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What You Need To Know About Your Cell Phone Battery

BOSTON (CBS) - There is no doubt Americans are hooked on their phones. It seems we talk, text, and email 24-7. All that activity puts a big burden on the cell phone's battery. Not all the functions we use draw the same level of power.

WBZ-TV's Paula Ebben reports

"Some people have the Internet on their phone these days and that really drains the battery," said Matt Beckham from Batteries Plus.

The first thing to do is learn how to shut down your Internet browser when it is not in use. Same with email. They're power sponges.

There are now some Apps that can help close down programs not in use.

"The popular thing these days is small, thin phones. Battery companies want small, thin batteries," said Beckham.

Thinner phones require smaller batteries which tend to have less capacity.

One option is to get an extended battery, but be prepared for a larger unit. They are about twice the size. Motorola and other venders have come out with portable charging devices which are basically the equivalent of carrying an extra battery. You just plug it into your phone.

Old cell phone batteries had what they call "charging memory." Recharging them wrong could cost the battery some of its life. Cell phones today run on lithium ion batteries.

"The ion battery doesn't have a charging memory," explained Beckham. "It doesn't matter if you run it all the way down and charge it all the way up."

It is important to know, however, that these batteries don't last forever.

"Batteries only have a certain number of charge, discharge cycles which is when you charge it up and let it discharge. Usually lithium ion batteries have a charge-discharge cycle rate of about 300. After that, the batteries starts to weaken," said Beckham.