How long ago was it that 720p screen on smartphone were cutting edge, or dual-core SoCs? So many of the components building up our phones have been evolving so quickly that it’s easy to take them for granted, but for as many parts that push new limits on a regular basis, batteries have been slow to offer improvements. Sure, the tech surrounding batteries has gotten a bit better, bringing us wireless and extra-fast charging, but the batteries themselves haven’t been nearly so quick to evolve. And while it could still be a while before we have something appreciably better than the lithium-ion cells currently in use, Sony’s already working hard to bring smartphones extra-high-capacity batteries in five years’ time.
The company’s reportedly looking to a 2020 target for commercializing lithium-sulfur and magnesium-sulfur battery tech. The move to a sulfur electrode has the potential to boost battery energy capacity by about 40%, compared to lithium-ion cells of the same size.
There are still big technical hurdles to overcome, especially when it comes to working with lithium metal, but Sony seems confident that it will be able to make things work sufficiently well enough. While there’s no shortage of potential use cases for these high-capacity batteries, we specifically hear that Sony’s looking to first introduce them for smartphones.
When you consider that the next five years should also bring us some more and more energy efficient mobile chips, could we be looking at a smartphone market where lasting multiple days on a single charge becomes the rule, rather than the exception?