Items tagged with Batteries

A new report by Which?, an advocacy group in the United Kingdom, found that Apple and HTC both overstate battery life on smartphones, sometimes "significantly," which is the case with some iPhone models. In stark contrast, Nokia, Samsung, and Sony all underestimate or are conservative about battery life with the phones that were tested, based on the organization's methods. "Which? tested nine iPhone models and found that all of them fell short of Apple’s battery time claims. In fact, Apple stated that its batteries lasted between 18 percent and 51 percent longer than the Which? results," Which? said. The biggest discrepancy belonged to the iPhone XR, one of Apple's newest generation handsets.... Read more...
There has been a concerted effort by the smartphone industry at large to slim down handsets and get rid of the bezel, all in attempt to maximize portability. Energizer has decided to take a different approach. The battery maker is at Mobile World Congress showing off a thick phone that double as a power brick, or perhaps we have that backwards. Either way, Power Max P18K Pop is notable, not just because Energizer doesn't really have any skin in the smartphone game right now, but due to its massive capacity battery. This chunky monkey wields an 18,000 mAh battery pack, and might just be the first smartphone to live up to the company's catchphrase of being able to keep going and going and going.... Read more...
As is common in the tech industry, Apple has poached a key employee from its main competitor in the mobile space. Specifically, Apple recently hired Soonho Ahn, Samsung's former senior vice president of its battery business (Samsung SDI), to serve as its own global head of battery development. This is no doubt part of a continued effort to be more self reliant. Even though Apple and Samsung are fierce competitors in the mobile space, and are often embroiled in legal disputes with one another, the two companies are also business partners in a sense—Apple sources certain components of its popular iPhone handsets from Samsung, including in the past batteries and displays. Prior to joining... Read more...
Batteries are the bane of mobile device makers—companies have to ensure that battery life is sufficient, and just as importantly, are well constructed and won't die prematurely or, even worse, overheat and catch on fire and explode. Hey, it happens. As it goes, Apple is currently dealing with a battery life issue on some of its Apple Watch devices, and is offering free repairs to customers who are experiencing swollen batteries. The bulging battery issue is affecting some Apple Watch Series 2 devices. In some cases, a defective battery is preventing the Apple Watch from powering on, and in other instances customers are complaining about their timepieces expanding, with a swollen battery... Read more...
After Apple fessed up to implementing a mechanism that automatically and covertly throttles iPhones with degraded batteries, the company extended an olive branch to angry customers by offering to replace batteries of iPhone 6 and later handsets at a reduced cost, and to do so no matter what condition they were in. Many iPhone owners took Apple up on the offer. So many, in fact, that waits times to have the battery replaced are now approaching two months. Normally the cost of a battery replacement for an iPhone 6 or newer handset runs $79. However, Apple slashed the price all the way down to $29 and did not put any restrictions on battery health. So, anyone with an iPhone 6 or newer handset who... Read more...
Hewlett-Packard has issued a voluntary recall on batteries used in more than a dozen laptop models that were sold between December 2015 and December 2017. According to the recall notice, affected batteries are at risk of overheating and catching fire. So far, HP has received eight reports of battery packs getting too hot and melting or charring. Three of those incidents resulted in property damage totaling $4,500, and in one instance a user suffered a "minor injury" from a first-degree burn to the hand. Units with affected batteries were sold through Best Buy and other stores and authorized dealers across the nation. They were also sold online at places like Amazon and HP's own web store. Models... Read more...
After getting caught with its hand in the cookie jar, Apple came out and offered an apology of sorts for anyone who felt "let down" by its decision to throttle performance on iPhone devices with degraded batteries. As part of its mea culpa, Apple also slashed the price of its battery replacement service to $29, down from $79, which is good through the end of next year. But is it enough? Not everyone thinks so. "This public outcry, and the hard work of journalists around the world, has caused Apple to blink. That’s great, but their proposed fix is only temporary. Battery prices are going back up in a year, and Apple still won’t sell OEM batteries to independent shops. That needs to... Read more...
