This Charging Accessory Can Help Prolong Your Phone Battery's Life

Using Witty can help double your battery life.
Using Witty can help double your battery life.
Witty

Many of us are in the habit of charging our cell phones overnight, but keeping your phone plugged in for so long can have some unintended negative consequences. According to Android Authority, the excess heat created from leaving your phone plugged in for extended periods can cause lithium-ion batteries to age faster and lose some of their capacity over time.

But Witty, the creator of a new charging device on Kickstarter, is looking to change that with their namesake smartphone accessory, which can help double a battery's longevity in Androids, iPhones, and any other smart device that charges via USB.

The Witty acts as the middleman between your charger's cord and outlet. Once it's hooked up, simply plug your charger into the wall as you normally would, and turn the Witty on by pressing its power button. Using its “intelligent charge controller,” the device is able to cut off electricity to your phone once it's 100 percent charged, avoiding overheating and helping to preserve the battery's lifespan.

According to the campaign, most smart devices do cut off a charge once they're at 100 percent, but they don't disconnect the battery from constant electricity, which is where the extra heat that harms the battery comes in. Witty estimates that an average battery will degrade by 12 percent every year, while their device can help reduce that by half.

You can head here to get your own Witty starting at $26. The campaign is open until March 23.

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

Make Your Own Ship in a Bottle With This LEGO Set

This particular design was based off an idea from a long-time LEGO fan.
This particular design was based off an idea from a long-time LEGO fan.
LEGO/Amazon

Building a ship in a bottle doesn’t need to be a stodgy affair—especially when you’re doing it with LEGO bricks.

The 962-piece set ($70 on Amazon) is based on a design from Jake Sadovich, a longtime LEGO fan from Idaho. Sadovich spent three weeks designing his own version of a ship in a bottle using 1400 LEGO bricks before uploading images of the finished result to the LEGO Ideas site in November 2016. His project received the 10,000 supporters it needed to garner a review from the LEGO team in less than two months, and in August 2017, the company green-lit plans to build and sell an official set based on his design.

A LEGO ship in the bottle with the box.
Despite the ship's small size it has a lot of features.
LEGO/Amazon

Placed inside a bottle made of transparent bricks, the miniature ship boasts plenty of detailed features for its 5-inch-long size, including sails, six cannons, a crow’s nest, a compass (sorry, it isn’t a working one), and a flag. There's even a wax-sealed cork built out of LEGO bricks, too, as well as small LEGO pieces designed to serve as the water beneath the ship.

Some of the other fan-submitted LEGO Ideas projects the company has brought to life include the NASA Apollo Saturn V ($200) and a replica of the Central Perk set from Friends ($60).

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

Sling TV’s 14-Day Free Trial Gives You Access to Countless Movies and Shows, No Credit Card Required

Sling's 14-day free trial doesn't require a credit card, so you won't accidentally be charged once it's up.
Sling's 14-day free trial doesn't require a credit card, so you won't accidentally be charged once it's up.
Prostock-Studio/iStock via Getty Images Plus

You’ve probably encountered more than one so-called free trial that required you to input a credit card to access it. And if you’re like many of us, you have probably forgotten to cancel the trial before the free period ended—more than once. But Sling TV is looking to offer users a free trial that’s, well, actually free. From now until April 5, new subscribers can access over 50,000 on-demand movies, 45 channels, and more during their free 14-day trial, no credit card required.

Fittingly dubbed the “Quarantine Special,” the free trial gives viewers access to a Sling Blue subscription, which offers channels like CNN, MSNBC, Bravo, A&E, Cartoon Network, Nick Jr., and more. The Blue subscription also allows you to stream on up to three devices simultaneously and record live shows on their cloud DVR.

Rather than having to sign up for a long-term contract like with traditional cable, Sling is a month-to-month service that allows you to stream content to your TV or computer/smartphone through web browsers, Roku, Amazon, iOS, and Android devices.

After the free trial, you have the option of signing up for the Sling Blue or Orange subscription, both of which are $20 for the first month and then $30 after that. There are a few key differences between the two. According to Tom’s Guide, with Orange, you won’t have access to NBC networks. And with Blue, you won’t be able to watch ESPN or the Disney Channel. Orange only lets you stream on one device at a time, whereas with Blue, you can stream on up to three simultaneously. However, you can swap between the two for no extra cost, or you could combine the subscriptions for $45 a month.

Much like Sling, Disney Plus also allows subscribers to enjoy seven days (with a credit card) for no cost, and you can get more details by heading here. And if you're looking for more ways to save money as a cord-cutter, check out our guide on the cheapest ways to do so.

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

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