Slight bulging in Samsung battery, concerning?

MidnightDistortions

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Well older cellphones can be a drag but this one works anyway. But when my phone quit responding I had to pull the battery out to reset it and noticed a very slight bulging, no idea if it was like that and my spares doesn't have this to an extent anyway.

Should I be worried about it? It's not bad but it's enough to see a difference.
 

MidnightDistortions

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Yeah, I was worried that it might start a fire. That's the last thing you want to happen. It also explains the dip in (AccuBattery) battery life. Was at 90% but dropped the 87%. I'll just use one of the other batteries then. My guess is that my cellphone froze due to the battery itself in the first place as I'm usually mindful on clearing out junk on the phone.

Edit: Just noticed the estimated capacity (not battery health) has dropped considerably when I was going through AccuBattery, estimated was about 1,200mAh on there. Its not accurate obviously but apparently that battery was dying anyway.
 
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MidnightDistortions

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Well I braved one last charging cycle, cleared the AccuBattery data to reset numbers and the final result was 28% battery health. It's more obvious now that this battery was on its way out, however its unclear as to whether the battery did this after the bulge or that the battery simply reached the end of its useful service life and as a result the battery bulged. Seeing as I had the phone running almost 24/7 on that battery since 2020 the fact it held up for 3 years (battery manufactured in 2018) it did its job and I most likely used up all the cycles.

The biggest learning experience here is if you see battery dropping even slightly its probably a good idea to reset AccuBattery stats just to see a more accurate rate of health drop as it seems to use data from previous charge/discharge capacity.
 
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aznsx

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My take (which I believe to be industry 'best practice'): Any visible bulge or distortion which develops in the casing of any Li-ion cell / battery at any time or under any conditions is grounds for immediate retirement - without delay or even so much as a second thought.
 

MidnightDistortions

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My take (which I believe to be industry 'best practice'): Any visible bulge or distortion which develops in the casing of any Li-ion cell / battery at any time or under any conditions is grounds for immediate retirement - without delay or even so much as a second thought.

Well considering that same day it was having issues staying charged (despite turning it off) there was something wrong. I had assumed that maybe I had a rogue app causing a battery drain and the phone itself probably needs a factory reset, but had I not pull out the battery I wouldn't have known it was bulged. I also noticed that there was a slight blemish on the screen which when I did a capacity test on the spare phone I got the same blemish was there which then was caused by the bulge. It was there for.. I don't remember how long. A couple days? ..a week? ..maybe around the time the battery health started dropping.

It also explains why the past couple of days when I was on my way home from work it was like 40% was near death. Started charging it and it was rapidly dropping despite it showing that it was charging.

I was surprised to see the rough capacity on the AccuBattery charging screen to be around 1000mAh while it was actually around 88% health. So I guess it's something to pay attention to especially when I see a sudden drop in charge level. Final test showed 28% which, well it did release a gas into the pack...

Still unsure of what went wrong other than I suppose I reached the end of it's cycle life. What else would cause this bulging to occur along with the sudden death? It never overheated and I've fully discharged and recharged Lithium cellphones but never had this occur. My first smartphone has an estimated capacity of 60%. It was a junk phone so I only used it for a couple of years before replacing that.
 

aznsx

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Well considering that same day it was having issues staying charged (despite turning it off) there was something wrong. I had assumed that maybe I had a rogue app causing a battery drain and the phone itself probably needs a factory reset, but had I not pull out the battery I wouldn't have known it was bulged. I also noticed that there was a slight blemish on the screen which when I did a capacity test on the spare phone I got the same blemish was there which then was caused by the bulge. It was there for.. I don't remember how long. A couple days? ..a week? ..maybe around the time the battery health started dropping.

It also explains why the past couple of days when I was on my way home from work it was like 40% was near death. Started charging it and it was rapidly dropping despite it showing that it was charging.

I was surprised to see the rough capacity on the AccuBattery charging screen to be around 1000mAh while it was actually around 88% health. So I guess it's something to pay attention to especially when I see a sudden drop in charge level. Final test showed 28% which, well it did release a gas into the pack...

Still unsure of what went wrong other than I suppose I reached the end of it's cycle life. What else would cause this bulging to occur along with the sudden death? It never overheated and I've fully discharged and recharged Lithium cellphones but never had this occur. My first smartphone has an estimated capacity of 60%. It was a junk phone so I only used it for a couple of years before replacing that.

I'm just happy that nothing more 'unpleasant' resulted from its failure. That's the big thing, and that's great. It's also good that you visually inspected it and detected an issue when you suspected one.

I know little about cells / batts, nor chemistry, so I'll leave that for others to speak to or speculate about. All I do know is that Li-ion cells have more failure modes besides the more benign ones like loss of capacity with cycle count, etc. There are others which are less progressive, more acute, unpredictable, and potentially problematic when they occur. Some likely result from tiny deviations / defects from the manufacturing process(es), which are likely difficult or impossible to detect at that time, and which can likely result in failures which could be asymptomatic to the user and might not be detected by provided stats or conventional testing.

Some of the instances that make the news likely involved users who were less astute, either didn't notice symptoms or didn't pay attention to them if they did, and the failure was allowed to progress to a 'catastrophic failure' point. Fortunately you were paying attention, and your story was good for me (and perhaps others) to hear. Thanx.
 

MidnightDistortions

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I'm just happy that nothing more 'unpleasant' resulted from its failure. That's the big thing, and that's great. It's also good that you visually inspected it and detected an issue when you suspected one.

