Articles Blog

This is why your phone doesn’t last all day

This is why your phone doesn’t last all day


– Today’s phones are miracles
of modern technology. They can stream Netflix, play incredible video games, and connect us with people
around the world at anytime, all in the palm of our hands. So, how come the battery
life sucks so much? You remember your old phone? The one that just played
Snake and made calls? Those things had batteries a fraction of the size
our modern smartphones but somehow they lasted a week. So with all the leaps and bounds we’ve made in modern technology, why can’t our current phones just last until the end of the day? (upbeat music) To find out why our batteries are so bad, I talked to Dr. Venkat Srinivasan, an expert in battery technology. – So I mean, part of this is obviously as you know very very well, the demands of the apps coming off the mobile devices increased
dramatically, right? I mean that was pre-touchscreens, pre all of us on Twitter and Instagram and taking pictures and getting on these high resolution screens. So, much of it is just the fact that the draw has become
dramatically more. – Okay. So, phones have gotten way better and they need more power because of that. An original Nokia 3310 had 100 MHz, single core processor, and a 4,000 pixel display. The Galaxy S10 plus from
2019 on the other hand, has a 2.4GHz, eight-core processor that
pushes 4,377,600 pixels. So, yeah. Things have come a long way. For processor speed,
we even a rule for this called Moore’s Law, which says that roughly every two years, the number of transistors that we can fit on a single microchip will double, which means proportionately more powerful computers and phones. – [Venkat] We all talk about
Moore’s Law for electronics. Unfortunately battery
energy density don’t scale at the same rate as
Moore’s Law is scaling. Also, batteries have been evolving. It’s just at a different pace in which things happen. – So our batteries don’t improve as fast at the rate of
the rest of our phones. They have been improving, to a point. We’ve been squeezing
out more and more power from materials in the
technology that we have now, but there are limits to how far we can go. – A lot of what has been
happening for a long time is being sort of shrinking all the devices that are inside of the chip to make things better
and better and better. In a battery equal to that
would be removing you know, unwanted stuff from the battery. So that I add more and more and more dense, energy dense materials so that I can ultimately pack in a lot more energy into the system. Turns out, people have
been doing this game for the last 20 years. And if you do this game
for the last 20 years, you start to reach a point where it’s very difficult to
squeeze out anymore stuff. Pretty much, most of the battery today, is being used for something. – Our modern batteries basically use up all the internal space they have for power and the only way to get more is by shrinking down those internal parts, like the barriers between cells. And when those get too thin, that’s where safety issues can happen. And when things get pushed too far, well, we get products
like the Galaxy Note 7. Basically, in modern
lithium ion batteries, energy transfers between the positive and negative electrodes
through a liquid solution. Now, that solution’s flammable. But, it’s okay because there’s a separator between the electrodes. In the Note 7, that
separator was too thin. It sparked and then the
liquid caught on fire. – What happened five years ago was that it became clear that these
limits were getting hit where we couldn’t remove anymore things. But we reached a stage
where new improvements in energy density got
to come from changing battery materials. And new materials are always slower. – So what does the future look like? Well, right now the material we use is called lithium cobalt. A battery technology that we’ve been using since the early 90’s. But researchers have already started work on what comes next. – Actually all the batteries have a liquid electrolyte in them. The next big thing and I think this is going to be a huge thing is solid state batteries. Things that don’t have liquids but a solid that can conduct lithium back and forth between them. You can’t predict a breakthrough so you don’t know when
that’s going to happen. But we think that’s
where things are going. And if that happens, cellphones and laptops will start getting more energy dense. – There is one slight issue that could come up though. By the time better
batteries do come around, our phones might be even more powerful than they are right now. Which might leave us right back where we started, with less than a day of battery life and external batteries galore. Progress always has a price. Thanks so much for watching. For more great videos like this, make sure to like and
subscribe to The Verge. And if you wanna learn
more about phone batteries, check out this video
about over charging them.

100 thoughts on “This is why your phone doesn’t last all day”

  1. More transistors does not mean the device is getting more inneficient, actually each generation can do more with a lower power consuption, it is not like we are always going to need more and more battery capacity.

  2. simple the things we do with the go exponential but the increase in battery life doesn't go at that curve. people also wants thin phones, thin phones = smaller batteries.

