How to Tell If You Need a New Cell Phone Battery

by David Lipscomb

As we use cell phones and smartphones for more and more things other than actually placing calls, the toll on the phone's battery increases. You may find that your phone's battery might last a day or a few hours under normal use, depending on how heavily your use the device. Over time, your battery will decrease to the point where it fails to hold a full charge, feels abnormally warm after charging or seems to deplete rapidly. These are among the signals that it's time to replace your phone's battery.

Feel the phone. Although most phones get warm to a certain degree during normal use, phones with dying batteries get unusually and noticeably warm even in standby.

Remove the battery and lay it on a flat surface. Batteries that routinely overheat during charge cycles eventually form a bulge, allowing them to spin like a top from a flat position. This is due to an internal bulge. Also, examine the battery from the side to see if it takes on an elliptical, as opposed to a rectangular appearance.

Note the times when your fully-charged battery nears the 20 percent threshold. If it lasts 6 to 8 hours, your low battery condition probably just indicates it requires another normal charge cycle, rather than replacement.

Recharge the battery until the phone indicates it is "full" -- this is best done overnight or at a time when you won't need the phone for a lengthy time. Examine the battery's behavior after it's charged to see if the charge lasts beyond a few minutes.


  • Some phones like the iPhone do not have a user-replaceable battery, but offer replacement for a fee.
  • Turn off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and other phone features when they're not in use. These features always search for a signal even if you're not in range, depleting battery life quickly.

About the Author

David Lipscomb is a professional writer and public relations practitioner. Lipscomb brings more than a decade of experience in the consumer electronics and advertising industries. Lipscomb holds a degree in public relations from Webster University.

Photo Credits

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