While the revolution in battery life is a long time coming, smartphone manufacturers have long since sparked a new competition: who will charge the devices the fastest? Xiaomi has now raised the bar a good deal in one fell swoop.
If you ask smartphone customers what they want most, battery life is usually at the top of the list. We often hardly notice that the devices have actually been running much longer than before – because they are also used a lot more. In order to be able to achieve a real breakthrough, many manufacturers are therefore concentrating on another aspect. And strive to keep reducing the loading time. An amazing record has now been set.
In just five minutes, a previously empty smartphone battery with 4100 milliampere hours (mAh) could be fully charged. The Chinese smartphone group Xiaomi demonstrates this in a video. We owe this innovation, called “extreme charging”, to a combination of an enormously powerful power supply, a revised battery and smart software.
The power pack is the starting point. For example, Apple delivered its iPhone with a 5-watt power supply for years, but according to Xiaomi, the device in the video pumps the battery of the test smartphone to an incredible 300 watts.
The smartphone owes its survival to the revised battery design. Instead of using graphite for the electrodes, as is usually the case, Xiaomi used carbon in the experimental batteries. As a result, the electrodes are not only a third slimmer, but together with a new chemical composition of the electrolyte, they also allow for greater energy density. And at the same time the faster loading and unloading.
Conductive layers placed between the cells dissipate the heat so that the battery does not overheat due to the extremely fast charging. And the software also plays a role here: As an ammeter shows in the video, the performance increases slowly and only reaches its peak after almost 30 seconds. Then the battery is only five percent charged. After about 2 minutes and 45 seconds – that was enough for a 64 percent charge – the power supply is throttled again. The device only charges the last percent with just under 70 watts.
The market is loading faster and faster
Despite the recent development, it is surprising that the five-minute hurdle falls so quickly. Chinese smartphone manufacturers such as Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi in particular have discovered particularly short loading times as a sales argument in recent years. First they reduced the time on the cable to under an hour, then the range continued to shrink. Xiaomi also set the record outside the laboratory: The Redmi Note 12 Discovery Edition fully charges in just nine minutes thanks to the 210-watt power supply. It has been on the market in China since November. For comparison: Apple does not offer any power adapters over 35 watts for its iPhone.
However, the group has not yet revealed when Xiaomi will be bringing its next battery turbo to the customer. However, the pressure on the market should ensure that Xiaomi will not take too much time with it. Just this week, competitor Realme presented a new model at the MWC mobile communications fair that also only takes 9:30 minutes to load. 30 seconds on the cable should be enough for two hours of telephony.
Source: Xiaomi, blog post on Weibo, Win Future