The Xperia Z5 Compact is an intriguing little smartphone, as we found out when we reviewed it, mostly because it has the same sort of specs as the Xperia Z5 and even the Xperia Z5 Premium in a smaller package, including battery life. This is interesting because the Xperia Z5 Compact runs a relatively small 2,700 mAh battery and yet achieves some of the best battery life available in any Android smartphone, regardless of its size. The battery technology used inside of our smartphones is one of the few areas where not much has changed, but Sony themselves are looking to change this in the future, by using a different sort of reaction in their batteries.
According to Japanese Nikkei, Sony has been working on Sulfur-based batteries that promise to deliver as much as 40% more battery life in a smartphone. The downside? These won’t be ready until 2020. There’s a good reason that this hasn’t been tried before, and it seems that batteries that use a Sulfur compound instead of a Lithium one, as the majority of devices do now, suffer from dissolving electrodes with each charge. Sony have apparently defeated this with a new electrolyte solution and are currently verifying things to make sure that the end result will in fact be safe for general use. It’s not just efficiency that such a battery would improve, but also capacity, with reports saying that Sony could develop a battery with the same sort of runtime and capacity as comparable Lithium-ion cells in a 30% smaller package.
All of this would lead to smaller, thinner smartphones without sacrificing battery life. Not only that, but Sony is already known for producing smartphones with long-lasting battery life, and a new technology altogether would help them further that. There’s also the wider business to consider, just as Sony is making a lot of money selling camera sensors to the likes of Google for their Nexus devices and a lot of Chinese manufacturers, they could do the same for their new batteries. The sad fact however, is that we’re going to have to wait some time before new batteries like these hit any smartphones, but with much longer battery life the wait might be well worth it.