Phones may never reach 2-3 days of battery life according to a chemist


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Battery life is always a big concern when it comes to a new phone. It’s the one thing that can hold back an otherwise great device. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S7 is an almost perfect phone, but we weren’t satisfied with the battery life. Batteries were the topic of discussion in a Reddit AMA. Naturally, smartphones came up in the discussion.

Dee Strand, the CSO at Wildcat Discovery Technologies, sat down for an AMA about lithium ion batteries. It didn’t take long for a question about smartphone battery life. A Reddit user asked about when we can expect to get 2-3 days of battery life with heavy daily usage. Her response was probably not what they were hoping to hear.

I love this question. First of all, I am not addressing any particular cell phone company or model – all answers are general trends. The answer may be never – as the definition of “heavy daily use” means many things. With every improvement in the battery, the cell phone company wants to add more features (and so do you – consumer demand drives more features). Bigger screen, brighter display, more apps, touch screen features, etc. All those great features are designed to work such that your phone can (hopefully) last a day with recharge overnight. The batteries will continue to get better, but the phone will continue to to [sic] get even better. Your current cell phone battery can last several days if you don’t use many of the features. On the other hand, if you really do have “heavy use,” it would be difficult for any phone to guarantee several days of charge.

Sadly, her response makes a lot of sense. Battery technology has improved a lot over the years, but we still have to charge our phones every night. The first Android devices had small, low-resolution displays, and mostly relied on 3G data. Devices today have giant high-resolution displays and LTE data connections. Still, we can make it through the day. We have to hope that battery improvements outpace phone improvements.

Joe Fedewa
Ever since I flipped open my first phone I've been obsessed with the devices. I've dabbled in other platforms, but Android is where I feel most at home.

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