  3. Batteries are bad because manufacturers don’t know how to have balance in specs.

    What’s the point of having 4K resolution in a 5 inch display or 90 hz refresh when it doesn’t matter if you have 60 hz or 90 hz or 8 or 12 Gb RAM when 4 GB is enough ?

    Paper specifications for ego is killing the wallets of a common man.

    Also pointless push notifications and background processes are cancer for smartphones.

  4. Because apple doest provide a sweet battery due to profits. If they put one in then there profits per phone would drop. I. Addition to that our ph9 es demand so much more power with every software update. And our chip set gets more Demanding. We could add solar panels.

  5. So you’re telling me if I take a modern phone battery and plug it into something like the first gen iPhone, it can last several days on a single charge?

  6. So use a larger freakin'battery. How hard is that?
    Yes, people want small phones, but I'd gladly accept a bigger one if I could get a full 24 hours of use. It should at least be an option.

  7. Dead easy. Stop slimming phones down and make em a bit thicker again. Problem solved. Where is my nobel prize

  8. .. and phones these days still cant wake you up with an alarm if they are turned off. My old phone from the friggin' 90's could do that.

  9. Bla bla bla ,where is the graphene stuff that they told 10 years ago it was just about to be release?

  10. It's okay if the battery don't last for a day, as long as it can last for 8 hours with fast charger technologies, it would be fine.

  11. I think screen-on time plays a huge role as well. Old devices like the Nokia didn't have high-quality screens, cameras and connection capabilities like today's smartphones. That, along with the hours of time people spend scrolling, sending/receiving, watching and gaming, there's no way the battery would last a week. If people used their phones like they used their old phones, the battery would last significantly longer.

  12. The answer is planned obsolescence. The manufacturers of these phones make it so that technology doesn't last long in the first place or at least for a couple years. That way they can sell more of what they're producing sooner to increase profit sooner. It's implemented into many forms of consumer products. (i.e. cars)

  13. 2960×1440 pixels on a phone is too much, but you have in settings an option to change it so you make the phone display 1 pixel for every 4 pixels and a resolution of 1480×720. Why not change to that resolution and cut the processing power required for your phone cpu and gpu to render the display down to 25% of the original power required to display the original resolution since the phone is using every 4 pixel square as 1 pixel and when you do need the resolution for those purposes that need it, change the setting back to default. This should enable your phone to last the whole day since for usual social media use the lower resolution is not bad.

  14. Tbh my Samsung A70 lasts almost from 8:30 – 21:00 with me being on YouTube, social media, other apps virtually the whole day. So I wonder..

  15. 0:29 Well if you guys could get over your iPhone obsession, you would realize they do last more than a day. 2 in-fact.

  16. Huh?? wait what? what do you mean your phone doesn't last all day? Phones these days easily last more than a day unless you are non stop gaming on it…

    unless it's an iPhone, then maybe you won't last all day… but THAT'S YOUR OWN FAULT.

  17. When users persistently reject "thick" phones, they cast a strong vote for modest battery life.

  18. Displaying lower third identification right when a guest/expert first appears and talks is pretentious–unless you think the viewer's info retention should be reduced. Just do the IDs as a voiceover.

  19. Hasn’t anybody in here used a Huawei flagship? Currently using a P30 Pro and always end my day with 50% battery left

  20. So what about that other Verge video about graphite technology? According to that video if we make a breakthrough with graphite we could see batteries that would last much longer and degrade much slower. That's what I'm waiting for!

  21. I frequently end my day with 50-70% battery left on my iPhone XS Max with no recharges during the day. I know it won’t always be like that, but battery life isn’t a huge problem for people with the latest and greatest phones.

  22. Why are cars still doing pretty much the same mpg as cars 30 years ago?
    Because the engines are better but the cars are larger and heavier.
    What a waste.

  23. I've been saying for nearly a decade that I'm surprised manufacturers don't make phones like 0.2" thicker and throw in a battery that can last twice as long… At least give us ONE option like that every lineup containing a handful of phones that we get several of every year….

  24. screen on time is the biggest sucker of battery life just reduce that to get multi day battery like I have done with my 3040mAh phone

  25. Don't understand why he thinks phones getting more powerful is going to increase battery drain. SoCs in phones are getting more powerful and more efficient at the same time. They'll drain the battery less and less.

  26. It is only a problem for iPhone. Many android phones can easily last for a whole day, sometimes two, while iPhone need to be charged 3 times a day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *