While the amount and complexity of technology that is being packed into smartphones have reached an all-time high, the batteries that power these devices haven’t seen much of a change over the past decade.
Although some companies are investing a lot of time, money, and resources into improving battery technology — Tesla comes to mind — the batteries that power our smartphones haven’t radically changed since smartphones hit the market. Instead, developers and manufacturers have worked around battery limitations by creating phones which are less power hungry, while improving battery charging technology, allowing users to top off their power level faster and faster.
Recently, Chinese tech giant Xiaomi debuted a brand new cellphone charger, which is sure to stun future customers thanks to its high wattage and short charging time.
As reported by The Verge, Xiaomi has pulled back the curtain on a brand new charger, which is able to deliver 100W of power. In a video originally posted to Chinese microblogging platform Weibo, a 4,000 mAh phone is seen hooked up to Xiaomi’s brand new charger. In less than 20 minutes (17, to be exact), the phone goes from being completely drained of its battery to having a full charge.
As The Verge notes, the fastest charger that they’ve had the opportunity to test, the 50W Super VOOC from one of Xiaomi’s rivals, Oppo, was able to charge a 3,700 mAh battery to 65 percent in 17 minutes. With a bit of number crunching, it seems Xiaomi’s 100W charger can deliver power at an average rate of ~235mAh per minute, while Oppo’s charger lags behind at ~141mAh. Of course, these numbers are average charging rates — power delivery rates slow down as a battery nears 100 percent charge.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like you’ll be able to simply buy Xiaomi’s new charger and use it on any old smartphone. While USB Type-C does support 100W of power draw, the problem with delivering 100W of continuous power is the risk of overloading a battery. As The Verge notes, the aforementioned charger from Oppo achieves its relatively fast rate of charging by splitting the 3,400 mAh battery into two 1,700mAh cells.
At the time of writing, Xiaomi has yet to reveal if any handsets will support this new level of fast charging. Even though it might take some time for this technology to reach consumers, it will surely present the next level of battery charging technology. For comparison, as noted on Apple’s official website, newer models of iPhones do support fast charging, but can only fill up 50 percent of their battery in half an hour.