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In general, smartphone battery life is miserable, especially in comparison to what it was just a few short years ago. While the pocket-sized, personal computers are immensely more capable and powerful, battery technology has remained mostly unchanged. With the exception of adding a few more milliampere-hours to the power supply, very little has been done to improve the ever-waning battery life.

On a good day, both of my phones last until about 5:00 or 6:00 PM before needing an hour or more of charging to make it the rest of the day. If I'm lucky, the iPhone will make it through an entire day of relatively heavy use. But I'm not usually that lucky. Something always comes up, I end up needing to use my phone more than "normal" and it's sputtering on its last few minutes by 4:00 PM. Or maybe some rogue application has a heyday with the battery on the One X and it's dead just a few hours after unplugging it.

When you compare this to the days of battery life I used to get out of my BlackBerrys, regardless of use, there is a clear difference in what we consider decent in terms of battery life. And the flexibility of terms "mobile" and "wireless" have changed, too. I spend a good hour or two each day giving my smartphones supplementary charges. Sure, I can do that with my backpack now, but the point is plain and simple: I spend entirely too much time charging my smartphones.

Just minutes after I leave the house each day, I'm left wondering whether my phones will make it through the day, whether I will have a dead phone before I return home or how many times I will have to plug it (them) up to my Powerbag.

Granted, I know I stress over it more than some (and likely more than anyone should). But let's be honest, (with the exception of laptops) battery life is something no one should have to worry about. Yet here I am carrying a backpack with a battery charger inside and a tangle of USB cables so I can charge from my laptop if need be. And if I could, I would carry spare batteries for each phone. However, my current phones have integrated, non-replaceable batteries.

Like most of us battery mongers, I have been scouring the web and my RSS feeds in hopes of finally coming across a headline declaring the next generation in mobile battery technology, a story about a successful manufacturing process and deals being worked out with mobile hardware manufacturers.

Unfortunately, that day has yet to come. There are no battery technology breakthroughs to report just yet – that is, ones that are ready for prime time. However, a handful of promising advancements, innovations and discoveries have been made in 2012 alone. Of those, one reported by Engadget earlier this evening is easily the most encouraging yet.

Yonhap News Agency reported on Monday that South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology has developed a technique that could cut battery charging times to a fraction of what they are today – 1/30 or 1/120 of current charge times. Yonhap explains:

"Conventional batteries use only powdered nanoparticle materials to form a dense, multi-layered structure that can store and give off energy.

The new battery, on the other hand, uses the same type of nanoparticle materials that are first resolved in a solution that contains graphite, which later is carbonized to form a dense network of conductors all throughout the electrodes of the battery, the ministry said.

As a result, all energy-holding particles of the new battery start recharging simultaneously while the same particles in conventional batteries begin recharging in order from the outermost particles to the innermost.

This cuts down on the time needed to recharge the new type of battery to between 1/30 and 1/120 of that of existing rechargeable batteries, according to the ministry."

The claim is that lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles could be fully recharged in less than a minute versus several hours. Imagine a similar technology in smartphone cells. While it might not help improve current smartphone's stamina, theoretically, it could shorten the time it takes to recharge the battery to mere seconds. In theory, if this sort of technology could be combined with a high capacity battery (not unlike the one found in the DROID RAZR MAXX) in a high-end smartphone, you could have a phone that could easily last an entire day (or more) on a single charge and have it completely recharge from dead in less than a minute.

I'm trying my best not to drool over my keyboard … and to not get too terribly excited. Something like this could be years from being ready for consumer electronics, if ever. There was no official mention of mobile batteries or portable electronics. The focus seems to be on larger batteries, such as those in electric vehicles. However, it would only make sense that this technology would trickle down to portable electronics, too. Right?

Either way, I could be on board with something like this. I could live with poor battery life if it only took my phone a matter of seconds to charge. Right now, I'm looking at no less than an hour an a half to completely recharge, which effectively makes public charging problematic and time-consuming. With a rapid recharge, public recharge stations and Powerbags would be a dream come true. My phones might die all the time, but that would no longer be a real problem – find an outlet, plug in for a minute and go about your business as if nothing ever happened.

It sounds like pure bluss to me …

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62 Reactions to this post

"How's your battery life?"

