“My Galaxy S4 cannot finish charging its battery. It’s a brand new unit and the problem occurred a couple of weeks after I got the phone. I love the S4 because it’s the best smartphone out there when it comes to performance. The only problem I have is that it stays on 82% even if I left it plugged in overnight. Is the battery defective or something?”
That is a typical email from owners who were having problems with the battery of their phones. While the battery often takes the blame if things like this happen, more often it is the charging unit that’s having some difficulty pushing the charge to the battery. Some technicians went on as far as testing several Galaxy S4 chargers and they found that there were units that have lower amperage, thus they can’t complete the charging even if the phone is left plugged for hours.
But here’s the thing: it would take some time to be able to determine which causes the problem. That’s what I’m going to point out in this post. I will walk you through determining whether it is the battery, the charger or the phone that’s having some problems.
Is it the charger?
To be able to know if the charging unit is the problem, you have to plug in your phone and see if the indicator tells you it’s charging. Otherwise, you already have the answer to your question and all you have to do is buy a new charger and continue using your phone.
On the other, if the indicator says it’s charging, you have to watch the battery percentage to see if it moves up. If it doesn’t, it means the charger is throwing up some current to the phone but it’s not enough to stuff it up inside the battery cells. In other words, you still have to buy a new charging unit because the one you currently have does not have enough amperage to charge a 2,600mAh battery.
Another thing that could happen is that it would take hours before that battery percentage level moves up, which means the phone has to be plugged in the entire day to finish charging. It could also mean the charger’s amperage has become so low perhaps due to a component failure. The point is, if the charging unit is defective, you should buy a new one before the battery could get affected. A blown capacitor (or any electronic component) inside the charger may send unregulated current that may damage the battery in the long run.
Samsung Galaxy S4′s charger has a rating of 2A, meaning 2 Amperes or 2,000mA. This is enough to charge its 2,600mAh battery for few hours. In fact, it has higher rating than the USB ports of a desktop PC that is why it would take much longer time to charge the unit by plugging it into a PC than using its charger.
Finally, to confirm if it’s really the charger that’s having the problem is to use a different charging unit and see if the phone charges just fine.
Is it the battery?
If the charger is working fine, the next suspect would be the battery unit. However, Samsung does have high quality batteries that there were only a few reports of defective mobile battery packs to date. But here’s what you need to do to diagnose if the battery is defective.
Be mindful of reboots, lags and other system mishaps because they may be a sign the battery is defective. More often when the battery has a problem, it ceases to give power to the unit causing random shut downs and reboots.
Check the battery’s temperature. While charging, it is normal it becomes hotter than usual but if it turns unusually hot while the unit is plugged in, don’t continue the charging process as it may lead to more serious problems.
During normal operations, if the battery becomes unusually hot and drains faster than before, it’s better you take it off immediately and have the unit checked. If you’re an owner of the phone, you should know what’s normal operation and what’s not.
But you know what? The best thing to do if (you’re not on a tight budget) is to buy an extra battery unit. Not only would you have an extra power source, you could tell immediately if the other unit is defective or not.
Is it the phone?
If it’s neither the charger nor the battery, there is a high probability the problem is with the phone. If this was the case, however, there’s nothing more you can do. It’s a hardware issue and you can’t just touch any of the components inside the phone, or even pop a bolt or two, because you may end with a void warranty. The best thing to do is have an appointment with a technician and have it checked by professionals. You can ask for a replacement unit especially when you just got the phone.
There’s only so much to do when it comes to hardware issues with the Galaxy S4. the things mentioned above serve as recommendations only but if you don’t want to get through all that hassle, requesting a replacement unit would solve this problem fast and easy. If you’re enough, however, you might try it so you’ll know what to do if things like this would happen in the future.
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