You'd think in 2019 there would be some understandable symbol or diagram phones would show that indicates "battery low, charging" vs "battery low, not charging"

@fenwick67 my phone does. there's also some special interface tweaks you can turn on in Android that will show the numerical percentage of battery charge on the status bar as well. unfortunately, i don't remember how to do it as there were a few tedious steps involved that aren't quite as simple as turning on developer mode.

@lyliawisteria I mean when the battery is totally empty and it won't turn on, the icons are usually a charge cable and battery, or a red battery, or something equally obtuse. So you have no idea if it is charging or not.

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