Samsung’s graphene balls could finally revolutionize smartphone batteries

If you look at Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones, you’ll see a sudden, dramatic shift in design and quality from the Galaxy S5 to the S6. That trend continued with both Galaxy and Note lines with dual curved screens, the best AMOLED displays and cameras in the business, and the removal of bezels. Samsung is no rookie when it comes to innovation, even if they sometimes need a push from competitors (sorry, plastic), but there’s one piece of tech that’s still in dire need of improvement – batteries. Samsung’s Advance Institute of Technology has now found a way to use graphene to increase battery capacity by up to 45% and improve charging times by a factor of five. Could this finally be the innovation we’ve been waiting for?

Graphene has a lot of advanced applications, such as detecting cancer and purifying ocean water, but “graphene balls” could soon change smartphone batteries forever. Charging times, even with Qualcomm’s Quick Charging or Dash Charge from OnePlus, are still over an hour from 0 – 100%. They’re faster than they’ve ever been, but 90 minutes is still a real chunk of time. Imagine if that time fell to just 18 minutes and your battery lasted a lot longer afterward. That’s what graphene has the potential to do.

A major boost in charging times also won’t shorten a battery’s lifespan as engineers found that batteries still had 78% charge retention after 500 charging cycles. Stability and conductivity of both cathodes and electrodes are improved by a graphene coating, adding resiliency to lithium-ion batteries under the pressure of fast charging. Unfortunately, the technology is still at an early stage and most likely won’t appear in 2018 smartphones. Samsung has published a technical paper about graphene ball production and how the technology works, so hopefully it’ll debut in 2019.

Smartphone batteries are just the tip of the iceberg with graphene ball technology and Samsung claims it can be scaled up for larger applications. Electric cars are in desperate need of improved charging times as they can’t compete with the couple of minutes it takes to fill up a gas tank. That roadblock is the major reason why there isn’t larger adoption and they’re still generally considered “homeowner cars” with overnight charging possible in a garage.

Samsung has filed patents in both the US and South Korea for graphene ball technology, but there’s no timeline as to when (or if) it’ll reach smartphones and electric cars. With the potential to revolutionize some of the most important consumer products in the world, let’s hope that Samsung has 2019 or 2020 in mind.

Source: Digital Trends

About the Author: Erik Slaven

He was born and raised in Virginia, but escaped to Southern CA. Started out as a BlackBerry addict until he bought HTC’s Droid Eris and never looked back. He's owned dozens of Android devices and can rarely settle on a daily driver for more than a few months. He's currently using a Galaxy S8 and BlackBerry KEYone. He rides motorcycles for fun and would live on the beach if it was legal. Marketing and freelance pr help keep the lights on.

  • ZBlade

    How many times have we heard about these new battery technology but never heard or seen anything years after? We all know that batteries is one of the main selling point of a smartphone or any portable device and I really wish that something does really come out of this new tech because I am sick of hearing all of these new battery techs but nothing really comes out from it.

    • Erik Slaven

      Yeah, we’ve heard it all before. This one might be the real deal, though.