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Mobile Phone Batteries. What Are Your Options?
by: Will Koh

There are a range of different mobile phone, video camera/camcorder and digital camera batteries out there with varying capacities and battery chemistry. We will explain what the differences are for each battery chemistry and try to clear up the jargon used on the labels of mobile phone batteries. There have been several developments in battery technology and below, we will outline each battery chemistry's features, pros and cons and their applications to mobile phones today.

"Memory Effect" in Batteries

Memory affect refers to the need for certain batteries to be "serviced" by regularly discharging the battery completely before recharging. Ni-Cad batteries are the main type of battery chemistry that requires this cycling and newer types of batteries such as Li-Ion and NiMH do not suffer from memory affect.

Battery Capacity Ratings

A battery capacity rating refers to the load or current that can be placed on a specific battery type. The battery capacity rating is usually measured in milliampres (mAH)

Ni-Cad (Nickel Cadmium) Batteries

In the past, majority of rechargable batteries used in portable devices such as mobile phones, camcorders and cordless phones used Nickel Cadmium as the main battery chemistry. Although this type of battery has drawbacks such as the "memory effect", it is still one of the most commonly used battery in cordless phones, CD players, Radios and other portable devices due to their low cost per battery cycle. The use of these batteries in mobile phones today is rare due to their memory effect problems and inconveniences. Despite these obvious drawbacks, it also has environmental implications due to the metal used to manufacture these batteries and are fast becoming replaced by Nickel Metal Hydride Batteries.

NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) Batteries

NiMH batteries are one of the growing battery chemistries today mainly due to the fact that it does not suffer from memory effects like a NiCad battery does. Because of this advantage, they are mainly used in Laptops and mobile phones and sometimes also as a battery source for video cameras and digital cameras. This is an important and main feature that makes NiMH batteries attractive as consumers are not burdened by having to "service" their batteries by discharging it fully before recharging. They also have a higher capacity rating compared to Ni-Cad (approx 30% higher) and Alkaline batteries, however their main drawback is that these batteries self-discharge over a short period of time which makes them not suitable for storage.

Li-Ion (Lithium-Ion) Batteries

These batteries are quite new to the market and have the lowest discharge rating compared to Ni-Cad and NiMH batteries. They do not suffer from memory effect and is one of the most commonly used type of batteries in mobile phones today. They have an excellent power to weight ratio which makes them highly attractive to portable devices such as mobile phones, video cameras and digital cameras. All our mobile phone batteries we offer are Li-Ion as they are superior compared to other battery alternatives.


This is relatively new and we are beginning to see more of these batteries appear in mobile phones today. They are considered as the best battery chemistry today for mobile devices due to their high capacity and low weight. Li-Polymer batteries do not suffer from “memory loss”.

About The Author

Will Koh

For a range of mobile phone batteries, visit: or simply contact us for any queries.

This article was posted on November 26, 2005


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