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How to stop your smartphone battery exploding

It’s not that uncommon to hear about a phone exploding or bursting into flames. In one instance, Galaxy S4 caught fire and burned down an entire apartment1, and in another, a girl’s phone battery exploded while she was sleeping. So we thought we’d share some reasons why this could happen, along with some tips to prevent your smartphone battery from exploding.

Stop your smartphone battery exploding with these tips. / ANDROIDPIT

First let us make a one point clear: unless there is a serious flaw in the assembly or design of the battery, it’s highly unlikely for an electronic device, be it a smartphone, tablet or clock radio, to explode. Even in the rare cases when it does happen, it is often not the fault of the battery alone. More often than not, the incident is caused by one of two factors: either the battery or the charger is not the original product.

Lithium batteries can suffer from a problem called thermal runaway, whereby excess heat promotes more excess heat and so on. Because of this, they are equipped with a system that protects against overcharging and prevents hazardous reactions of the chemicals contained within. It is often said that the inexpensive batteries produced by unknown companies are just as reliable as manufacturer originals. This is only partly true.

One of the best ways to avoid an exploding battery is to not hit it with a hammer. / Guideslept C2H5OH

Because cell phone batteries are becoming thinner, there’s less room available to keep the positive and negative plates in the battery apart, and an increasingly thin separator is being used. If anything gets in between these two plates, it can cause problems, especially if things haven’t been designed up to the necessary standards, and you then place the battery under the stress of overcharging. If a battery manufacturer follows all the guidelines, they can certainly produce a perfectly safe battery, but some have also been known to save money by not inserting the fuse that disconnects the circuit in the case of the battery overheating. The effects of this missing fuse can be very dangerous, especially if you have a habit of charging your smartphone all through the night…

on the bedside table…

30 cm from your head.

Samsung has been getting some bad press lately with battery and charger accidents. / Sammy Hub

In general, the best way to avoid unexpected battery combustion problems are:

  • Only use the manufacturer’s original battery or those from well-known replacement brands. It may be tempting to buy cheap batteries, but consider how much you pay for your phone and how much you like your apartment in one piece. You wouldn’t put threadbare tires on a Ferrari.
  • Don’t leave your device in hot areas, especially if it’s charging. That only makes overheating problems worse. Ambient temperatures affect batteries a lot.
  • If your phone is charging or you are using functions that cause it to heat up a lot, make sure you are using it in a ventilated place (which means taking it out of its case, if you have one). This is especially important if it is charging overnight.
  • And surprisingly, charging your battery once it hits 50 percent is actually a good thing. Li-ion batteries don’t suffer from memory issues like some batteries, but they can be damaged by low voltage.

So, keep these tips in mind to keep your battery behaving the way you want it to and don’t freak out about your device blowing up in the middle of the night. If that really bothers you, don’t charge your device overnight simply plug it in when you get up instead.

Have you ever had your smartphone battery explode? Let us know in the comments.

Kris Carlon comes to the AndroidPIT Editorial Team via a lengthy period spent traveling and relying on technology to keep him in touch with the outside world.

He joined the Android community while resurfacing in civilization back in 2010 and has never looked back, using technology to replace his actual presence in other people’s lives ever since.

He can usually be found juggling three phones at once and poring over G+ posts, Reddit and RSS feeds.


  1. ^ burned down an entire apartment (www.androidpit.com)

EE now stocking Apple Watch

The Apple Watch will be available in 34 EE stores across the country

EE has announced it is stocking the Apple Watch in selected stores from today (December 4). The network will only be stocking the Sport edition of the Apple Watch in 34 stores across the country, including branches in Leeds, Sheffield, Stockport, Bury, Glasgow, London and Ipswich. It is not available online and prices are from 324.99 for the 38mm model or 364.99 for the 42mm model. More EE stores will stock the device by the end of this year. Existing EE customers can also get the Apple Watch subsidised on an 11-month plan when they upgrade to an iPhone.

Prices are 29 per month for the 38mm model or 33 per month for the 42mm version. Three also recently announced (December 2) it was also stocking the Apple Watch, making it the first UK network to sell the device. The Apple Watch launched globally on April 24 this year.

It is also available from Apple stores, various Carphone Warehouse branches, John Lewis and several fashion boutiques across London, including Dover Street Market.