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Why Does Your Phone Battery Suck?

Why Does Your Phone Battery Suck?


When my phone dies, I like to be tactful;
I prefer to say that it “passed away”. Hey there power hungry people, I’m Jules
here for DNews. Smartphone batteries suck. Actually, all commercial batteries suck, and
that’s kind of a big problem. Every new smartphone iteration seems to have
twice the megapixels, three times the storage space, no headphone jack, and… barely better
battery life. And that battery life isn’t even guaranteed. On an average smartphone, the lithium-ion
battery is generally expected to last between 300 and 500 charge cycles, and many of us
do go through an entire charge cycle every single day. So the fact is, smartphone batteries aren’t
really meant to stay fully functional for more than a year. The problem comes from the fact that since
the late 1970s, there hasn’t really been a revolutionary commercial breakthrough in
battery technology. Nearly all rechargeable modern batteries work
by creating electrical current from the movement of lithium ions between electrodes, and for
this purpose, lithium is amazing. It’s the least dense metal and has the highest
energy-to-weight ratio of comparable metals. So when we made the shift from chunks of lead
floating in acid to slick smooth lithium as a source of storable energy, batteries became
portable and lightweight. It was an amazing breakthrough and changed
consumer electronics irrevocably… but that was 30 years ago. Today, we still use those same batteries. But that’s not to say that battery life
isn’t getting better, sometimes in unexpected ways. Just this year, the iPhone 7 Plus came out
with about an hour more battery life than the iPhone 6S Plus. But the battery capacity is only a tiny bit
larger. The trick is that what we consider “battery
life” is actually capacity, divided by consumption, and while capacity is stagnant, power consumption
is not. The new iPhone processor chip uses only two-thirds
as much power as the previous iteration, while reportedly increasing performance by 40%. Basically, the less power your phone uses,
the better its battery life, without making any substantial changes to the battery itself. Every year, computers and smartphones are
able to do more with less. But that doesn’t quite solve the bigger
problem: batteries wear out and become useless pretty quickly. According to Apple, on their Macbooks, after
about 1000 cycles, you’re left with only about 80% of the battery’s original capacity,
maybe less, and it only gets worse from there. To solve this seemingly unavoidable issue,
researchers from University of California, Irvine accidentally invented a battery that
never dies. Well, seemingly never. Apparently, a doctoral candidate in their
research lab was fooling around, and as we all do for fun, she coated a set of gold nanowires
in manganese dioxide, and then sealed them in an electrolyte gel. Hahaha, oh those scamps! Manganese! The trick is that nanowires conduct electricity
very very well and have a large surface area to store and transfer electrons. But these wires are also SUPER fragile, and
they tend to break down after use. But coating the wires seems to have solved
this major problem. In the lab, this mini-battery went on to experience
200,000 charge cycles. That’s roughly 500 times more than the expected
optimal lifecycle of a lithium-ion battery, while still operating between 94 and 96 percent
efficiency. Even after three months, the normally super-fragile
wires were still fully functional thanks to their gel coating. Although its in the early research stage,
researchers think this battery could last up to 400 years. But your smartphone is still gonna die in
a few years and that’s because it’s still using technology from the 1970s. It’s optimized, but obsolete. A number of tech groups have developed small
scale solutions, a combination of which may prove to be the next big battery breakthrough,
but as for now, most solutions are impractical due to cost, longevity, and most importantly;
safety. New batteries need to be tested for a long
time before they’re introduced on the market. Just look at the Note 7. For now, it looks like battery life will continue
to suck. If you’re into finding out what makes things
tick, like what’s in your electronics, you’re probably like me and love the show How It’s
Made. Now you can watch this and other Science Channel
shows on the Science Go App! Check it out and download for free at your
App Store. And if you want to know more how different
types of batteries work in more detail, Trace has a video all about that here! Is battery life your biggest phone complaint? What other phone improvements do you want
to see? Let us know down below in the comments and
don’t forget to like and subscribe for more videos everyday.

100 thoughts on “Why Does Your Phone Battery Suck?”

  1. Say what you want about Windows Phone 8 (Windows phone OS is pretty terrible) those Nokia's have fantastic batterylife. I can't offer any hard evidence, only anecdotal, but my Nokia 625 lasts for 3 to 5 days on one charge, and I'd say I use it a moderate amount.

    The new Microsoft-branded smartphones are just awful. Just the worst.

  2. Scientists in Russia have been working on a small, low power nuclear batteries made from two nickel isotops over the past 5 years or so. Here's the link https://sputniknews.com/science/201603041035762210-russia-scientists-nuclear-batter/

  3. The sad thing is that phone battery life is not going to improve, not this year, not in 10 years. You cant make batteries significantly larger because they already take most space in a phone. You don't want to make them have significantly higher energy density because frankly note 7 is bad enough when it goes off in your pocket. And you can't make phones consume significantly less power because the screen already takes by far most power in a phone and you are not going to cut its power consumption all that much. You can cut an hour here or there, but order of magnitude improvements are nowhere to be found. As long as the phones are powered by batteries, screens stay large and bright and phone cases stay slim – we are going to charge them daily. To make any significant change we would have to change something radical, eg powering them wirelessly or changing to e-inc type screens, but these technologies just don't exist on a level that would make them viable options.
    Phones of old'e lasted a week or more simply because they had tiny black and white screens and we are not going back there.

