One Battery Not Enough For First Samsung Foldable Phone

Samsung doesn't believe a single battery can do the job in its first-ever foldable smartphone and will instead be equipping the unconventional handset with two cells, new reports indicate. While previous rumors already pointed toward that possibility, most of them also contained claims of a massive, unprecedented capacity the two batteries will offer together, with some suggesting as far as 6,200mAh being part of the package.

The reality is now said to be much less exciting, though the Galaxy Fold — or however the upcoming gadget ends up being called — is still understood to be more than capable of lasting for an entire day on a single charge. New claims now indicate two 2,190mAh batteries being included, amountint to 4,380mAh in total. That's well over the 4,000mAh cell presently found inside Samsung's longest-lasting Android smartphone to date - the Galaxy Note 9.

The alleged battery capacity of the Galaxy Fold is also in line with other high-end devices Samsung is planning to release this year, with many previous reports suggesting the Galaxy S10 range will offer between 3,000mAh and 5,000mAh cells, depending on the exact model. Capacities north of 5,000mAh are still unlikely to become an industry standard anytime soon as such highly autonomous batteries are expected to be exclusively paired with 5G handsets in the coming years, primarily due to the fact that next-generation networking will be much more hardware-intensive and hence require more energy.

The future is flexible - literally

The two batteries fueling the Galaxy Fold are understood to be a stop-gap solution; as far as bendable handsets are concerned, Samsung's endgame comes in the form of flexible batteries. One such solution was already considered for the company's first foldable Android smartphone but appears to have been delayed due to technical issues. Given the unonventional nature of bendable cells, mass-producing such modules is a challenging affair, even for one of the world's largest technology juggernauts.

The South Korean firm isn't the only entity pursuing foldable batteries, though it's certainly the largest one. The likes of Huawei and Apple — companies Samsung can consider rivals — have so far shown little interest in exploring that tech, even though they're completely sold on the idea of bendable smartphones being the future of the mobile industry.

More than one way to skin a battery expert

At the same time, Samsung is still looking at way to increase the capabilities of traditional lithium-ion batteries without making them bulkier, i.e. affecting their size. As that ambition already led to one catastrophic failure in the form of the Galaxy Note 7 recall in 2016, the Seoul-based company is now extremely reluctant to commercialize anything remotely experimental when it comes to battery tech, many industry insiders claimed in recent times.

2019 should still see Samsung break its internal record in terms of consumer-grade mobile battery capacity as new reports suggest the 5G-enabled Galaxy S10 X will use a 5,000mAh cell and even the upcoming Galaxy A70 mid-range is said to be using a 4,400mAh module. Both devices are expected to be announced in the coming months. The Galaxy S10 line even has a relatively official launch date - February 20.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]
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