I know little about cells / batts, nor chemistry, so I'll leave that for others to speak to or speculate about. All I do know is that Li-ion cells have more failure modes besides the more benign ones like loss of capacity with cycle count, etc. There are others which are less progressive, more acute, unpredictable, and potentially problematic when they occur. Some likely result from tiny deviations / defects from the manufacturing process(es), which are likely difficult or impossible to detect at that time, and which can likely result in failures which could be asymptomatic to the user and might not be detected by provided stats or conventional testing.

Some of the instances that make the news likely involved users who were less astute, either didn't notice symptoms or didn't pay attention to them if they did, and the failure was allowed to progress to a 'catastrophic failure' point. Fortunately you were paying attention, and your story was good for me (and perhaps others) to hear. Thanx.

I wouldn't have noticed had my phone not freeze up on me. I couldn't do anything so when that happened I just take the battery out. That's when I thought it didn't feel right when I handled the battery. When I tested it on the other phone you then could tell that the battery didn't quite fit right.

Knowing that if I do see a sudden drop in battery performance to check the battery itself next time and reset the AccuBattery app. Or at the very least check the real time capacity read out which goes from low to high then goes back to low but it was always above 2000mAh, until I checked it after noticing the battery swelled up it had around a 1000mAh and the test revealed it was low as 700mAh.

It never got hot but the phone with said battery had been dropped before. Usually the cause is from excessive heat from what I heard along with completely discharging the battery but dropping the phone can also cause it. Though from what I understood its when you drop it without a protective case. But also if you're not careful the case will trap heat in which like I said it never got that hot.

The highest it has gotten was about 102°F which is slightly too high for charging which I avoid doing. Think 95°F is what the manufacturers recommend as a high limit.

Either way like you said, glad it didn't get dangerous. Hopefully the Boost Mobile store will take it because I don't want it in my home so when I get off work I'm going to ask them if they'll take it.

Perhaps this is why people are willing to fork money for a new phone every couple of years. I used to get new smartphones for under $100 but the new ones are all over $200 with sealed batteries. Most likely due to people buying cheap battery replacements instead of the OEM. Battery replacement costs can be like over $100.
 

bykfixer

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I had one swell and turned the phone off. The swelling went down. It was an old phone I'd replaced and was using it for an mp3 player.

Next day I fired it up and headed out. While driving I heard a "pop". The battery swelled again and the pop was the glass screen cracking. I pulled over to the side of the road turned it back off. The swelling went back down again. Not taking anymore chances I dropped it off at a phone store and told them what happened.

The boy with the Playboy nose ring looked like I'd just handed him a bottle of leporasy seeds. The manager calmly took possesion and said they'd properly dispose of it.
 

M@elstrom

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Battery bulges are indicative of gas from the cells breaking down with age/cycling... no question it's time to bin it 👍

battery-recycling-updated.png
 

MidnightDistortions

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I had one swell and turned the phone off. The swelling went down. It was an old phone I'd replaced and was using it for an mp3 player.

Next day I fired it up and headed out. While driving I heard a "pop". The battery swelled again and the pop was the glass screen cracking. I pulled over to the side of the road turned it back off. The swelling went back down again. Not taking anymore chances I dropped it off at a phone store and told them what happened.

The boy with the Playboy nose ring looked like I'd just handed him a bottle of leporasy seeds. The manager calmly took possesion and said they'd properly dispose of it.

Yikes. Yeah it seems like they tend to do this as they age. Though the phone with the battery has been dropped a few times, the case protected the phone but maybe the battery was affected. Either way it gets pretty dangerous. I did the same, took the battery to Boost Mobile, they took it without question. The lady was a bit confused as the battery wasn't that far bad but bad enough it didn't fit right in the phone anymore.

Battery bulges are indicative of gas from the cells breaking down with age/cycling... no question it's time to bin it 👍

View attachment 45356

Yeah I figured the battery was at the end of its useful life. Good indicator was that it was at 28% health. Though I think Accubattery should have a warning as the health showed 88% while the last session in the charging screen had about 1000mAh. The only real thing that I didn't question more but I had a busy week was the loss of charge and Saturday I knew something was up when I had 70% charge when shutting off the phone and when i turned it back on it was about 50% then had to charge it during working because charging it on my breaks wasn't enough.

Either way I had brought it to Boost Mobile as I didn't want it at home anymore. The lack of capacity was enough for me to retire it as I need a battery long enough to last the day with minimal recharging.
 

M@elstrom

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Either way I had brought it to Boost Mobile as I didn't want it at home anymore. The lack of capacity was enough for me to retire it as I need a battery long enough to last the day with minimal recharging.
What model is the phone and is the battery replaceable?

I'm running a Samsung J Mini (released 2016) which is on it's third aftermarket battery but otherwise 100% Bullet proof reliable, unfortunately replacement/retirement is inevitable as the OS is increasingly less widely supported👍
 
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IMA SOL MAN

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From what I understand about lithium batteries, is that they begin aging as soon as they are manufactured, not when they are put into service. Really, on any battery chemistry that I can think of, you want the freshest batteries you can get, newly manufactured. If you get a new phone, and the battery is already a couple of years old, ask for one with a new battery. Shoot, that's like buying a new car with 30,000 miles on the odometer!
 

MidnightDistortions

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What model is the phone and is the battery replaceable?

I'm running a Samsung J Mini (released 2016) which is on it's third aftermarket battery but otherwise 100% Bullet proof reliable, unfortunately replacement/retirement is inevitable as the OS is increasingly less widely supported👍

It's the J3 Galaxy Achieve from 2018 and yes the battery is replaceable.
 

Monocrom

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I always look at a bulge in a battery as an early warning.... Like a rattle-snake shaking its rattle. It's letting you know to stay away or you're going to get bit. Same with the battery. Get rid of it. Stay far away from it.
 
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