Do AirTags Have Lithium Batteries?


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Written By Dinu Sri

Dr. H. T. D. S. Madusanka is an electronic enthusiastic, involved in research and development.

If there is one thing that is making Airtags magnificent, is the fact that they have a long lasting battery. According to Apple, AirTags batteries have a 1% discharge rate since they are not power hungry devices. For this reason they are speculated to last even closer to 2 years.

Since we know that lithium batteries last longer than other batteries, do AirTags have lithium batteries?

Yes. AirTags uses CR2032 coin battery which is made of lithium. This batteries are very tiny but can last up to 1 and a half years without needing a replacement. Another thing, AirTags are not chargeable. Once it is finished you will need to have a replacement.

Replacing this batteries is very simple and the cost of replacement is low too. If you want to learn more as to why Apple picked this batteries for the amazing tracking device, keep reading this guide.

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Do AirTags have lithium batteries?

Airtags uses the tiny lithium CR2032 batteries. This battery has a compartment in between the cover and the control board sections. Once you have replaced the batteries you can take at least more than one year without needing to replace the battery. Another thing you should note is that CR2032 batteries are not rechargeable.

Since there are other rechargeable option why did Apple pick CR2032 batteries for AirTags?

Airtags do not have a lot of components inside them. They only have a Bluetooth chip, an inbuilt speaker, U1 chip, and NFC chip. If you don’t know how this components work, this guide on what’s inside Apple AirTag will be of so much help.

From the guide, you will deduce that all the components are not power hungry and there is no reason Apple should have used a powerful expensive battery.

Do AirTags come with a battery?

Yes. AirTags come with an integrated CR2032 battery. The battery is part of the $29 you spend when buying an AirTag.

Before you start using your AirTag, you should check if the battery is working.

  • Simply remove the battery by pressing the cover down and start rotating it anticlockwise. Rotate it until you cannot rotate anymore.
  • Remove the cover then the battery.
  • Take about 15 seconds then return the battery again. Press the battery down until it produces a sound.
  • If the battery does not produce a sound, then your battery is drained and need a replacement.

AirTags batteries can be drained even if it was not in use. This is because the 1% discharge rate is constant even when the AirTag is not in use.

If you are buying a second hand AirTag which is not advisable, the battery might also be drained.

After you connect the AirTag to an iPhone, you need to remove the paper pad between the battery and the nodes. This is to allow current to pass. Otherwise, your AirTag will not work.

How long does AirTag batteries last?

Cr2032 batteries last up to 1 year without needing a replacement. This however depends on a number of factors.

  • How often you use your AirTag: If you are constantly using Find My app to locate your AirTag, then it might get drained faster than an AirTag that does not get used frequently.
  • If you bought a new AirTag: A new AirTag definitely have a long lifespan compared to buying a used AirTag. If you are buying a used AirTag, the battery is the first thing you should check to prevent future frustrations.
  • How long the AirTag was in store: Since we know that the 1% discharge rate is constant even when the AirTag is not in use, buying an AirTag that has been in store for long means it has lost a part of it’s efficiency. Therefore, the battery might not last longer the way you expect it.
  • Environmental conditions: For some reasons, AirTags of people who live in cold areas was getting drained a little too fast than of those who live in hot areas.
  • Brands: If it is not the original battery that came with the AirTag, you might find some other brands are getting drained a bit faster than others.

Before buying AirTag batteries, make sure you have read reviews from other buyers. However, it is unlikely that you will get reviews since AirTags are still new.

  • How you handle your AirTag: If you keep dropping your AirTag in water, you might end up destroying the battery. The AirTag might be waterproof but not water resistant. So, if water finds it’s way to your battery which is metallic, you risk destroying both the battery and your AirTag.

To prevent this from happening, buy the necessary accessories or attach it to the item you are tracking.

How to check the charge of your AirTag battery?

If you bought your AirTag during the launch which was in April 2021, your AirTag battery might be almost drained if not yet. Luckily, your iPhone will give you a notification that your AirTag battery is low. So, if you have not yet gotten a low battery notification, you are lucky.

However, to avoid the AirTag dying without any notice, it is better if you checked the remaining battery percentage.

  • Go to find my app
  • Tap on the items bar
  • Select the item you want to check the charge
  • There is a battery icon at the top of the bar.
  • Tap the battery icon and check the percentage.
  • If your Airtag battery is low, you will receive a notification telling you low battery.

Although Apple promises that the battery will last up to 1 year, after checking the battery charge on one if my AirTags that I have been using to track my bicycle, the percentage was about 43% after one year. The charge therefore depends on the usage.