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John Anthony great yes
Kimmy Bobbett Samsung galaxy note has great battery life.
Walter Levine No problem--I've got the Razr Maxx
Kristopher Davis http://db.tt/LYMeMBfb
Bonnie Roth My skyrocket could be better but I just keep my charger with me plus a charger in the car. No big deal, I love my phone:)
Justin Cartier Droid Razr, = crap battery life
Michael Singer my iPhone 4 lasts easily all day with pretty heavy usage
Mark Belkowski i average 17-24hrs on my droid razr.
Mads G. Thomassen My 4S drinks up all the juice quite fast :(
Antoine Everette I charge my phone up Everyday I wish they would make batteries that can hold all day when I go out my battery Just slowly starts dying then I half to come home and charge it up crazy
Jed Shuster My Nexus S 4G for Sprint lasts around 2-4 hours with my normal use and if I ONLY use it as a telephone it may last 8-10. With that said its not just a telephone its a smartphone that was supposedly engineered to be used for what features the phone has (internet, Goog+, apps, & whatnot) and not be scared to optimize the device fearing you may miss the phone call that your wife is in labor, the huge business deal requires you to be there asap or whatever. The battery flaw makes "smartphones" kind of ignorant. I am looking forward to the new wave of battery technology that is hitting the market as we speak. As for "rapid charging", I am all for it! If I could plug in for just 15-20 minutes and have another 2-4 hours it would be spectacular. As for now, I just have to wait until I am eligible for an upgrade and do my research to find the phone that will have superior battery life, as Android phones are all mostly on the same plane it comes down to battery life.
Eric Kroh 3hours to chjarge my GNexus CDMA with 2100mwt battery
Andy Huynh If razor maxx could so it then why not everyone else?
Scott Bresee My EVO 4G would last half the day, now that I have the EVO LTE it goes all day then some! I no longer worry about battery life.
Marc OKelly external 18,000mah
Eduardo Ordaz Great on my vivid. It get through the day.
Harsh Jhaveri samsung droid charge, gets through the day if 4g is off, otherwise the charger huntings begins around 5pm with light/moderate usage..
Matthew Sjoblom My GS3 battery is great unless out for the whole day n my oldest daughter plays some games or does the color book app then I bring an extra battery. Then they last for the next day then
Thomas Key With power skin it last over 3 days so I'm good
Luis Guajardo Razr maxx is amazing. I dont need to charge it all day and itll go 10 hrs plus!
Richard Reyes Castellon Great on my 4s
Nick Sciancalepore Would using a 2amp charger that came with my tablet instead of the 1amp charger that came with my phone speed up charge times or hurt the battery in my rezound's extended battery
Seth Odai getting a good widget which will make it easy to switch off data connectivity and GPS when not needed will greatly improve battery life of any phone.
Robert Saladino My first real phone Black Berry Curve had the sickest battery ever! 2 days without charging. My S 3 is decent about half a day with constant use.
Jesse Snider Using the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, I keep a cable handy but hasn't been necessary since I'm using a 21 mA battery and I carry a fully charged spare. It can be annoying sometimes to have to change battery's but I"m grateful I didn't opt for a phone with a battery that isn't accessible. I think until the time comes that there's a super battery I'll continue to opt for phones with removable batteries. Great article Taylor!
Zach Cline The battery life on the galaxy nexus is / was horrible.
Jed Shuster When is the Nexus S 4G for Sprint getting the OTA update to Jellybean?!?!
Felix Tran Decent on my Sensation. I don't use it much though...
Newaz Chowdhury Porag my nexus battery sucked big time. but now my s3 is a beast. huge battery!!!!
Nathan Wright Decent on my iPhone 4, need a new phone though haha this ones nearly 2 years old
Shawn Poling Got the iPhone 4S mines just fine
Aaron Anderson Razr Maxx up 16 hrs yesterday and battery still sitting at 60%!! No problems here!!
Zach Cline Battery life on the galaxy S3 is pretty good. About the same as the iphone 4s. But holy freaking crap this thing is a beast.
Ignacio Gonzalez DROID RAZR...over Wi-Fi. 6HRS... Over 3G 4.5hrs-5hrs...over LTE...2.5hrs-3hrs. all approximate, all moderate-heavy use. Not impressed, lol.
Oscar Rubi Jr. Have a htc evo lte n its awesome all day even while heavy use
Adrian Salazar Sucks...
Matt Ramlogan No need to worry about battery life with my Galaxy Note!
Tyra Monea Brown I'm getting 13 hrs to a day and a half on my att s3
Perro Rosello its a start...
Darren Penix My iPhone 4 will all day...unless I'm messing with it then it's a few hours
Danu Carrión Perales People just turn off you cellphone data. When I do that on my galaxy s 2 in 15 hours it just takes away around 15%. Just turn it on when you are going to use it. You'll see a big difference, trust me.
Caleb Minor Love my iPhone 4s as long as I turn off the screen it conserves my battery. But wish all phones had either the Razr Maxx battery or the one of the Samsung Slll!
Chris Northcutt I have the Galaxy S3 and the battery life is a whole lot better compared to the andoid phones I've had in the past. Also, I have found that taking the Facebook app off my phone has saved alot of battery power. It constantly ran in the background.
Mehr An baaaad
Cory Musselman With an iPhone 4S, it varies a fair bit. Never have to charge it through the day though.
Lowell Orlando Richmond um noooo how about making a better battery :/
Eren Aydogan HTC Sensation XE running jelly bean with custom kernal soo really good
Fabian Toti i have a extended batery 3850mAh battery ... it last's forever .. gs2 skyrocket
Yassine Blues N running JellyBean tho
Gonmei Angam Xiaomi phone2 is the solution.
Aries Bautista Its a remedy not the solution...
Abram Wenevermet Dennis Not 2 bad on my iPhone.. compared 2 when I had 2 basically live next 2 an outlet on my EVO.
Yassine Blues On my Galaxy S
Joe Czo I can say I can get through the day with my verizon gs3
Yassine Blues Not good at all specially after surfing or playing games for an hour or two
Jared Dore Get 2 days of "normal" use out of my HTC One S, as long a s I can get a full day I'm happy.
Fonzy Paniagua Jellybean Helps
Val Dionela nokia lumia 710 battery sucks :( any suggestion?
Derek Aguiar could be better...
Enobong Etteh Nope, a better battery and optimized OS

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