This Weeks Topic: How to make your device batteries last longer

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Have you ever heard the saying that you should fully charge and discharge your battery-powered gadgets? Is this really true?

Published 23/06/2020 by Christer-André

Since I was a kid, I was always told that rechargeable batteries should be charged to 100% and then discharged down to 0% for each cycle. One of the reasons given was that batteries have a “memory effect”, which is true for some old battery types such as nimh.

When it comes to lithium-ion batteries however, nothing could actually be further from the truth. Lithium-ion batteries are typically found in most portable electronics such as smartphones, the Oculus Quest, and most electric cars.

Apple recommends, as do many others, that you try to keep an iPhone battery between 40 and 80 percent charged.

I would say more moderately that the sweet spot is around 50% charge, but you should try to stay between 20 - 85% charge with your Oculus Quest (or phone) and NEVER go below 10%.

Any battery usage below 10% will impact the total lifespan of your device, and I would highly recommend only doing this for emergencies. If possible, turn off the device and charge it up to between 50-60%.

The reason for this is fairly technical and is related to the battery chemistry. If you want some more detailed information click on this link

Oculus Link

But what about using Oculus Link? Won’t it keep charging my Quest and keep it at 100%?

Luckily, your computers USB-port is usually not the same as a charger when it comes to power output. It basically is less powerful and will not be delivering enough power to both charge the battery and power the device.

With a typical usb 3.0 port, (found in all VR computers) the Quest will be slowly discharging. With a usb 3.1 it might have enough power to very slowly charge while you are using Oculus Link. But it will be slowly going up.

Sadly, the former also means that your Quest might still run out of battery after many hours of continuous use even when tethered to the laptop/desktop.

In either case you would ideally begin with the battery no higher than 85% and check to make sure you aren’t approaching 0% while using it.

It should be said tho, that any use of the Quest will still put some amount of wear on the battery. At some point, after many hundred charge/use cycles, you will eventually either need to connect it permanently to a power source or replace the internal battery.

Still, it is smart to minimize wear and I hope these tips do come in handy to increase the lifespan of your devices whether it’s your smartphone or the Oculus Quest.