If there is one major complaint you have with your cell phones, it probably has something to do with the life of its battery and charging time. Although cell phones make our lives so much easier these days, it can become extremely frustrating when your battery is consistently dying or nearing the end of its life, particularly when you need it most. It becomes even further exasperating when you have to wait for a long time to let the phone gain a decent charge. Most recent devices feature universal micro USB charging sockets, making it a bit more convenient to charge on the go (or at least wherever you can find a USB port). However, what most don’t know is that not all ports provide the same amount of charge. The key to faster charging is to find the optimal port or adapter for your device.
Different power sources supply varying amounts of energy. For example, the typical USB 2.0 socket on a computer provides a maximum of 500 milliamps. Most car and wall outlet chargers deliver two to four times as much power. You can recharge some mobile electronics faster by using a charger or USB port that supplies additional amps.
To find a charger with more power, you only need to compare the maximum amperage specifications of different products. Gaining more energy from a USB port isn’t as simple. Some USB power sources divide a certain number of amps among the connected devices; they will charge things faster if you only attach one device at a time.
Other power sources have independent ports that can supply the same maximum current to multiple devices. You may use a USB power meter to determine how much energy your ports deliver under different conditions. If in doubt, avoid connecting multiple USB devices to the same computer, charger or hub.
Another way to gain more amps is to add USB 3.0 ports to your desktop computer. These sockets supply nearly twice as much power as USB 2.0. PC World explains that you may perform this upgrade by installing a new PCI card and connecting it to an internal power cord. Some companies also make USB 3.0 cards for laptop computers.
Don’t upgrade your USB ports or buy a new charger until you’re sure that a device can handle the extra power. A basic cellphone’s internal battery won’t accept more than 500 mA. Most smartphones have maximum charging rates of about one amp. For example, Gigaom reports that the Google Nexus One handles up to 980 mA per hour.
Some larger portable devices can benefit from additional amperage. Many tablets draw a maximum of 2.1 amps, so it’s best to use the most powerful microUSB charger available. You can safely recharge mobile phones with the same unit, but it won’t energize them any faster than a one-amp charger. Be sure to review the specifications for your device.
Some power sources are optimized to provide more energy for certain devices. For instance, an Apple computer will charge an iPhone faster than a Dell PC. A power cord from your smartphone’s manufacturer may energize it more quickly than a generic equivalent. It’s not clear why this happens; cellphone makers have yet to reveal the details.
With so many factors to consider, it can be difficult to identify the fastest charging method. Nevertheless, the ideal solution is to find a charger or USB port that matches your device’s maximum charging rate and comes from the same manufacturer.
Today’s smartphones are decreasing the need for people to own multiple gadgets since modern-day phones offer the features of an alarm clock, music player, GPS unit and much more. Despite the ever-advancing technology supplied by smartphones, battery longevity still remains a problem. Fortunately, smartphone developers are toying with a variety of concepts to address this issue, one highly anticipated idea being utilizing solar energy for power.
A few years ago, several cellphone companies developed mobile devices with solar cells installed on the back of the unit. The solar phones were the Samsung Crest and the Sharp Solar Hybrid. With the technology, the mobile devices were able to use solar power to operate. However, the advancement faced a major setback; the location of the solar cells. With the equipment installed on the back of the cellphone, users had to place their phones face down on a flat surface for the cells to collect solar power. When the phone was face down, the mobile device’s owner was unable to see his or her messages and notifications as easily. As a result, the phone style was unpopular, and manufacturers ceased making it.
Currently, most mobile devices use lithium-ion batteries as a power source. However, exciting innovations from SunPartner Group include the development of a way to connect a solar-powered smartphone display screen to the unit. With the technology on the front of the smartphone, people will be able to efficiently use the device while it’s collecting power from the sun.
Instead of creating an overlay made entirely from transparent solar cells, SunPartner has created the mechanism by alternating thin-film solar cells with regular transparent film. Furthermore, the company has been able to prevent the overlay from displaying a striped appearance by using small lenses that thrust the image from below the dense solar cells. The construction method spreads an image across the full screen. The lenses can also guide the sun’s rays directly to the device’s solar cells. Currently, SunPartner’s trial screens are approximately 82 percent transparent, and the company foresees its future screens becoming 90 percent transparent.
Smartphones with solar technology will continue to use a wall charger to acquire power, but the solar addition will extend the life of the device’s battery during normal use. Also, the technology advancement will provide power to the phone when it’s idling in the sun. According to The News Tribe, Apple and Samsung will also be releasing smartphones that feature solar power technology in the future.
The added technology is economical as it only adds about $2.30 to the cost of a phone. Furthermore, technology experts report that when people use a mobile device’s solar power properly, they’ll increase the lifespan of their smartphone by an estimated 20 percent.
By shifting to solar power, smartphone manufacturers are offering consumers a product that is better for the planet since it lasts longer and uses less energy produced by fossil fuel. In addition, the technology results in less consumer frustration as the sun’s energy will help maintain the power of the smartphone’s battery – a win-win for all.
Shortly after LG Electronics announced that it would be releasing the world’s first vertically curved phone in its Asian markets, both the Daily Mail and CNET News reported that the manufacturer is developing bendable batteries to be used in their future, highly anticipated mobile devices. While LG’s bendable display screens stole the headlines in the first week of October, the company’s bendable batteries may have even greater implications for the future of mobile technology.
LG’s vertically curved smartphone, the Flex, was just released on October 28, 2013, to compete with Samsung’s Galaxy Round smartphone, which is horizontally curved. However, it now appears that LG’s choice in titling its new product has provided the world with a glimpse into the company’s research and development (R&D) strategy.
Despite its name, the LG Flex is not flexible. It is just as solid and unbendable as every other phone on the market, but it is the first step in the development of other flexible technologies, including display screens and bendable batteries.
In the first week of October 2013, LG made two major announcements. One was about the development of a flexible OLED display for mobile devices, which received a lot of attention from the media. Although LG developed a bendable display back in 2010, it was never commercially released because it was deemed too expensive for the consumer market.
Now, however, the technology has evolved and dropped in price, making it a practical option for the design of new mobile devices, especially when combined with the new battery technology that was announced alongside the flexible displays.
The biggest and most promising news about LG’s development of flexible mobile technology is the announcement of three new types of batteries that are either bendable or modifiable: curved batteries, stepped batteries and cable batteries. In the coming years, these batteries will be essential in the production of flexible mobile devices.
The first of the new batteries is the curved battery. This battery is not truly bendable but is rigid like all other batteries. However, LG’s new stack-and-fold technology allows them to be molded into curved shapes to complement curved screens and form factors.
The second new battery from LG is the stepped battery. The stepped battery is actually two or more batteries that have been joined together like steps. This allows the battery to fit into tight or irregular spaces that could not house standard, rectangular batteries, and the design allows for a 16 percent increase in storage capacity.
LG’s truly flexible battery is the cable battery, which is so bendable that it can be tied into a knot and still function at peak capacity. In addition, the cable battery is waterproof and never overheats, making it ideal for use in wearable gadgets, such as smartphone watches. Another great benefit of bendable batteries is that they are difficult to break because they adjust to body movements and absorb impact.
When the LG cable battery is finally released to the public, it may very well change mobile technology as we know it today.