A smartphone that takes less than forty minutes to fully charge. Better still: a 50-year supply of power from a modest nuclear battery.

Device manufacturers are scrambling to create more powerful batteries that can charge more quickly and last longer in order to meet the demands of consumers who are tired of always plugging in their phones.

The four-day Mobile World Congress (MWC), which kicked out in Barcelona on Monday, is the largest annual show for the telecom sector. At the show, telecom corporations showcased some of the advancements they’ve made.

“All manufacturers are looking to have better performing batteries. There is a sense that it is an area that is lagging behind, that we have to move forward,”who spoke to AFP.

Having a better battery is a means to “stand out from the crowd,” he continued, since smartphone models have become more and more alike.

There have been a number of advancements in the battery industry since the first cellphones were introduced to the market in the 2000s, including wireless charging, but there is still considerable space for growth.

In a research note, Allied Market Research stated that the rising demand for “mobile batteries with high battery capacity” and the manufacturers’ race to innovate are being driven by the rising popularity of power-hungry apps like social networking and gaming.

Nowadays, most smartphones are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which are composed of scarce elements like manganese, cobalt, and lithium whose prices have skyrocketed and whose quality deteriorates with time.

Manufacturers are looking into lithium sulphur or graphene as answers to this issue because they may last longer and require less rare components.

AI requires

For its new AI-infused flagship Magic 6 smartphone, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer Honour has created a new higher capacity battery technology that employs silicon-carbon. According to Honour, the Magic 6 smartphone can fully charge in less than 40 minutes and have a longer battery life than those of its main competitors.

According to a ranking by the for-profit website DXOMARK, which evaluates smartphones using scientific methods, this smartphone battery is the best.

During the phone’s global launch on Sunday in Barcelona, Honour CEO George Zhao stated, “Of course we need a powerful battery life,” given that AI features consume more energy.

According to reports, the massive South Korean company Samsung is working on a solid-state battery that will be safer, have a faster rate of charge, and hold more energy. It plans to go live in 2027.

According to South Korean tabloid ET News, Apple, its main rival and the company that overtook Samsung as the world’s top smartphone seller last year, is working on developing its own battery technology and plans to include its designs into mobile devices as early as 2025.

As with semiconductors, gadget makers are now more keen to “reduce their dependency on certain suppliers” for batteries, a move that was previously outsourced, according to Husson.

Nuclear explosion

A new nuclear battery developed by Chinese startup Betavolt Technologies was revealed in January with the claim that it could run a smartphone for 50 years without requiring recharging.

With nickel-63 isotopes contained in a module no bigger than a coin, the next-generation battery, according to the Beijing-based company, is the first in the world to realise the miniaturisation of atomic energy.

The business, which is not present at the Barcelona show, merely stated that the battery was in the pilot testing stage and did not specify when it will be mass produced for commercial uses.

In June, the European Union parliament passed new regulations requiring batteries to have a minimum amount of recycled material in order for them to be considered more sustainable and robust.

“There is more money being spent on battery technology than ever before because of the electric vehicle development. So it is quite an exciting time for batteries, “CCS Insight’s chief of research, Ben Wood, told AFP.

“If someone could crack the battery problem, it would be a game changer. Imagine having a mobile phone that lasts two week, it would be amazing. But we are years and years away from that happening.”

Topics #batteries #Better Batteries #Smartphone