prolong the life of my battery?” Table 1 addresses how to care for your batteries to meet their needs. Because of similarities within the different battery families, the table addresses the needs and wants of only the most common systems by keeping in mind that these desires extend to almost all batteries in use.
Keep a battery at a moderate temperature. As food stays fresher when refrigerated, so also does cool temperature protect the battery by reducing internal corrosion, also known as parasitic reactions on the electrolyte and electrodes.
Avoid deep cycling. Each cycle wears the battery down by a small amount and a partial discharge is better than a full discharge. When possible, only apply a full discharge to calibrate a smart battery and to prevent “memory” on nickel-based batteries. Li-ion is maintenance-free and the battery lasts longest when operating between 30 and 80 percent SoC.
Avoid abuse. Like a machine that wears down quicker under strenuous work, so also is a battery stressed by harsh discharges and rapid charges. Use cells that are optimized for the power and energy requirements as per application and increase that pack size to minimize load-related stresses.
Avoid ultra-fast charge. Charge Li-ion Energy Cells at less than 1C (below rated Ah); Power Cells are more rugged and can be charged and discharged at a higher rate. NiCd is the only battery that can be fast charged up to 70 percent SoC without adverse side-effects.
Store Li-ion at partial charge in a cool place. The worst combination is high voltage and elevated temperature. Store Li-ion at approximately 50 percent SoC.

How To Take Care of Your Smartphone Battery the Right Way

Your smartphone is a minor miracle, a pocket-sized computer that can fulfill almost every whim. But none of its superpowers matter a bit if it runs out of juice. With removable batteries becoming more and more rare, you’ve got to take good care of the one you got. Fortunately, it’s not to hard keep the lithium-ion powering your everything-machine happy if you follow a few simple rules.
Obviously, the first rule for extending your battery life is not using up all your battery life playing Candy Crush and walking around with Wi-Fi and GPS enabled when you’re not using either and really, really need your phone to last that extra hour. But aside from that, there are some basic rules for care and charging, and they’re the simplest baseline for a healthy battery.
Top it off
You may vaguely recall hearing something about rechargeable batteries and the “memory effect.” You know, that if you don’t “teach” your rechargeable batteries their full potential by taking them from totally full to totally empty, they’ll “forget” part of their capacity. Well forget all that. Right now. It does not apply to your phone.
Battery memory is a real thing, but it applies to nickel-based batteries; your trusty sidekick (literal Sidekick or otherwise) doubtlessly has a lithium-ion battery, and it needs to be treated a little differently. Specifically, it should be topped off whenever you get the chance.
To get the most out of a lithium-ion battery, you should try to keep it north of 50 percent as much as possible. For the most part, going from all the way full to all the way empty won’t help; in fact, it’ll do a little damage if you do it too often. That said, it’s smart to do one full discharge about once a month for “calibration,” but don’t do it all the time. Running the whole gamut on a regular basis won’t make your battery explode or anything, but it will shorten its lifespan.
But! You don’t want to have battery charging constantly either; lithium-ion batteries can get overheated. Luckily for you, your charger is smart enough to help with this, and will cut your phone off for a spell once it’s full. And to complicate matters a even further, your battery doesn’t particularly like being all the way full either. In fact, your battery will behave the best if you take it off the charge before it hits 100 percent, and leaving it plugged when it’s already full is going to cause a little degradation.
So if you’re really particular about optimizing your battery’s life, you should try to go from around 40 percent to around 80 percent in one go, and then back down whenever possible. A bunch of tiny charges throughout the day is your second best bet, and going from zero to 100 and then 100 to zero on a regular basis will put the most strain on your lithium-ion battery.
Keep it cool
It’s easy to worry about bad charging habits thanks to the training we’ve had from old rechargeable batteries, but lithium-ion batteries have a worse enemy than sub-optimal charging: Heat. Your smartphone’s battery will degrade much, much faster when it’s hot, regardless of whether it’s being used or just sitting around doing nothing.
At an average temperature of 32 degrees fahrenheit, a lithium-ion battery will lose six percent of its maximum capacity per year. At 77 degrees, that number jumps to 20 percent, and at 104 degrees it’s a whopping 35. Sure, it’s not exactly practical (or sane) to keep your phone in the fridge, but it’s worth going out of your way to prevent long stays in hot cars and the like.
Avoid wireless charging
Wireless charging can be incredibly convenient if your phone can do it, but it’s not without its disadvantages. The inductive, wireless chargers out there today have this nasty habit of generating a fair bit of waste heat. And while wasted energy is just a bummer in general, that heat will also toast your battery in the process. That’s no bueno. It’s a little less convenient, but standard plug-in charging is going to keep your battery in better shape, especially if you’re some place warm to begin with.
Never go to zero
If you’re going to be shelving any lithium-ion battery for a long time, try to leave it with at least 40 percent battery power to tide it over. Lithium-ion batteries don’t hemorrhage power when their not in use, but they’ll lose maybe five to ten percent of their charge each month.
And when lithium-ion batteries get too low—like, literally zero percent—they get seriously unstable, and dangerous to charge. To prevent explosion-type disasters when you go to charge one that’s been sitting around for a month or two, lithium-ion batteries have built-in self-destruct circuits that will disable (read: destroy) the battery for good, if it reaches rock bottom. And sure, that’ll save you from a face full of battery-acid, but it’ll also leave you short one battery.
Only charge fast when you need to
A lot of newer phones support some sort of “fast charging” feature. These suckers will let you juice your phone up from zero to around half-full in just about a half hour. It’s a life-saver for when you’ve only got a few minutes to spare, but it’s also not great for you battery. Surprise!
Lithium-ion batteries live their longest lives when charged and discharged at low, consistent speeds. Fast charging is not that. But since fast charging is only for the beginning of a charge cycle—and phones and their chargers are smart enough to only apply the extra voltage when it’s useful—the damage isn’t too bad. Still, if you’re not in a hurry, it’s probably better for your battery to apply a slow and steady charge through a low-voltage charger.
Don’t sweat it too much
It’s easy to get protective of your battery, but it’s also easy to get lazy. And that’s fine, because as long as you’re not a complete idiot, you’ll be OK. Typically, a lithium-ion battery lasts for three to five years, and chances are you’re going to want to swap out your gadgets sometime in that window anyway. The slight damage of a technically bad idea—like leaving your phone plugged in all night every night, or using fast charging when you need it—is worth the convenience.
Still, it’s pretty easy to keep your battery reasonably healthy just by avoiding particularly egregious torture like letting your phone discharge from full to zero every single day, or leaving it in a hot car all the time. And the next time you make it back home with power to spare, you’ll thank yourself for it.

