We are stuck with Lithium-Ion phone batteries for now. So small mercies lie in quick charges
Bangalore, September 24 2018: The computing power of your mobile phone, grows exponentially every year. Memory, storage, camera specs — everything becomes bigger, better by the month.
But there is one laggard: the battery that fuels your handset. It just doesn’t measure up to the demands made by today's users. Remember simpler days when a full charge was good for a week?
Sadly, the technology behind the most popular battery material, Lithium Ion — a compound of Lithium as the positive electrode, carbon or graphite as the negative pole and a salt of Lithium as the semi fluid in between — has hardly evolved since the turn of the century. Unless your phone has one of those jumbo batteries of 5000 mAh or more, you will still run down your battery within a working day. What has changed is the speed at which one can recharge the phone battery. Different makers follow different paths: Technologies like Qualcomm's QuickCharge, Oppo's VOOC Flash Charge or OnePlus's Dash Charge, sharply cut the time for a full charge to half an hour or so.
The recent launch of the Oppo F9 Pro smartphone is an interesting response to what customers seem to want: a rapid recharge that will keep them going for a couple of hours.
The proprietary Oppo VOOC low voltage quick charge technology has been beefed up to support a new mantra: "5 minute charge, 2 hour talk". Unlike Qualcomm QuickCharge that increases the voltage for fast charging, VOOC increases current at a relatively low voltage. It has added 5 new layers of security during charging and will kick in, only after checking if the phone is VOOC-ready. This has one plus point: You can use the phone while it is quick-charging. The F9 Pro's battery is medium sized -- 3500 mAh which keeps the phone reasonably light at 169 grams.
In other ways this is a 6.3 inch device, with 6 GB RAM and 64 GB of storage, a hi-power 25 MP selfie camera and a 16 MP- 2MP dual camera combo up front... nothing
The Oppo F9 Pro costs Rs 23,990, while a non-VOOC F9 with almost similar specs, except the dual camera, is Rs 19,990. This signposts an emerging trend where buyers don't mind paying a bit more just to avoid those battery blues.
Meanwhile, barring radical breakthroughs the Li-Ion King still rules -- for now. ANAND PARTHASARATHY