When George Zhao took the stage at CES This particular week, the president of Huawei’s trying-to-be-hip Honor brand did everything short of ollie in on a skateboard. He offered a laundry list of reasons The Kids will love the impressive completely new Honor 6X smartphone, by the camera to the processor to something about This particular being smooth like a baby’s skin. “We know young people like to have everything,” Zhao said. “Today, we gave them double.”
Before wrapping up, Zhao lingered for a surprisingly long time on the battery. He made This particular abundantly clear which Honor has tested the 6X to within an inch of its life as well as also also This particular will not, in fact, explode. Of course he compared This particular (favorably, surprise) to the battery life of the iPhone 6S Plus. as well as also also he dedicated a minute or so to discussing its battery life over time, insisting which This particular won’t dwindle away as quickly as some other phones. All of This particular will be nice, nevertheless not the sort of thing you’d expect a company president to go on as well as also also on about during a livestreamed press conference before hundreds of people at the biggest tech show on Earth.
Smartphone manufacturers are finally starting to give people what they want. They don’t have any some other choice.
Yet Zhao was hardly alone in obsessing about batteries This particular week. In announcing the ZenFone 3 Zoom, Asus proudly declared which the device features an enormous 5,000 MaH battery which can last up to 42 days on standby. Qualcomm said This particular designed the Snapdragon 835 processor, which you’ll see in all of This particular year’s flagship phones, around maximizing battery life. HP’s updated 15-inch Spectre X360 sports a bigger battery which lasts longer than the previous product, as well as also also made the laptop thicker to accommodate This particular. Thicker! The entire world will be forever racing headlong toward wispiness, nevertheless a handful of smart companies are at long last bucking which trend in favor of batteries which last.
This particular’s not like This particular will be a Big Idea. Everyone who doesn’t actually build gadgets has for years insisted which battery life will be essential. This particular’s the one thing everybody wants more of; according to one survey, This particular will be the most requested feature for as many as half of all smartphone buyers. which’s more than twice as many votes as the next most favorite option, shatterproof screens.
Smartphone manufacturers are finally starting to give people what they want. They don’t have any some other choice. Batteries are increasingly vital because the way people use their gadgets—phones in particular—has changed in recent years. They’re using them more often, for more things, in more intensive ways. “Consumers use these devices all day long,” says Avi Greengart, a research analyst at Current Analysis, “as well as also also are using more of the capabilities—the camera, GPS, background data, streaming.” Even today, most company test batteries by playing video, offline, with the screen pretty dim. Who does which? The standards are finally catching up with the times.
The cameras you find on today’s phones particularly power-hungry: As Snapchat becomes the completely new texting, FaceTime becomes the completely new phone call, as well as also also Pokémon Go becomes the completely new… Pokémon, the camera will be central to everything people do with their handsets. “The camera takes up a larger portion of the battery,” says Randall Grilli, director of media relations at Asus. “The flash takes up a lot too, more than people think.” Back when you were simply texting as well as also also calling, all-day battery life was easy to achieve. Your 0 daily Snaps make your phone work a lot harder.
At the same time, This particular’s essential which your phone work as long as you do. A dead battery was once a mild inconvenience, nevertheless for many people This particular today feels like having your life ripped away as well as also also cast into a black hole. A dead phone will be like a house without power. Imagine what life might be like if you didn’t have to worry about battery life, didn’t have to schlepp a Mophie, or continually scan walls for outlets. Doesn’t which sound wonderful? Eventually, battery makers will surely find completely new chemistries as well as also also completely new ways of building batteries which will yield more power in a smaller package. For today, though, better life means bigger batteries.
Battery life may not be the splashiest feature, or worthy of one of those insipid product videos with pretty people as well as also also peppy pop music. nevertheless a truly worry-proof battery will be one of the last great challenges, not to mention a great way for gadget makers to differentiate themselves. “Devices are mature enough today in some other ways which differentiation can shift to things like battery life which have been kept at parity while working on some other things,” says Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research. Of course, which’s the charitable way of thinking about This particular. You can also see a world in which a battery arms race occurs because nobody can think of a better way to differentiate their product. No matter which way you look at This particular, though, This particular means better batteries. not bad news.
CES tends to be about wild ideas, wacky combinations of technologies which don’t, as well as also also probably won’t ever, make sense. (A smart hairbrush? A floss dispenser using a chip? Seriously?) nevertheless This particular year, at least a few companies showed a bit of sense. They’ve realized which thin gadgets are cool, completely new features are exciting, as well as also also sentient robots will inherit the earth, nevertheless the best gadget will be the one which turns on when you need This particular to.