LG Q8 unveiled: a 5.2″ version of the V20

LG quietly launched the Q8, which is by all accounts a mini V20. It doesn’t have a widescreen display like the Q6, but it does have a 5.2” QHD panel with a secondary display to the side of the selfie camera. The back also looks just like the V20, dual camera and all.
The LG Q8 is practically a flagship device. It has a metal body with IP67 waterproofing, Quad DAC, even a Snapdragon 820 chipset. Not quite the 821 inside the G6, but much, much better than the paltry Snapdragon 435 of the Q6.
The phone will give Android 7.0 Nougat decent room with 4GB of RAM and 32GB storage (with a microSD slot). And you’re getting a 3,000mAh battery, not bad for a phone this size (note that it is non-removable).
Here’s a bit more on the two main features of the phone. The dual camera will combine a 13MP sensor (1/2.6”, 1.12µm, f/1.8) plus a wide-angle lens (135°/10mm, f/2.4) in front of an 8MP sensor (1/4”, 1.12µm). The main camera features OIS and can shoot 4K 2160p video. There’s a 5MP selfie camera on the front with a wide lens (120°) that can record 1080p video.
Then there’s the screen. It’s a Quantum IPS – the panel type used on flagship LGs – that is protected by Gorilla Glass 4. It promises a hefty 500nits of brightness. The secondary screen has 160 x 1,040px resolution, same as on the V20 (though obviously it is physically smaller).
The LG Q8 will launch this month, so now the big question is “how much?”. This could make a stellar alternative to the G6 for those looking to pay less.

New Huawei nova 2 plus versions pass through the FCC, should launch outside of China soon

Huawei unveiled the nova 2 and nova 2 plus handsets back in May, but so far these have only been sold in the company’s home country of China. That, however, should change soon – at least for the bigger nova 2 plus. That’s because the US FCC has recently certified two new versions of this smartphone.
While the nova 2 plus sold in China has the model number BAC-AL00, the FCC has given its go-ahead to the BAC-L03 and BAC-L23. These will thus be offered in markets other than China. The BAC-L03 will be a single-SIM version, while the BAC-L23 will come with dual-SIM functionality.
As usual, the FCC certification process doesn’t reveal where the device will be launched, but since Huawei has a global footprint in smartphone sales, expect it to reach a lot of new markets in due course. The nova 2 plus comes with a 5.5-inch 1080p touchscreen, the Kirin 659 chipset, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of expandable storage, and a 3,340 mAh battery. It runs Android 7.0 Nougat underneath Huawei’s EMUI 5.1, and it’s got a dual rear camera setup (12 MP + 8 MP). The front-facing shooter has a whopping 20 MP resolution for very detailed selfies.

