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Why has battery technology not kept pace with the Smartphones?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by METALMICKY, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. METALMICKY

    METALMICKY Newbie
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    Perhaps a question for any real techies on here

    I love my Desire and the Android op system particularly its flexibility and customisation when compared to i-phone.

    However, my only real beef is the constant need to manage the battery useage. It seems a paradox that have a wonderful piece of kit with so many great features but yet if you use it to its full potential you struggle with the juice.

    All over the web there is a plethora of advice and debate on battery management so its obviously an issue for many people.
     

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  2. SUroot

    SUroot Extreme Android User
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    Battery technology and smartphone technology are 2 separate things, so you cant really ask why battery technology has not kept up with smartphone technology.

    Its 2 completely different sets of research and development scientists working on each product.

    The fact is battery technology has been taken as far as it can with the current technologies available whilst remaining within economic restraints that the consumer markets have to adhere to.
     
  3. PSkeptic

    PSkeptic Android Expert
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    Because, it's easier to write software than to write rules of chemistry.

    And, why smart phones are getting so powerful, so fast? That's easy: All we're doing is miniaturizing technology from a decade ago.

    Your 1GHz Tegra 2? It's just a PIII made tiny. That's why it can run on less juice, and be smaller. All we did is minaturize a PIII.
     
  4. Usta

    Usta Android Expert
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    Battery technology is OK for today's standards, but the Android phone's power consumption hunger is not OK. Google needs to further optimize Android, so that it consumes less resources. They did something about it in v2.3, and I hope they continue to do that in the future.

    In their turn, manufacturers need to come up with better OLED screens (foldable?), that would consume less power when used. The amoled on Desire was the first good step.

    Taking matters even further - think about e-ink used in e-readers: id doesn't use any battery power if you don't change the pixel disposition. Now, make that in color and bring to smartphones... :rolleyes:
     
  5. SUroot

    SUroot Extreme Android User
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    As far as I am concerned, its all about screens. My phone (although its rooted and undervolted etc) is great with battery, doing anything - as long as the screen is off.

    As soon as the screen is on, that battery graph plumets

    Edit. As seen here

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra=
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    From the Android Wiki:

    The Android operating system consists of 12 million lines of code including 3 million lines of XML, 2.8 million lines of C, 2.1 million lines of Java, and 1.75 million lines of C++.

    Android (operating system) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Those thin little batteries we're using seem to be doing an admiral job with all that, in my opinion.
     
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  7. matttye

    matttye Android Expert
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  8. wolvotim

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    I don't think my desire battery is to bad. I'm currently on 10% charge and have been unplugged for 13.5 hours. I'm happy with that ;)
     
  9. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra=
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    I remember the old days of a week on a charge, then getting used to just two or three days, and now about 12 hours or so.

    It's about miniaturization, so much more circuitry is packed into a hand held device now, that if that same circuitry were in the old, one week per battery charge phones of the 90s, that phone would be as big as your living room couch.

    Powering these things is a challenge all its own.
     
  10. Phenomenological

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    Technical explanation coming right up.

    Battery technology has evolved through lots of different types, all of them based on chemical reactions. Car batteries are based around lead and a strong acid for example, I believe because that combination can output a large current as needed for the starter motor, though don't hold me to it. Lots of rechargeable AAs are Ni-MH (Nickel metal hydride), before that lots were Ni-Cad (Nickel cadmium). Current batteries for phones etc are Li-Ion (Lithium ion).

    The reason we use Li-Ion is because it has a very impressive charge density. That means that for a given volume of the chemicals in the battery, it can store more energy than most other types. However there are more factors to be considered. It has to be rechargeable many many times with little battery degradation. It has to be safe, with next to no chance of a catastrophic release of energy that could hurt or kill the user. It has to recharge quickly and be able to discharge at a sufficient rate to give the device the current it needs. It has to be efficient and not turn too much energy into heat during the charging/discharging process. It has to be affordable to obtain the materials and manufacture the battery, and there have to be enough of the raw materials readily available. The materials used can't be too toxic or carcinogenic in case of battery leakage. The list goes on and on.

    Batteries are much more complicated things to design than people give them credit for. The reason they aren't better is because at the moment we simply haven't found a chemical reaction suitable for the task with a better charge density than Li-Ion. And consumers keep demanding smaller devices, ergo smaller batteries. Something has to give, and it's not going to be the laws of physics.
     
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  11. pk1209

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  12. matttye

    matttye Android Expert
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  13. SUroot

    SUroot Extreme Android User
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    Exactly. hence this...


    ;)
     
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