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  • Whenever my phone dies, I like to be tactful; I prefer to say that itpassed away.”

  • Hey there, power hungry people, I’m Jules, here for DNews.

  • Smartphone batteries suck.

  • Actually, all commercial batteries suck, and that’s kind of a big problem.

  • Every new smartphone iteration seems to have twice the megapixels, three times the storage space,

  • no headphone jack, andbarely better battery life.

  • And that battery life isn’t even guaranteed.

  • On an average smartphone, the lithium-ion battery is generally expected to last between 300 and 500 charge cycles,

  • and many of us do go through an entire charge cycle every single day.

  • So the fact is, smartphone batteries aren’t really meant to stay fully functional for more than a year.

  • The problem comes from the fact that since the late 1970s,

  • there hasn’t really been a revolutionary commercial breakthrough in battery technology.

  • Nearly all rechargeable modern batteries work by creating electrical current from the movement of lithium ions between electrodes,

  • and for this purpose, lithium is amazing.

  • It’s the least dense metal and has the highest energy-to-weight ratio of comparable metals.

  • So when we made the shift from chunks of lead floating in acid to slick smooth lithium as a source of storable energy,

  • batteries became portable and lightweight.

  • It was an amazing breakthrough and changed consumer electronics irrevocably

  • but that was 30 years ago.

  • Today, we still use those same batteries.

  • But that’s not to say that battery life isn’t getting better, and sometimes in unexpected ways.

  • Just this year, the iPhone 7 Plus came out with about an hour more battery life than the iPhone 6S Plus.

  • But the battery capacity is only a tiny bit larger.

  • The trick is that what we callbattery lifeis actually capacity divided by consumption, and while capacity is stagnant, power consumption is not.

  • The new iPhone processor chip uses only two-thirds as much power as the previous iteration,

  • while reportedly increasing performance by 40%.

  • Basically, the less power your phone uses, the better its battery life, without making any substantial changes to the battery itself.

  • Every year, computers and smartphones are able to do more with less.

  • But that doesn’t quite solve the bigger problem: batteries wear out and become useless pretty quickly.

  • According to Apple, on their Macbooks, after about 1000 cycles,

  • youre left with only about 80% of the battery’s original capacity, maybe less, and it only gets worse from there.

  • To solve this seemingly unavoidable issue, researchers from University of California,

  • Irvine accidentally invented a battery that never dies.

  • Well, seemingly never.

  • Apparently, a doctoral candidate in their research lab was fooling around, and as we all do for fun, she coated a set of gold nanowires in manganese dioxide, and then sealed them in an electrolyte gel.

  • Hahaha, oh those scamps!

  • Manganese!

  • The trick is that nanowires conduct electricity very very well, and have a large surface area to store and transfer electrons.

  • But these wires are also SUPER fragile, and they tend to break down after use.

  • But coating the wires seems to have solved this major problem.

  • In the lab, this mini-battery went on to experience 200,000 charge cycles.

  • That's roughly 500 times more than the expected optimal lifecycle of a lithium-ion battery,

  • while still operating between 94 and 96 percent efficiency.

  • Even after three months, the normally super-fragile wires were still fully functional.

  • Although its in the early research stage, scientists think this battery could last up to 400 years.

  • But your smartphone is still gonna die within a few years,

  • and that's because it's using technology from the 1970s.

  • It's optimized, but obsolete.

  • A number of tech groups have developed small scale solutions,

  • a combination of which may prove to be the next big battery breakthrough, but as for now, most solutions are impractical

  • due to cost, longevity, and most importantly, safety.

  • New batteries need to be tested for a long time before theyre introduced on the market.

  • Just look at the Note 7.

  • For now, it looks like battery life will continue to suck.

  • If youre into finding out what makes things tick, like what’s in your electronics,

  • youre probably like me and love the show How It’s Made.

  • Now you can watch this and other Science Channel shows on the Science Go App!

  • Check it out and download for free at your local App Store.

  • And if you want to know more how different types of batteries work in detail,

  • Trace has a video all about that here!

  • Is battery life your biggest phone complaint?

  • What other phone improvements do you want to see?

  • Let us know down below in the comments and don't forget to like and subscribe for more

  • videos everyday.

Whenever my phone dies, I like to be tactful; I prefer to say that itpassed away.”

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Why Does Your Phone Battery Suck?

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    韓澐 posted on 2018/12/29
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