When it comes to choosing smartphones, having the latest and great technology is one thing, but if you have a powerful smartphone with poor battery life, what’s the point, right? For now most phones will get you through the day, with some phones lasting you a couple of days tops (assuming frequent usage, not standby), but wouldn’t it be great if we had phones that could last us a week?
Back in the day of the feature phone, this was possible, and it looks like Microsoft Research is hoping to bring those levels of battery life back. Speaking at the MIT Tech Review summit, Microsoft Research’s Ranveer Chandra revealed that they were exploring the idea of creating a smartphone whose battery could last a good 7 days, without the need from external help such as external battery packs.
One of the ideas they’ve come up with is by creating a battery that contains two li-ion batteries versus one. By having two, they are able to split up the use of the batteries, so one could be used to provide a large supply to current when there is heavy use, and the other could be used during standby mode. In a way this reminds us of ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture where the more powerful cores are used for demanding processes, while the less-powerful ones are used for the day-to-day processes.
Another way they believe they can extend battery life is through software optimization. This process, called E-Loupe, will identify apps that consume a lot of power even when a user is not actively using the app, and slow/pause the background activity of said app. According to Chandra, Microsoft Research has managed to built several prototypes where battery life has improved anywhere between 20-50%. It’s hardly the 7-day mark but we reckon that still sounds pretty promising.