Will Our Batteries Ever Catch Up to the Rest of Our Powerhouse Smartphones?

With the technology inside the smartphones we use changing for the better so rapidly, sometimes it is difficult for even those of us who write about it on a daily basis to keep up. Just think about the fact that we are now talking about Octa-core processors when it wasn't all that long ago that everyone was all pie eyed about quad-core smartphones.

Not only are phones processing data at a faster clip but the screens are getting better as well. Look at some of the comment sections under a blog post about any given upcoming handset and you will see people arguing that a device not having a 1080p display is a deal breaker. Think about that for a second. There are phones out there with a same or better display on them than a lot of the television sets in people's homes.

So while we can sit there and marvel at the fact that these devices have doubled in speed every year going from single core all the way to octa-core, as well as the fact that screens have gotten bigger and better, one thing has remained somewhat constant and that's the battery size.

Let's say for the sake of argument that a smartphone has a screen size of 5 inches or less and anything larger than that will be a phablet or whatever else you want to call it. With space already limited the battery can only take up so much space without the form factor suffering right? I mean nobody want's to be carrying around a brick. There are also factors like removable battery and non removable ones, The former making it much harder to add more juice into a defined space than the latter.

It's likely that the removable/non removable argument is where this battle is going to be fought going forward actually. Let's take a look at two of the more popular phones of the last year, the Samsung Galaxy S III and the Droid Razr Maxx because they offer different form factors with regards to the battery installation. Samsung shipped the Galaxy S IV with a 2100mAh removable battery as opposed to Motorola's Droid Razr Maxx's 3300mAh non removable one.

The reason that Motorola was able to do this is because by making it non removable they were able to play around with the shape of the battery, unlike Samsung's standard rectangular shaped one. In order for GS3 users to get the same battery experience as their Razr Maxx counterparts, an expensive extended battery must be purchased which also added considerable heft to the device, something that Maxx users are sure to point out.

Sure there are other solutions to the battery problem but they all come with their own set of small flaws and annoyances. For example there are cases for the Galaxy S III that have their own battery, but in addition to making the phone much bigger it's another thing to charge and it also takes away from the aesthetics of the device. There are also those portable power packs you can buy, but again it's another thing to charge all the time as well and something extra you need to carry around with you, so it can get to be a bit of a hassle.

Until there is some kind of new battery innovation that catches the technology up with the rest of the smartphone these are the issues we all have to deal with. The question is whether being able to do a quick battery pull is worth the extra expense and hassle of either an extended battery or a portable power pack, or are you fine with sacrificing that "luxury" for a more fluid designed handset with a larger non removable battery.

So what kind of user are you? Are you the type that needs a removable battery or does it not make a difference at all to you? Let us know in the comments.

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About the Author

Joe Levin

Joe is a Boston based Android reporter his current devices include The Nexus 4 & The Nexus 7
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