With every new generation of smartphone, consumers are bombarded with new features -- some of which aren't deemed particularly necessary or even useful. Often, the first item on upgrade wish lists is battery longevity. Where this consideration is taken into account by the big names in the industry, the usage gains tend to be incremental at best -- achieved largely through software optimizations and more efficient SoCs.
Huawei is pushing for a more dramatic shift in this regard, and the revelation of Watt Lab's technology stars in a short clip offering proof-of-concept. It shows how a battery can be charged to 68 per cent in just two minutes, where a standard charger can only manage a next-to-useless two per cent.
Sure, the battery in the above clip is only of a 600 mAh capacity -- far less than you'd find inside even a low-end handset. But even on a larger, 3000 mAh battery where the percentage leap doesn't sound so impressive, the five-minute jump from zero to 48 per cent is still considerably greater than can be achieved with a standard charging system:
The special lithium-ion batteries use what Huawei describes as "bonded heteroatoms to the molecule of graphite in anode, which could be a catalyst for the capture and transmission of lithium through carbon bonds." It all sounds well and good, but this isn't the first time a team has brought forth some promising battery-improvement tech, so it'll be interesting to see whether this concept can be taken to the end user.
Huawei claims that the integrity of the battery is not compromised by its super-quick charging, nor does the battery's lifespan suffer as a consequence. With no mention of the inevitable heating issues that would occur from charging at such a rapid rate, we'll have to wait and see what comes of this. Still, if Huawei did eventually drop a smartphone that could charge so speedily, many long-suffering smartphone owners would surely take the bait.
What do you make of this -- would you be piqued by smartphone that could charge to half capacity in the time it takes to make a coffee? Lets us know of your take via the comments.