Is Playing While Charging Bad?

Smartphones are a great invention, giving you the power of a supercomputer in the palm of your hand. But, despite using your phone every minute, it sometimes slips your mind that it needs charging, and it hits you when it’s almost shutting down. This can cause some anxiety, especially when watching a great video or playing good music. So, what comes to mind is the question, “is playing while charging bad for me or my gadget?”

When your phone battery charge runs low while playing, it’s safe to charge it while it’s still playing. However, note that your phone will charge slowly since the battery will be draining while charging simultaneously. You’ll also notice the battery getting warmer or hot, and this is a possible cause of battery degradation.

Is Playing While Charging Bad?  

Is Playing Music While Charging Bad?

No, it’s not. Many misconceptions exist about what would happen if you charged your phone while playing music. Some of them are misguided, while others contain bits of truth. It’s best to get your facts straight, as that will help prolong your phone battery’s life span. First, let’s look at why charging while playing is viable.

Battery Cycles

A new phone battery has approximately 300-500 cycles; the older the battery gets, the less power it can store. This is because phones have lithium-ion batteries, and the movement of lithium ions, metal, and electrodes physically contracts and expands the battery.

When you use your phone and completely drain the charge, you have to plug it in and miss a cycle there. But if you use your phone and drain it to about 80% and keep playing with it as it charges, that’s a fifth of a cycle.

A phone battery ages if you constantly recharge. However, playing music while your phone is plugged in prevents the battery from draining and controls recharge cycles, which translates to extended battery life.

Smart Charging

Smartphones are not only smart in terms of features and specs but also battery. Your phone is programmed to make decisions concerning its charging and battery system. In simple terms, when you are plugged in and playing music or video games, your phone runs off electricity from the charger, not the battery.

Older phones lacked the smart charge feature, and you would draw charge from the battery as it was charging, tremendously reducing battery life. Newer versions are not much better. If you’re keen, you’ll notice that your battery fills up slower as you play while connected to the charger. This is because most of the charge goes to power the music player while the battery only receives the excess.

Some phones have a Smart Charge feature which the system detects if you frequently plug in your phone while playing. The feature automatically activates and pauses the charging process when your phone hits a certain percentage. The Smart Charge feature doesn’t affect standard charging, but it does help to slow down battery aging.

Battery Strain

Playing music and video games while your phone is charging reduces battery strain. Playing directly from the phone drains the battery, and that causes pressure and eventually ages the battery. However, as you play while charging, the game and music apps derive electricity from the supply, not the battery.

Plugging in your phone while playing is a good technique as the battery isn’t taking in any extra strain, irrespective of the games or apps you are playing. In addition, the playing while charging method increases your battery’s lifespan.

using phone while charging

What Are The Risks and Effects of Charging While Playing?

Playing music or some heavy video games will also adversely affect your battery. Playing anything on your gadget while charging it is a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t kind of situation. Here are the potential risks and effects of playing on your phone while charging.

  • Overheating will be a common side effect of using your phone as it charges. The phone may even shut down due to the excess heat.
  • It can lead to bulging of the battery.
  • Your battery may eventually explode.
  • Your phone ends up having a decreased total charging capacity.
  • Playing on your phone while charging will eventually reduce the battery life.
  • It creates pressure on your phone charger, causing it to malfunction later.
  • It could lead to the leakage of harmful chemicals from the phone battery.
  • It could cause smartphone electrocution.
play phone while charging

There isn’t much harm to your battery when you play on a charging phone. The phone power management system is smart enough to decide whether it needs to draw charge from the battery or the charger.

When playing video games or music, the apps draw power from the charger, and the excess energy trickles and charges the battery. However, charging your phone to 100% and still having it plugged in harms your battery.

Tips to Increase Battery Life While Playing

Follow these tips to increase your battery lifespan.

1. Lower Your Screen Brightness

Screen brightness consumes a lot of charges, and the battery will drain faster if the phone is in play mode. So when playing games and music, it is essential to keep screen brightness levels as low as possible.

2. Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth both require power to run. So turning them off can save you some energy and help keep your battery healthy. However, the downside is that music apps like Spotify and Apple Music require Wi-Fi. In addition, music is best listened to with an external audio device like ear dots, speakers, or iPods, all of which demand a Bluetooth connection.

However, this tip[ may come in handy when playing from your phone’s storage.

3. Adjust Battery Usage Per App

Your phone can give you insights into your downloaded apps and how much power each consumes. With that kind of information, you can adjust or set a limit to the usage of a particular app and use them less frequently.

Adjusting the usage of other apps to save power gives you additional energy to spend playing games or music. In addition, turning on battery saver mode even when the battery is at 100% will help keep it healthy a bit longer.

4. Use Dark Modes

Turn on dark modes on apps that offer the feature and use dark wallpapers. Light mode consumes more power as the pixels need illumination to display on the screen. The brighter the pixel, the more power it consumes; hence dark modes and wallpapers save a lot of energy.

5. Follow the 80-20 Rule

The 80-20 rule has been proven to extend battery lifespan and keep it healthy despite playing heavy games and listening to music. The tip is to unplug your phone charger when the battery reaches 80% and only plug it in for charging when the phone is below 20%.

Lithium-ion batteries have 300-500 cycles which measure the longevity of your phone battery. Following the 80-20 rule helps delay the completion of processes, extending its lifespan and keeping it healthy.

Does Playing Games Reduce Battery Life?

Playing music, watching videos, and making calls consume less power while playing video games consumes more power. Some of the solutions to increase battery life when playing include the following:

  • Use the proper resolution and animation frame rate when playing.
  • Lower screen brightness to save on power
  • Avoid Bluetooth devices since Wi-Fi is required as an external speaker with a high volume consumes more power.
  • Reduce other apps’ usage and clear those that are not in use while playing.
  • If you are online gaming, ensure the network signal is strong and uninterrupted, as a weak signal increases the phone’s signal transmission strength which uses more power.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are some commonly asked questions about charging your phone while playing.

Does playing while charging damage the phone battery?

No, playing while charging doesn’t necessarily damage your phone. However, it isn’t a good habit. Playing video games or music on your phone while charging means you draw power from the charge and socket, not the battery.

The power is used in playing while the excess fills up the battery. Unplug your phone from the charger when the battery is full to avoid battery damage.

Will my phone explode if I charge while playing?

Fears related to the issue of phones exploding aren’t baseless, as there are cases of that happening. However, on everyday occasions, your phone will not spontaneously burst into flames if you charge it while playing.

Is it okay to charge my phone with my laptop while playing?

Yes, it is perfectly safe to charge your phone with a laptop. However, an issue arises when you place the charging phone on the computer, and both gadgets emit heat which can cause damage to the phone battery.

If you’re playing on your phone while it’s plugged into the laptop that’s charging, you’ll be drawing power directly from the laptop charger. Charging your phone with a laptop should be done only in emergencies like traveling and not as a daily habit.

At what percentage should I charge my phone while playing?

It is essential to plug in your phone with a charge lower than 20% and avoid draining the battery completely. In addition, avoid charging your phone above 80%, as a charging cycle is completed by charging your phone to the full battery, then draining it completely, and then recharging.

Brett Jones
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