Charging Your HTC One and Managing Battery Life - dummies

Charging Your HTC One and Managing Battery Life

By Bill Hughes

Although you probably don’t have to plug your phone into an outlet right away, here’s a handy rule: The first time you do plug it in, allow it to charge overnight.

You’ll hear all kinds of “battery lore” left over from earlier battery technologies. For example, lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries don’t have a “memory” (a bad thing for a battery) as nickel-cadmium (NiCad) batteries did. And the HTC One does use Li-ion batteries. That means that you don’t have make sure the battery fully discharges before you recharge it.

Your phone comes with a two-piece battery charger (cable and the transformer).

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The cable has two ends: one end that plugs into the phone, and the other that’s a standard USB connector. The phone end is a small connector called a micro USB that is used on some recent HTC devices and is becoming the standard for charging cellphones and other small electronics — and for connecting them to computers.

To charge the phone, you have two choices:

  • Plug the transformer into a wall socket and then plug the cable’s USB plug into the USB receptacle in the transformer.

  • Plug the USB on the cable into a USB port on your PC.

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Then you plug the small end of the cable into the bottom of the phone. The USB is not rectangular. It’s more a trapezoid, where one of the long sides is slightly smaller than the opposite. Be sure to position the plug correctly when you push it all the way in.

Unplug the transformer when you aren’t charging your phone. A charger left plugged in will draw a small but continuous stream of power.

If your phone is Off when you’re charging the battery, an image of a battery appears onscreen for a moment. The green portion of the battery indicates the amount of charge within the battery. You can get the image to reappear with a quick press of the Power button. This image tells you the status of the battery without your having to turn on the phone.

If your phone is On, you see a small battery icon at the top of the screen showing how much charge is in the phone’s battery. When the battery in the phone is fully charged, it vibrates to let you know that it’s done charging and that you should unplug the phone and charger.

It takes only a few hours to go from a dead battery to a fully charged battery. Other than the first time you charge the phone, you don’t need to wait for the battery to be fully charged. You can partially recharge and run if you want.

In addition to the transformer and USB cable that come with the phone, you have other optional charging tools:

  • Travel USB charger: If you already have a USB travel charger, you can leave the transformer at home. This accessory will run you about $15. You still need your cable, although any USB-to-micro USB cable should work.

  • Car charger: You can buy a charger with a USB port that plugs into the power socket/cigarette lighter in a car. This is convenient if you spend a lot of time in your car. The list price is $30, but you can get a car charger for less at some online stores.

  • Photocell or fuel-cell charger: Several companies make products that can charge your phone. Some of these products use photovoltaic cells to transform light into power. As long as there is a USB port (the female part of the USB), all you need is your cable. These chargers can cost from $40 to $100 on up.

Ideally, use HTC chargers, chargers from your carrier — or at least chargers from reputable manufacturers. The power specifications for USB ports are standardized. Reputable manufactures comply with these standards, but less reputable manufacturers might not. Cheap USB chargers physically fit the USB end of the cable that goes to your phone.

However, Li-ion batteries are sensitive to voltage. If your phone detects something funny about your charger, your phone may notify you that it is limiting the charger to work more slowly. If you are in a hurry, you may want to get your HTC cable and transformer.

Li-ion batteries don’t like extreme heat. If your phone is with you, and you can stand the heat, your battery will be fine. Also be aware that the conditions that make for a good charge also tend to make for high heat. It will do you little good to have a beautifully functioning charger and a dead battery.

If you take good care of it, your battery should last about two years, with a drop in performance of about 25 percent from pristine condition out of the box. At that point, you can replace the battery or upgrade to the newest Galaxy phone.