Does Bluetooth Drain Your Battery? Clearing Up 4 Phone Misconceptions

December 20, 2018 • Zachary Amos


As a savvy smartphone user, you’ve probably tried to learn the answers to common questions like “Does Bluetooth drain your battery?” and may have entered such a term into Google.

But, you don’t have to do that step to get that answer or the truth about other phone misconceptions. Keep reading for details.

1. Bluetooth Drains Your Battery

Does Bluetooth drain your battery? Although this belief is pervasive, experts say if you want to prolong battery life, turning off Bluetooth is usually not the way to do it.

One of the priorities in Bluetooth’s development was that the technology should use as little battery power as possible. So, it’s never been a significant drain on the battery, and modern phones with Bluetooth are even better at maximizing power.

When using a fitness tracker or another low-energy device that continually uses your phone’s Bluetooth connection to transmit data, you shouldn’t notice a substantial battery drain.

However, one Bluetooth activity that does drain the battery is listening to streaming audio. It’s worth keeping that in mind if you need to conserve your battery to make your phone last.

2. It’s Dangerous to Use Your Phone While It Charges

Several years ago, news broke of a flight attendant who was using a smartphone that exploded while it was charging. Since reports about the matter were not initially in-depth or specific, people began assuming it wasn’t safe to use a phone that’s charging.

Fortunately, subsequent information has debunked that myth, especially after the truth came out that the person was using a generic charger during the incident instead of a manufacturer-approved accessory. Later reports suggested a fault in the charger caused the problem, and the explosion didn’t happen due to using while charging.

Information on Samsung’s official site about using its tablets and smartphones while charging confirms doing so is not unsafe, but devices will replenish more slowly during use. It also recommends using the charger that came with the gadget and not an off-brand replacement.

Researchers are also working on new smartphone battery technologies, such as one that retains 99 percent of its charge ability after 150 cycles. Such an innovation would mean people can go longer between phone charging sessions, anyway.

3. Features Are the Primary Driver of Phone Purchases

Phone manufacturers often get criticized for designing new phones so quickly that they encourage people to upgrade to a model like the iPhone XS even if their older phone still works. However, some people who don’t want to be called “brand snobs” may argue it’s the new features they want, not the brand itself.

As such, they’d assert the brand name doesn’t affect how long they use the phone. It’s more crucial for manufacturers to keep making newer, better phones. In a survey of what smartphone users want most, they brought up things like battery life and camera functionality.

But, a different study found the brand does impact the lifespan concerning how much use other people get from the phone by affecting resale ability.

More specifically, iPhones offered an extra year of use, on average, compared to Samsung models because they were more desirable on sites like eBay. People were eager to buy used Apple phones, which gave those devices a new life with different owners. That held true even though the Samsung models had similar technology to the Apple options.

So, although people who are buying their phones new may assert they only care about the features, that’s not necessarily the same priority buyers have when purchasing those products secondhand, whether because their previous iPhone won’t turn on despite troubleshooting the problem, or they want an upgraded phone that’s cheaper than the retail price.

4. Rice Is the Most Absorbent Material for Drying out a Phone

We’ve all heard the tales of people who dropped their phone into water, put it on a bed of uncooked rice and made their previously dysfunctional gadget work again. But tests of how well different household materials absorbed water from a sponge within 24 hours showed rice isn’t the best option.

Other materials, like instant oatmeal, kitty litter and silica gel, absorbed more water from the sponge than the rice. Even more surprisingly, the sponge was the least wet after a day when the testers left it exposed to the open air instead of pairing it with those absorbent materials. That means rice shouldn’t be the go-to option when people need to save their phones.

Don’t Immediately Believe Everything

This list shows even the most persistent beliefs about smartphones aren’t always valid. With that in mind, it’s best to research smartphone-related statements carefully to see how they stack up.