There seems to be a never-ending stream of new battery technologies looking to replace the venerable lithium-ion chemistry. Today, new advances in zinc-air batteries are making them look increasingly more viable as a suitable replacement, with the potential to squeeze five time the charge into a battery comparably sized to its lithium-ion counterpart. The breakthrough comes from researchers working at University of Sydney and the Nanyang Technological University, who published a paper in Advanced Materials. As its name implies, zinc-air batteries are composed of zinc metal and oxygen from the air, which is of course readily available. This battery chemistry makes them much cheaper to produce... Read more...
When it comes to the mobile devices that we use on a daily basis — be it a smartphone, tablet, or laptop — we are more than likely relying on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries to keep us powered through the day. However, companies have looked for an alternative to lithium-ion batteries for years, but none has fought its way to the forefront to provide a suitable challenge. One startup company, Ionic Materials, is looking to take the fight to the lithium-ion with a battery chemistry that we’re all familiar with: alkaline. While traditional alkaline batteries are not rechargeable, Ionic has developed a solid-state version that can be recharged hundreds of times. These rechargeable batteries would... Read more...
Fidget spinners are one of the hottest fads at the moment, and they have even gone high-tech. Unfortunately, quality control seems to be woefully lacking. Not only are these toys proving to be a red-hot sales item, they are also literally hot. As in, overheating and catching fire. There have been multiple reports of these Bluetooth-enabled spinners bursting into flames while charging. Kimberly Allums, a mother in Gardendale, Alabama, describes a harrowing incident involving her son, who had plugged in his Bluetooth fidget spinner to charge it. Later on she heard her son screaming from upstairs. "He noticed that it burst into flames and he just started screaming," Allums told WBRC, a local news... Read more...
It seems that we're constantly hearing about promising new battery technologies and eventually one of them will stick. Mike Zimmerman, a professor at Tufts University and founder of Ionic Materials, hopes that his remarkably resilient ionic battery technology will be the one that does. At a glance, his ionic battery technology appears to a legitimate shot at finally pushing the category forward in a significant way. The reason scientists and researchers pay so much attention to battery design is because today's lithium-ion units have several downsides. As we saw recently with Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 recall, they can overheat and catch fire. Even when they work correctly, lithium-ion batteries... Read more...
At long last, we have some details on why exactly some of Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 devices were prone to overheating and catching fire, including replacement handsets that used batteries from a different manufacturer. Samsung has completed its investigation and determined that irregularly sized battery packs were to blame in many cases, while problems in manufacturing affected others. These details have not yet been made public from Samsung—the South Korean handset maker will hold a press conference on Monday to talk about the defects. However, The Wall Street Journal received word early and while the battery was suspected to be the culprit all along, this is the first time that a reasonable explanation... Read more...
What happened to Samsung and its Galaxy Note 7 can be considered a wake-up call for battery makers and consumers alike, or at least it should be. Despite whatever safety precautions Samsung took to ensure its Galaxy Note 7 would function properly, the batteries inside were prone to overheating and catching fire, which led to a global recall. It's an issue that has affected other electronic makers in the past, but maybe one that can be prevented in the future. To that end, a group of researchers from Stanford University developed a lithium-ion battery with a built-in fire extinguisher. "Although the energy densities of batteries continue to increase, safety problems (for example, fires and explosions)... Read more...
Apple introduced a bunch of new features with iOS 10 when it released a couple of months ago, but more recent incremental updates have given iPhone users more than they bargained form. There are complaints that installing the iOS 10.1.1 update is somehow making batteries drain faster than they normally would, as well as giving inaccurate readings of battery life.That's an annoying combination to deal with. Some users report having ample battery life before going to bed—well over half and sometimes even close to full—yet waking up to a dead phone. That shouldn't happen if there are not any apps open and running. Some also report that plugging in their completely drained iPhone will show a significant... Read more...
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