A smartphone battery that lasts longer than a day might be out of reach of most people for the moment, but a large one that charges to 48% in five minutes is on the way.
Huawei’s new fast-charging battery is capable of charging 10 times faster than that of normal lithium ion batteries and uses a new electrode design, according to the company.
The batteries were developed by the Huawei-owned Watt Lab, and were demonstrated at the 56th Battery Symposium in Japan last week.
The new batteries have a catalyst built into the anode that speeds up the conversion of electrical energy from the grid into chemical energy without shortening the battery’s life or reducing the amount of energy it can store.
Two types of batteries were on show. One 3,000 milliampere-hour (mAh) battery that could be charged to 48% in five minutes and a smaller 600mAh battery that hit 68% in two minutes.
For comparison, Google’s Nexus 6P phablet has a 3,450mAh battery while Apple’s iPhone 6S has a 1,715mAh battery. Current quick-charging, such as those using Qualcomm’s Quick Charge or the faster charging capability built into the new USB-C connector takes around an hour to fully charge a large smartphone battery.
The technology was demonstrated using batteries that fitted into a smartphone, but which use standalone chargers. Huawei expects to be able to integrate the chargers directly into smartphones in the near future.
Battery technology has lagged behind the rapid advancements made in processing power and other areas of technology, becoming the major hold up and primary pain point for smartphone users.
Part of the problem has been the limitations of the chemistry of the batteries. Producing cells capable of storing more energy safely and reliably has proven difficult.
While various charging techniques, including wireless charging and faster charging, have helped make regular topping up more convenient, creating a battery that lasts longer between charges is still the ultimate goal.
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