Are AirTags rechargeable?

 Considering how long CR2032 last, Apple found no reason to include a charging port on the AirTags. If your AirTag battery is totally drained, all you need is to buy a new battery and have a replacement done.

AirTag battery replacement is easy. You do not need to be an expert to do the replacement.

What is the cost of AirTag battery replacement?

Despite of AirTag batteries being long lasting, replacement is also very cheap. All you need is to buy the batteries from a renown vendor and do the replacement yourself.

Although, replacement is easy, you should keep in mind that not all batteries will work for your AirTag. AirTag uses lithium CR2032 coin battery preferably that made of lithium. You will find that there are a lot of brands that sell this type of batteries.

To find the best batteries, you should read the reviews given by other buyers to know if they are worth it. CR2032 batteries cost between $8-$10 for a pack of 6.

How to replace AirTag batteries?

If you find out that your AirTag battery is almost drained, you should buy the batteries and walk with them for a replacement. Replacing the batteries is not very complicated.

  • Buy CR2032 coin batteries from a renown vendor. This batteries cost somewhere between $8-$10 for a pack of 6.
  • Press the cover down and start rotating the cover anticlockwise.
  • Rotate the battery until it cannot rotate anymore and then remove the cover.
  • Use a sharp object to remove the battery from its compartment.
  • Remove the wrap of the new battery and put it inside the compartment.
  • Press the battery down until it produces a sound.
  • If the battery produces a sound it means it is connected.
  • Put the cover back on top of the AirTag. Ensure the three tabs on the AirTag are in alignment with the three slots on the AirTag cover.
  • Start rotating to he cover clockwise until it cannot rotate anymore.
  • Press the single start button on the AirTag to bring your AirTag back online.

Go ahead and check the battery charge in Find my app to see if the battery is viable or not.

AirTag not working after changing the battery.

Replacing AirTag batteries is very straightforward and inexpensive. It might take you even less than a minute to replace the battery.

There are times when you might replace the AirTag battery with a new one only for it to not work. What might be the problem?

When replacing the AirTag battery, you should hear a sound produced by the AirTag. If by any chance your AirTag does not produce that sound, then there must be a problem with your AirTag.

The first thing you should do after completing the replacement is to check for the battery charge on your iPhone find my app. If the battery appears dead despite of it being new, then you might have bought an AirTag with a bitter coating.

Apple discourages AirTag users from buying CR2032  with a bitter coating. This is because the coating is meant to prevent children or dogs from swallowing the battery. Unfortunately, CR2032 batteries with a bitter coating will not work with your AirTag.

Check the packing of the battery and see if they say the battery has a bitter coating. If the battery has a bitter coating, you will need to replace with one that does not.

Both batteries with and without bitter coating retail at the same price and look alike. You should therefore be careful when choosing a battery for your AirTag. After replacing the AirTag with a new viable battery, it should work as expected. So, if it does not work, there might be an issue with your AirTag or iPhone.

Conclusion

Apple AirTags are low power consuming devices. After connecting the AirTag to your iPhone, you can take up to an year or more of a working battery without needing a replacement.

AirTag uses the inexpensive CR2032 coin cell battery made of lithium. From previous articles, we have discussed that lithium batteries last longer than any other batteries. It is for this reason your AirTag will last that long.

Although Apple promises you that the battery will last up to an year, there are a lot of factors that play part as to how long your battery will last. The major factor is the manufacturers. There are some brands that have weaker AirTags that cannot last even the speculated one year while others will even last 2 years.

So, when buying replacement batteries, check the reviews from other buyers. You can also read the guide above and subscribe to this page for more information in AirTags.

References

  1. Furset, K., & Hoffman, P. (2011). High pulse drain impact on CR2032 coin cell battery capacity. Nordic Semiconductor and Energizer.
  2. Ene, R. F., Dumitriu, C., Andrei, R. D., Jianu, C., Chitu, A., Spinu-Zaulet, A. A., … & Pirvu, C. (2019). TITANIUM DIOXIDE–BASED FIBER ANODES AND THEIR POTENTIAL USE IN CR2032 COIN CELL LITHIUM BATTERIES. Smart Energy and Sustainable Environment, 22(2), 31-42.
  3. Mayberry, T., Fenske, E., Brown, D., Martin, J., Fossaceca, C., Rye, E. C., … & Foppe, L. (2021, November). Who Tracks the Trackers? Circumventing Apple’s Anti-Tracking Alerts in the Find My Network. In Proceedings of the 20th Workshop on Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society (pp. 181-186).