The smartphone battery breakthrough we've all been waiting for is almost here


A new battery technology, which is soon to enter production, may be able to double the battery life on your smartphone by early next year.

Students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology - who spun out and created a start-up called SolidEnergy - have created a new type of lithium metal battery, which comes anode-free and allows for twice the density in charge.

The technology has proved safe and is almost ready to be used in electric cars, smartphones, wearables and other portable devices; it's even set to launch in drones by November this year.

Qichao Hu, CEO of SolidEnergy, said "With two-times the energy density, we can make a battery half the size, but that still lasts the same amount of time, as a lithium ion battery. Or we can make a battery the same size as a lithium ion battery, but now it will last twice as long."

It works by switching graphite - a traditional battery material - for a very thin lithium-metal foil, which as well as being smaller can even hold more ions than normal cells.

Changing the game

SolidEnergy demonstrated the technology back in October 2015 before gaining over $12 million from investors, and now the technology is almost ready for the market.

It's expected the company will be ready to commercially produce the battery tech for smartphone and wearables by early 2017 and then electric cars in 2018.

Whether manufacturers decide to embrace the technology in new portable devices is going to be the next hurdle for SolidEnergy,

It'd make sense for smartphone manufacturers to use this new tech, but it may prove more expensive than traditional battery cells. But if manufacturers do it'll allow for thinner phones or, hopefully, longer lasting batteries in the same size devices.

Via Phone Arena, MITNews

James Peckham

James is Managing Editor for Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.