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Smartphones with Double the Battery Life Coming Next Year

Cell phones could last twice as long between charges as early as next year, thanks to new battery technology that would make even the Energizer bunny envious.

By replacing graphite with lithium metal foil, battery maker SolidEnergy Systems has managed to fit more lithium ions into batteries taking up the same amount space as a more traditional lithium ion battery would, according the MIT, the institution where SolidEnergy was born.

“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,” explained SolidEnergy CEO Qichao Hu in an MIT press release.

MORE: Smartphones with the Longest Battery Life

The lithium metal batteries have the same "safety and longevity features" as the more common lithium ion batteries, but the safety of even lithium ion batteries has been questioned after laptop, smartphone and hoverboard battery fires.

Granted, battery failures and fires are rare, but major device makers likely require rigorous testing of any new battery technology before it's put to use at scale.

SolidEnergy expects its batteries to be used in smartphones and wearable devices early next year, and in drones this November.

SolidEnergy's lithium metal batteries were prototyped and developed using using manufacturing equipment and other resources that belonged to now-defunct battery company A123 Systems, which were left idle when that company went bankrupt in 2012.

To help ramp up battery production ahead of the November launch in drones, SolidEnergy has established its very own headquarters, which is 10 times larger than its previous space.

Althea Chang is Associate Director of Content Development for Consumer Reports and was previously a Senior Writer for Tom's Guide, covering mobile devices, health and fitness gadgets and car tech. 

  • Daekar3
    I hope this technology is applicable to large battery packs like in electric vehicles. Doubling the range of an EV would make it a lot more palatable, or cutting the cost of the battery pack in half for the same range.