  4. I'd be fine with a thicker phone with a bigger battery. Battery cases don't fill that desire because while they do provide extra power they also don't get indexed in the phone's estimation of battery life. I want to just see 50% remaining and know that I still have a day or two. Oh well… maybe one day.

  5. Notice the brand bias. Those phone batteries didn't explode because they were new technologies that were not tested. That statement was out of place.

  6. A screen you can see in the sunlight and one that is sensitive to touch in the cold of winter.

  7. 300-500 charge circles which takes about a year to do.
    My iPad battery has lasted over 2 years and still lasts many hours
    Granted, it is a large battery 😛

  8. Can anyone help me find a source for his claim that commercial battery technology has not significantly improved since the late 1970s?

  9. The smartphone won't last more than a year, the charging jack requires removing the screen, that's $200 for a one off low resolution model, then your just theorizing android. If you made a teflon parallel plate, it could store 80,000 Kilowatts. But you don't have the battery protection circuit. Then your really gauding over a tiny screen moving at 1gigaflop, its like a science test.

  10. turn off auto sync and Bluetooth plus wifi and mobile data when not in use then turn on airplane mode when you don't need any of that stuff on and your battery will last way longer no joke

  11. I have an iPhone 7 and the battery life sucks right from the beginning.
    I do not wanna know how bad it will be after a year.

  12. hey dnews, can you make a video on why industries doesn´t use the technology we already discovered, like eternal sd storage or extrem long batery? is the reason that in that way they can´t make money from the people, or is there a not money oriented reaseon too?

  13. I still feel that the batteries they put in phones should be bigger. I'm fine with the phones being 20% thicker and 25% heavier if it means getting more out of the battery before I sleep. We're talking the difference of millimeters and grams, so stop making them so "thin and sleeeek".

  14. my phone if I let it will last 3 days but because of the way I work and use it at work I don't trust it to actually survive

  15. my kindle battery is 6 years old and it still charges and works and has gone threw more that 360 charge cycles

  16. It doesn't suck you just use it too much. I have my iPhone 6s and it last me 10-12 hours which is half of day. And yes I use it for music 🎶 Facebook,YouTube messaging everything and i don't complaint.

  17. yea it easy to see that this guy doesn't know what the hell he's talking about on this platform…oh did his phone battery die in the making of this video??

  18. well . . . . . . Phone versatility is my demand and having more powerful batteries or rather capacitors etc. , super efficient components and lastly extreme durability. Can you create a special episode for this

  19. I thought this was a video about "Why Does Your Phone Battery Suck?" not a Apple inducement video for dump Apple sheep…

  20. IM WATCHING THIS ON A 10-YEAR OLD IPAD AND I HAVE THE SECRET TO LIFETIME BATTERIES

    BUT SADLY IDK HOW TO OPEN MY IPAD WITHOUT BREAKING IT

  21. I dont think smartphone makers want to put in a battery that lasts 400 years all though consumers would love a battery that doesnt wear out.

  22. A bumble ball can sit in a toy box on 2 AA batteries and run for days ,but my phone dies in a few hours because my brightness was too high

  23. dammit. This is depressing. I am amazed by phones and computers every day but battery life on any electronic device is such absolute garbage. We live in times when spacex is bringing back rockets on unmanned drone ships, but my phone lasts half a day . FML!!!!!

  24. Just came upon your site, in that I'm thinking of changing out my Motorhome batteries as well. I've got 4 golf cart 6V batteries, thinking of going with AGM this time. Wondering if I should add two more ( lovy.biz/44oi ) as I have a residential fridge that tends to pull out many Ah's from my system. I'm new to this lifestyle, so a ton to learn…nothing for wifi or cell boosting yet, so as I say, lots to learn.

  25. Got angry when my phone kept dying when I tried to turn it back on. so I seached up, "phone batteries suck" This video didn't help my anger. Did I mention that the auto-correct on this lg g4 is absolute dogshit. Doesn't want to correct words that are obviously wrong and sometimes auto-corrects a correctly spelt word into a random mess. This comment took forever to right because I had to keep going back and fixing words. I'm done ranting.

  26. I had a battery issue with one of my old phones a few years back. I went back to the store I got it from and had a friend of mine distract the employee working at the desk so I could swap my battery with one of the store models. In just a few days I noticed that my battery life was Improved by a noticeable 300% I wouldn't be surprised to learn that there's a sinister motive behind factory stock batteries.

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