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Samsung Galaxy S23 could fix one of the S22's biggest flaws

Galaxy S22
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Samsung Galaxy S22 is among the best phones you can buy, but there's a clear strike against Samsung's latest flagship — battery life isn't what it could be on the new models.

It sounds like Samsung doesn't want to make the same mistake again, based on a couple reports on the company's battery plans. For starters, Samsung is turning to a new battery technology for its smartphone batteries that could pack more power into mobile devices. And it could also increase the size of the cells that will power next year's Galaxy S23 models.

The new battery technology comes from a report in The Elec (opens in new tab) on battery supplier Samsung Digital Interface, which will reportedly turn to the same stacking method used to make batteries for electric vehicles when it produces smartphone power packs. 

According to the report, this method stacks battery materials in layers, with the end result being greater energy density. When applied to smartphone batteries, the new method could bolster energy density by more than 10%, the Elec repots.

Any improvement in battery life would be welcome by Samsung fans, as the Galaxy S22 hasn't exactly muscled out other phones for a place on the best phone battery life list. Among Samsung's new models, the Galaxy S22 Ultra posted the best battery life in our testing, in which we set phones to surf the web continuously over cellular until they run out of juice, with a time of 10 hours and 18 minutes. But that was with the phone's adaptive refresh rate turned off — with the phone's screen able to refresh at 120Hz, battery life on the S22 Ultra fell to just under 9 hours. That's about an hour less than the average smartphone.

Results from Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus testing weren't any more impressive. The Plus did manage a time of 9 hours and 46 minutes with the adaptive refresh rate turned on, but the S22 struggled to reach the 8 hour mark.

Part of the problem may be the sizes of the batteries in Samsung's new phones. Both the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus feature smaller power packs than their predecessors. The Galaxy S22 uses a 3,700 mAh battery compared to the Galaxy S21's 4,000 mAh, while the S22 Plus battery shrunk to 4,500 mAh from 4,800 in the Galaxy S21 Plus.

That's where Samsung's plan to boost battery sizes for the Galaxy S23 comes into play. According to Notebook Check (opens in new tab), which flagged up the report in The Elec, Samsung will turn to a 4,500 mAh battery for the Galaxy S23. The Plus and Ultra models coming out next year will also get bigger batteries — 5,000 mAh and 5,500 mAh, respectively.

Boosting battery size certainly helped Samsung rival Apple with its last round of flagship phones. All four iPhone 13 models feature bigger power packs than the ones included with their comparable iPhone 12 versions. It's not a coincidence that all four iPhone 13 models saw improved battery life results over the previous year's versions. (Our Galaxy S22 Ultra vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max comparison looks at the disparity in battery life between those two top models.)

Samsung is doubtlessly hoping to pull off the same feat — and go even further if the report of new stacking technology pans out. It'll be some time before we find out, though, as the Galaxy S23 isn't expected to arrive until the early part of 2023.

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.