Battery life remains the number one annoyance for smartphone owners, but it feels like manufacturers have hit a wall figuring out ways to improve it. But hey, if we can’t have more power in something the same size, then maybe being able to charge it up faster is the next best thing? That’s what StoreDot is betting on with its proprietary battery technology and chargers, which can completely refuel your phone from empty to 100 percent in around five minutes.
We got a live demonstration of the technology at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, and it works. They showed us a Samsung Galaxy S6 with a modified battery and charging port being charged up from around 10 percent to 100 percent, and it took 5 minutes and 25 seconds. We also spoke to CEO and founder, Doron Myersdorf, about what makes StoreDot’s solution unique.
“The physics and the chemistry of what’s happening inside the battery is new,” Myersdorf told Digital Trends. “It’s a new generation of lithium ion batteries.”
There are a lot of new fast-charging standards and claims in the industry right now, but Myersdorf believes many of them are achieving faster charging speeds at the cost of lifespan. A traditional lithium ion battery can survive around 600 cycles of charge and discharge before it starts to deteriorate. Myersdorf argues that by doubling the current to achieve faster charging they are effectively shortening the battery’s useful life.
Anyone familiar with fast-charging right now will know that the phone can get awfully warm. We worried that this might be a factor with StoreDot’s tech, but during our tests the temperature only rose 4 degrees celsius during the charging process. We handled the charger and phone immediately afterwards and neither one was hot. This is partly because the process is so quick.
Apparently, the problem isn’t usually the battery, because there are low resistance materials inside. The real challenge is in the charger and connection. This means you can’t have a wire between the phone and the charger. It needs a solid connection.
StoreDot used a wall-mounted charger unit that was quite large, but they also showed another, smaller, wired charger that can do the same job. The thing that immediately jumps out is the requirement for a large contact area between the phone and the charger. They used a 20-pin connector for the demo, because there’s no connection type right now that can deliver the wattage required.
“Even USB Type-C would need to be modified in order to enable five minute charging,” said Myersdorf. “This is a whole ecosystem effort that needs to happen.