Wishing for better battery solution in 2015

Wishing for better battery solution in 2015
Head of Yota Devices Vladislav Martynov holds a Yotaphone with a dual screen during its presentation in central Moscow on December 2, 2014.

The year 2015 is when we expect all the technologies we saw from the movie Back To The Future II are finally realised.

While many of us are asking for a hoverboard and a time-travelling Delorean in their 2015 wishlist, there's nothing I want more than a solution to our battery woes on our smartphones.

It's been seven years since the iPhone first appeared in the market. Since then, smartphones have gotten better. They've gotten so powerful they've literally become our computers in our pockets.

But amidst the improvements in performance, displays and designs, we still haven't solved the battery problem. We're still stuck with a phone that barely lasts us a full day.

All I want is a smartphone that lasts several days on a single charge, just like back in the Nokia and BlackBerry days.

Smartphones are becoming so good they want to be used more, but this battery issue has prevented us from really enjoying the true benefits of the device that we've spent so much money on. What is the point of carrying a powerful pocket computer that ends up being a paperweight after heavy use?

Phablets are the closest device to lasting a couple of days on a charge, and that's mainly because they could hold a bigger battery, in the expense of making the phones bigger. If you want a smaller smartphone, you're stuck with a smaller battery.

Lithium-Ion batteries are not terrible batteries at all, it's just that smartphones have become more power-hungry. The faster PC-class processors and the larger ultra-HD displays with capacitive touch drains so much power, those batteries have a hard time keeping up.

The biggest battery drain is the display. Consumers now want bigger, better screens, so phone companies give us that.

Last year, the Yotaphone from Russia introduced a phone with an e-Ink display. Unlike conventional LCD and OLED, e-Ink does not drain so much power. Because not everyone wants an entirely monochrome display, the Yotaphone was smart to include it as a second screen on the back of the device to the existing LCD screen on the front.

This is also evident with the smartwatches. Most LCD-equipped smartwatches last only a day with one charge, but the Pebble, with its e-Ink display, gives the wearer five days of usability.

Speaking of which, using a smartwatch or other forms of wearable technology could help reserve battery consumption on our phones. Smartwatches become our second screen that extends the functionality of our phones without having to take them out of our pockets.

If we can't get a better battery technology this year, at least a better power management solution could mitigate the power-hungry issues of smartphones.

And no, I don't want a better power bank or a power management app. I want technology that's built into the hardware. There are already solutions available and new ones are in the works.

Ultra-fast charging is a quick solution in ensuring we get enough juice to get through the day. You only need 15 minutes to get all the bars up.

Most new smartphones are equipped with this technology, but the downside is you're still left to hunt for a charging cable when the need to charge arises.

Another solution is inductive charging, which has been coined as wireless charging even though you'd still have to connect the charging mat or dock to a power outlet. Some phones such as the Nexus 6 support inductive charging, but you'll need to get a separate charging accessory to accomplish this.

Like fast-charging, inductive charging is also a quick and easy fix to our battery issues; place the phone on the charging pad and watch the battery replenish itself.

All smartphones should adopt inductive charging for convenience's sake. If it's one thing I hate the most, it's hunting for a micro-USB cable to charge my Android phone when I'm at a place where the whole family only uses iPhones.

However, true wireless charging is definitely something I look forward to. It would be so cool if we could just walk into a room equipped with that technology, and our smartphone in our pocket charges itself. Imagine this technology integrated into cars and shopping complexes. I don't think I'll ever ask for a bigger battery again.

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