• A Battery of Problems

    Smartphone technology has been advancing at a rapid pace since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, which set the course for what we know as smartphones today. Apple created a whole division of phone which brought in competitors from every end of the world. Samsung, Motorola, and LG have all taken to manufacturing smartphones and wearables that run on Google’s operating system. However, since the beginning of this competition, all smartphone manufacturers are still competing against the same foe, battery life.

    Battery life seems to be the common enemy of the smartphone user as well. Especially those who commute to work or school and don’t have extended access to a charger. For some users, extended use of airplane mode or disabling data usage is the only way to get through a full day on one charge.

    Some companies have started to take notice to these user habits and introduced a low power mode. In this mode, your smartphone will limit its usability and features in order to use less power. This is obviously a poor fix for a serious problem. Limiting the use of features that are supposed to separate your device from the competition seems counterintuitive to the value of having or purchasing a newer smartphone model.

    But why is it that every other component of our smartphones seem to be making huge strides forward? From quad core processors and 4K cameras to NFC and low power bluetooth, everything inside of our smartphones seems to be making big leaps except for the batteries we use. Name one component of the smartphone that has seen as little improvement as the battery!

    The lag of battery breakthroughs surely isn’t for a lack of trying. Many companies are out there trying to improve the efficiency of our batteries, but producing more energy with existing materials is a tall task. Even the founder of Tesla, a company that is essentially based off of battery power has voiced his disappointment on the issue.

    Now with smaller devices like wearables entering the market in the past two years, this battery problem is becoming more and more obvious. I for one would like to see more creative solutions than the reliance on low power mode. Maybe some alternate powering solutions like solar charging or electromagnetic induction. Really anything but a “trading a limitation of features for acceptable battery life” would be great.