We all love our phones when we buy them. At first, it looks like that little device is going to serve you forever, or at least for the foreseeable future (3-4 years), because it was SO expensive and it runs so smooth (unlike the old hog you just replaced).
However, after a year or so, most phones experience battery degradation, mainly due to overnight charging and prolonged time spent at 100%. With it comes a slight loss of CPU speed, at first, since some manufacturers have taken Apple’s outdated business model of throttling performance to save some battery and maybe give you extra sluggish runtime throughout your day.
Chargie to the rescue
Meet Chargie – a small USB device that, connected to its app or working independently, prolongs battery lifespan big time by limiting and delaying full charging. It works with both Android and iOS devices.
This little device makes your phone charge just like an electric car. All Tesla vehicles, for example, charge by default to 90% and you can change that easily. Chargie has a UI that’s very similar to Tesla’s:
just drag the slider across its battery-shaped icon in the app and it will stop precisely at the percentage you set.
What’s interesting about this device is that it can operate independently of the phone’s rooting state, simply because the heavy lifting is done by external hardware and does not rely on
Android’s kernel functions. The switch inside Chargie can take up to 16V and 19A peak, with a regular 5A being able to pass through it continuously.
Meet hysteretic charging
Besides limiting the charging process, Chargie’s hysteretic algorithm ensures that even if you charge to a certain level, the process stops until the battery discharges by a set amount and restarts. This results in less stress to the battery, which increases its lifespan. According to the company, this type of charging also reduces the risk of fires and battery swelling.
Charge scheduling for everyone
In newer phones, some manufacturers like Apple have implemented a “smart” charging mode that tries to learn the user’s schedule (looks more like guesswork) and top up to 100% right before wake up time in the morning. Most of the time it doesn’t work, simply because people have irregular schedules, or because the algorithm is plain stupid not to allow the human to set things manually.
Chargie, on the other hand, has its “Top Up Scheduler” function that you can set up manually before going to bed. You just set an initial state of charge that will make Chargie juice up your phone up to that level right after plugging it in (e.g. 50%), after which it will maintain that state until top up starting time you set in the app, when it will resume going to 90 or even 100%.
Thus you can have one Chargie beside your bed, one at your desk and one in the kitchen for example. The app will always find the one you’ve physically connected to in the background, so you almost never have to open up the app – it just works.
Your phone can get hot while you’re charging it in the car on a hot summer’s day. In these situations, prolonged heat exposure will damage the battery’s internal structure. While all smartphones have overtemperature protection, the limit is quite high—usually 122°F. Chargie, on the other hand, lets you set a much lower overtemperature limit during a charge. That way, you can keep your battery as healthy and as safe as possible.
Universal battery protector
Chargie has been designed for use with any kind of lithium ion battery. Because there still are non-smart devices in everyone’s home, this little guy helps protect those too. Things like Bluetooth speakers, flashlight batteries, smartwatches, GPS devices or wireless headphones need battery protection even more than your phone does, because most of the time they stay charged to 100% and battery capacity is lost for good, which leads to premature device failure in most cases. Swelling occurs after a while and they may release toxic gases or even explode. See Samsung’s Note7. A funny thing is that Samsung did activate a kind of battery limiter in the affected phones, but ditched it immediately afterwards.
You just need to set up the Hardware Limiter mode in your app: while connected to your Chargie device, set the lower power threshold and then disconnect. Your Chargie will be able to work autonomously for an indefinite amount of time, and will make your battery live much longer. It can be even used on barebone lithium ion units, in maker projects.
Chargie’s latest hardware version (Chargie A Gold Edition) has gold-treated connectors and PCB, which make for zero corrosion and longer life even in humid conditions. This is great because one of its applications is protecting the batteries of forestal surveillance services that charge surveillance phones from solar panels, continuously. Its case is made of 3D-printed resin and has excellent fire-proof qualities and physical sturdiness.
How to get your Chargie
You can get Chargie at https://chargie.org for $29.99 and even cheaper if you buy in bulk. Use the “summer21” coupon at checkout to get an extra 5% discount.
The Chargie system is being designed, maintained and manufactured by Ovidiu Sandru – a serial innovator who’s had his share of bad experiences with failed batteries, and decided to do something about it.
Chargie has been exhibited in front of thousands of visitors at Maker Faire Rome, Vienna, Berlin and at the 2019 New Scientist Live in London. Since its inception in 2019, the Chargie device and app have been radically redesigned and improved in functionality and looks. Ovidiu’s company, Lighty Electronics, has sold over 12,000 units so far over the past few months, which makes a statement about the emerging sustainability trend Chargie has started two years ago.
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