Lenovo launches Moto Z2 Play

The latest device has been released alongside new gaming and wireless charging Moto Mods
Lenovo has launched the latest Motorola handset the Moto Z2 Play along side a range of new and updated Moto Mods.
Compatible with all previous Moto Mods and all future Mods, the Z2 Play boasts a 30-hour battery life and upgraded camera.
The rear snapper is now a 12MP dual autofocus pixel camera with laser autofocus with a 5MP wide view lens and flash added to the front of the device.
Inside, the device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 processor on four GB of RAM running Android 7.1.1 Nougat.
Moto Mods
Lenovo also released new Moto Mods compatible with all devices in the Moto Z family, past and present.
JBL SoundBoost 2, Moto GamePad and a style shell that enables wireless charging have been added to the line of Moto Mods that include a Hasselblad True Zoom, TurboPower pack and Insta-Share 70-inch Projector.
The Moto Z2 Play, available now, will come in grey, gold, blue or black and can be ordered from the Motorola website and available in John Lewis, Amazon, Argos from August, priced at £379 .

Google creates personalized stream of news on iOS and Android

Back in December Google previewed a feed as a new feature. Today it evolves into a stream of news and other relevant cards for all Android and iOS users. Google is relying on the gathered info through searches and cookies to provide personalized information.
The company hopes the app will be used as frequently as Facebook and Twitter on mobile. It will include sports highlights, news, YouTube trending videos and stories to read. It will also have flight info, weather updates, recipes and upcoming events in the calendar in a separate tab.
When a card seems irrelevant, you can unsubscribe from the topic and from the whole media outlet as well. You can also add your favorite sports teams to receive live results and standings through the Settings option or a new “Follow” button Google is implementing in the search.
Most of the features are not new – they were a thing back when Google Now was used. Now that service is replaced by the feed and the advanced Google Assistant.
The new feed is launching initially in the US. It will roll out internationally in the next couple of weeks. The app should update automatically when the upgrade is available.

Samsung OWY phone certified with Bluetooth 5.0

The Bluetooth SIG just certified a Samsung phone called OWY. That’s an unusual name for sure, it doesn’t fit with the company’s usual naming scheme. Still, it’s curious because it supports Bluetooth 5.0, the latest version of the wireless protocol.
Only very recent chipsets support that protocol – the Snapdragon 835, of course, but also the 660 and 630. Samsung’s Exynos 8895 does too. So whatever this phone is, we’re looking at a shiny new chipset – either a flagship one or a new (still to reach the market) premium mid-range chip.

Apple is once again selling Nokia products

Apple is once again directly selling Nokia products through its online store, and they should be available in its physical retail locations soon too. That’s not an error – we’re obviously not talking about smartphones here, even though more and more Nokia-branded Android handsets are starting to appear. Apple would definitely never offer those, but it is eager to sell you a Nokia connected health device or two.
These products, ranging from scales to thermometers to blood pressure monitors, were formerly Withings-branded. Nokia bought Withings last year and has since renamed all of those accessories, using its own brand.
So the Nokia Body Cardio and Body+ scales are up for grabs from Apple, as are the Thermo and BPM+ (the former a thermometer, the latter a blood pressure monitor). Apple had been selling the original Withings products, but then some patent lawsuits filed by Nokia against it prompted a halt of those sales. A legal settlement regarding those lawsuits was reached between the two companies in May, and this cleared the way for Nokia connected health devices to be available in Apple stores.

Toshiba shows us the Yoga-like Satellite Radius, plus two new detachable notebooks

Poor Lenovo. HP co-opted its contortionist laptop design in February with the Pavilion x360, and now Toshiba is introducing a Yoga copycat. The Satellite Radius is a 15.6-inch convertible with a 360-degree hinge that offers five usage modes: Laptop, tablet, presentation, audience, and tabletop.

In a briefing last week, Toshiba’s Senior Product Marketing Manager Carrie Cowan pointed out that Lenovo doesn’t offer a Yoga model with a display this large. “We’re targeting the mobile worker who needs to make presentations on the road,” said Cowan. “This is a high-end laptop that’s convertible.”

The Satellite Radius will feature an aluminum enclosure and will be available with either an Intel Core i5 processor and a 750GB hard drive for $926, or a Core i7 CPU and a 1TB drive for $1049. Both models will come with 8GB of memory, LED-backlit keyboards, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapters with support for Bluetooth 4.0. The IPS display will offer native resolution of 1920×1080 pixels.

