How to Use Batteries to Charge a Cellphone

A cell phone, then a novelty, is now one of the everyday things we see and use. Nearly everyone in the United States and many people worldwide own a cell phone. Where the earlier cell phones provided calls and text messaging, the advent of smartphones allowed many people to do other things, such as web browsing, using social media, making video calls, shopping, watching movies and TV shows on live stream, playing games, and listening to music, among many others.

Needless to say, cell phones have become an essential part of the life of most people who own them. Where would we be without them?

Because cell phones are used pretty often, if not incessantly, they must be charged constantly. Many people plug their phones into a charger overnight, while others have chargers that do not call for a plug. But in either case, both require electricity.

In a situation when there’s no electricity, the need to recharge a cell phone battery can be distressing. But there are a handful of ways to deal with this situation. One of these ways is to use batteries. 

Different types of batteries can be used to charge a cell phone. Of course, a power bank is a form of battery, but it is not what most people think about when someone says “batteries.” Most people think of the type of batteries that come in AA, AAA, C, D, and 9-volt, and yes, these can be used to charge a cell phone. Another option is a car battery, which is often the battery of choice for such applications when camping or in a survival preparation situation.

Below are some of the ways that batteries can be used to charge a cell phone (and other mobile devices):

Standard batteries

4 AA batteries

It is necessary to have the standard batteries in a device that can be connected via USB to the mobile device. There are flashlights and lanterns powered by batteries of various sizes (ranging from AAA to 6V) that have USB ports built in for charging mobile devices. There are also some power banks made to use replaceable batteries.

It is possible to connect 1.5V batteries (AAA, AA, C, or D) in a series (positive side to negative side along the line – three or four are needed) to give a small charge to a phone battery. This will involve connecting wires to the battery terminals on the ends of the series and the phone battery, so accessing the battery in the phone is a requirement for this method.

You can use a 9-volt battery to connect to a car adapter by setting the center post on the car charger against the positive side of the 9-volt battery and using a metal wire or pen spring to connect the negative on the battery to the negative connection on the side of the car adapter while the USB is connected to the phone. It will not charge the phone completely as it only has 500 mAh (most phones hold 1600-3000 mAh), but it will give you enough power to send a text message or two or make brief calls.

There are rechargeable batteries that can recharge mobile devices between being charged themselves. Some battery chargers double as a flashlight, which you can use if you don’t need the power to charge your phone or any other mobile device.

Laptop battery

laptop battery status

After getting charged itself, a laptop computer’s battery usually retains its charge for a while. Because of this, it may be possible to plug the cell phone into a laptop and recharge it a few times before the laptop’s battery needs to be connected to its own charger. Just keep an eye on your laptop’s battery status.

Portable battery

charging a phone with powerbank

Also known as power banks, portable batteries hold enough power to recharge a cell phone two or three times before needing to be recharged themselves. Since they are usually relatively small, it is not difficult to store a few of them – fully charged – to have on hand in case of a power outage. Choose power banks that have a high capacity for the best results. It will be necessary to check on them occasionally to be sure they are still fully charged and charge them if some loss has occurred.

Car or marine battery

charging phone in car

A car or marine battery offers between 6V and 24V, plenty to charge a cell phone. You will need an adapter to divert the power into the phone. An inverter is easy to get from a store with an automotive section; this will allow you to change the energy from the larger battery to the proper level for the smaller one. Car and marine batteries have enough capacity to recharge a cell phone several times, but be careful not to run the battery too low before recharging it (the battery in your car will recharge when it runs), or the battery may not recharge.

charging a smartphone


There are ingenious ways to charge your cell phone directly, and one of them is using any batteries mentioned above. However, many of these charging methods will only provide enough power for your phone to send text messages or make quick calls.

Using any of these batteries mentioned above will give your phone a decent charge. Along with other few resources, these methods will give your phone a better charge and you can use them with your charging cable (store-bought or DIY) connected directly to the battery.

Got any questions regarding charging a phone by using batteries? Please write to us! We’d be glad to hear from you.