Thursday, 12 November 2015

One Plus One won't charge

...sometimes. You never know when it will happen. Most of the time it happens when you let the battery drain too much. I had this situation several times and I noticed a pattern. In all cases it wasn't a bad battery. In fact the battery of the One Plus One seems to be of good quality.

When you have different types of rechargable batteries at home you know that you shall not over-discharge them, right? Most of my cells "die" at 2V (LiFePo4 from A123), some Tensai cells (LiMn) already die at 3V. You can also destroy these cells by over-charging them, of course. My LiFePo4 cells die when charged over 3.6V; my LiNiMnCoO2 cells die when charged over 4.2V; my LiMn cells are similar. The same, more or less, applies to the batteries used in smartphones. The difference is that your smartphone has a chip that controls your battery. In all cases it has to prevent the battery from overcharging and over-discharging. If you over-discharge the battery and then again try to charge it, it can lead to a fire because you are trying to charge a defect cell with many shorts inside. In all cases this leads to a battery that's not usable anymore. You probably heard one of these horror stories where a smartphone started a fire; well that's because someone tried to charge a defect battery. In this case most batteries start to bulge and if not disconnected from power they will vent and, if still not disconnected, probably start to burn. In fact when they vent there's already something burning inside. The bulge alone is not much of a problem when not connected to a power source. Of course such a battery is not meant to be used anymore. In fact you have to dispose it correctly.

0% battery status on your smartphone doesn't mean you over-discharged your battery! :); ya, the truth is your smartphones hardware has an internal limit for the battery regarding the specs of the battery. So, 0% of course means your battery is "empty" but it doesn't mean you over-discharged it.

What the One Plus does wrong here is that you can't charge it anymore at that stage. You might wonder why this is the case. I really can't tell. It just seems wrong and I never had a smartphone that acted this weird at that stage. If you google "one plus one won't charge" you will get 18.800.000 results and almost every result is a 100% match for your problem.

As the One Plus One has a Lithium Polymer battery which is likely to catch fire when charged in a defunct state I can't recommend to keep it on the charger for several hours without keeping an eye on it. I can only recommend to keep it on the charger when you are in the same room and not sleeping. Keep an eye on it. If the battery is still working, you will be able to turn it on after an hour or so. Just keep the power button pressed for at least 1 minute. Repeat that several times. You can also try to press power+volume-down for a long time. My One Plus One always came back to life with this method.

When people saw the specs of the one plus one together with the price they were wondering if that could be really true. I was wondering as well but still bought it. The One Plus One is "ok"...but it's not to be compared with the iphone e.g. If you need the ability to change almost everything on your smartphone, then an iphone won't fit you but I'm not that one anymore. All I know is that I never had such strange problems with an iphone for years. My One Plus One is not even a year old.

Lesson learned: don't let your One Plus One discharge down to 0%.