Every year a new trend makes its way to the forefront of the smartphone industry. Front-facing cameras, NFC, and ever expanding screen sizes are just a few examples of how the industry often pushes one aspect of mobile technology. Sometimes the features stick. Other times a manufacturer is going out on a limb with a dual screen setup ( Kyocera Echo) or ticker display (Samsung Continuum). It’s still early, but it sounds like battery life will play a big part in this year’s crop of Android smartphones. A focus on extending the uptime of mobile devices seems like a no-brainer, but it has often been overlooked in favor of faster processors, brighter displays, and next-gen LTE radios. It also doesn’t help that longer battery life usually equates to a bigger battery and a thicker overall device profile.
The first salvo in the name of battery life is Motorola’s RAZR MAXX, which gladly takes on a few extra millimeters to provide extended battery life. Samsung’s VP of product innovation Kevin Packingham says better battery life will be a focus of the Korean manufacturer in 2012 as well. The hope is to provide devices that will last a full day on a single charge under normal use. This will be achieved through a combination of software and hardware optimizations, but it may also mean bucking the trend towards thinner and thinner smartphones in favor of beefed up batteries. It’s a trade off we’ll gladly take.