Holding this 4.85-pound computer in tablet mode is a tall order. I imagine most people will cradle it in the crook of one arm, if they use it tablet mode at all, because it’s just too heavy to hold any other way. But the large display will be terrific in “presentation” mode (with the laptop set up like a tent) and “audience” mode (with the keyboard facing down and the display at a right angle to it. Cowan told me a “smart-lock” feature can be configured to turn the keyboard off when it’s not needed.

Toshiba will bundle a copy of Nuance’s Dragon Assistant with the Satellite Radius, which will have dual-array microphones embedded in its bezel. The convertible will be equipped with Harman Kardon speakers and DTS Sound audio-processing software. Cowan said the Radius will be available in July at Best Buy and directly from Toshiba.

Toshiba’s Click convertible gets a revamp, too

Toshiba also showed me two new notebooks with detachable displays. “Detachables have been out of reach for the average consumer,” said Cowan. So Toshiba will price the budget-oriented Satellite Click 2 at just $587 when it ships in July. That will buy you a 13.3-inch IPS display (with native resolution of 1366×768 pixels) that can detach from its keyboard dock to become a tablet.

A new docking mechanism eliminates the need to push a button or slide a catch to release the display: You simply push down on the top edge of the display and pull it away from the dock. The prototype I saw last week didn’t work perfectly—one side kept getting stuck—but you can’t expect prototypes to be perfect. Cowan said the combo will be 0.9 inches thick and tip the scales at 4.85 pounds , while the tablet on its own will measure 0.55 inches thick and weigh 2.81 pounds.

The Click 2 will be entirely passively cooled, but I don’t imagine it will be a barn-burner when it comes to benchmarks, being powered by a Bay Trail-class CPU (a quad-core Intel Pentium N3530) and 4GB of memory. Storage will come in the form of a 500GB mechanical hard drive. On the upside, it will come with an 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapter and an HD webcam.

Since the drive resides in the tablet half of the duo, Toshiba is including its own impact sensor software that moves the read/write heads away from the platters when it detects vibrations that might jeopardize data integrity.

Toshiba collaborated with headphone manufacturer Skullcandy to design the Click 2’s audio system. Cowan handed me a pair of Skullcandy’s Crusher headphones for a quick listen, and the cans literally vibrated in time with the bass beat. I doffed them in short order, but I’m clearly not the target market (for the record, I don’t think much of Beats headphones, either).

Toshiba’s Satellite Click 2 Pro will be more of a performance play. It will be offered in two configurations, one of which will feature additional storage and a second battery in its keyboard dock. Cowan said Toshiba expects the Click 2 Pro will last around 9.5 hours with both batteries. Like the Click 2, the Click 2 Pro will have a 13-inch IPS display, but the native resolution on this model will jump to 1920×1080 pixels. Like the less-expensive Click 2, a push-down-to-release mechanism connects the display to its keyboard dock.

The Click 2 Pro will be available with either an Intel Core i5 CPU and 4GB of memory for $1029, or a Core i7 processor and 8GB of RAM for $1280. Both configurations will come with a 128GB SSD and an 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapter, but the Core i7 model will come with a supplemental 500GB hard drive and a second battery in its keyboard dock. Those prices are considerably lower than the $1799, business-oriented Portege Z10t I reviewed in April.

The Click 2 Pro will also have more ports than the Click—including a micro HDMI port and dual cameras in the tablet half of the equation. Toshiba tapped Harman Kardon and DTS to help design the audio system in the Click 2 Pro. Toshiba expects both configurations to be available by the end of June.

How to Receive a Wi-Fi Hotspot on a Home Desktop PC

It’s easy to receive a Wi-Fi hotspot connection on a laptop, but most people don’t know that you can receive a connection on your home desktop personal computer. Getting wireless access on your desktop PC is just a matter of installing a wireless adapter to your home desktop PC. Using a wireless network connection on your desktop PC helps reduce wiring and allows you to station your Internet connection source farther away from the desktop PC.

Install a wireless adapter to your home desktop PC. Most wireless adapters come in the form of a USB dongle that can be plugged into one of the USB ports of your computer. Plug in the wireless adapter and follow the installation instructions that came with the adapter. A more permanent solution is to install a wireless adapter card into one of the expansion slots of your desktop. This solution is more work-intensive and requires opening your desktop computer.2

Open the network configuration settings on your home desktop PC. Scroll through the list of available wireless networks until you see the name of your desired hotspot. Click on the name of the hotspot and enter any security information needed to connect to it.

Navigate to a website to confirm that you have network access. Attempt to access another website if you cannot access the current one. If you cannot reach any websites, check that the wireless adapter is operating correctly.