Mobile Phone Batteries: Their Evolution and Limitations.

In an era where technological innovations seem to know no bounds, one persistent challenge continues to vex smartphone users worldwide: the limitations of mobile phone batteries. Despite the leaps and bounds made in smartphone capabilities, the evolution of battery technology has been, and continues to be, a slower, more incremental journey. In this blog, we’ll explore the advancements and limitations of mobile phone batteries, their technology, and give you some tips on how to prolong battery life that help to liberate us from the tyranny of carrying chargers and charging cables.

The Evolution of Mobile Phone Batteries:

Mobile phone batteries have come a long way since the early days of bulky devices with limited endurance. The introduction of Lithium-ion batteries in the 1990s revolutionised the industry, offering higher energy density and longer-lasting power. However, while smartphones have evolved into sleek, multifunctional devices, battery technology still needs to catch up!

Advancements and Limitations:

While some smartphones boast impressive battery life, such as the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max, Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, and Google Pixel 8 Pro, the reality is that most devices still require daily charging. Despite incremental improvements in battery longevity and efficiency, the fundamental limitations of Lithium-ion technology persist.

Why Batteries Lag Behind:

The disparity between smartphone advancements and battery capabilities can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, the demand for slimmer, lighter devices conflicts with the need for larger, more powerful batteries. Consumers prioritise sleek designs over extended battery life, leading manufacturers to prioritise form factor over function.

Additionally, the pace of battery technology development is inherently slower than that of other smartphone components. While processors, cameras, and displays undergo rapid advancements, battery technology faces inherent challenges such as energy density, safety concerns, and cost-effectiveness. 

Mobile phone batteries rely on chemical reactions to store and release energy, making their advancements inherently more challenging compared to the physics-driven developments of other device components. While electronics progress swiftly due to advancements in physics, battery technology faces huge complexities in optimising chemical compositions and reactions, leading to slower progress and incremental improvements over time.

Future Developments:

Technology companies are actively exploring new avenues for battery innovation despite these challenges. Solid-state batteries, which utilise solid electrolytes instead of liquid ones, hold promise for higher energy density, faster charging, and enhanced safety. Companies like Tesla, Samsung, and Toyota are investing heavily in solid-state battery research, aiming to revolutionise energy storage across various industries.

Furthermore, advancements in materials science, such as the integration of lithium metal into battery designs, offer potential breakthroughs in energy density and longevity. Companies like Quantumscape are at the forefront of developing next-generation batteries based on lithium metal technology, paving the way for significant advancements in mobile phone batteries.

Tips for Prolonging Battery Life:

While we await the arrival of next-generation battery technologies, there are steps we can take to maximise the performance and longevity of our current mobile phone batteries:

  • Optimise Settings: Adjust the display brightness, and enable power-saving modes to reduce battery consumption. Don’t wait for 20% level before low power mode is offered to go into it if you’re on a long day. There is some loss of features/notifications of course, but usually not much. See here
  • Manage Charging Habits: Avoid frequent deep discharges and opt for partial charging whenever possible to minimise stress on the battery. The sweet spot is between about 20-80% charge. Newer iPhones for example let you set 80% as the maximum battery charge level which is good – unless you’re on a long day in which case turn it off for that day.
  • Avoid Extreme Temperatures: Extreme heat or cold exposure can degrade battery health, so keep your phone in moderate environments. When in the car, don’t have it in full sun, or next to vents putting out hot air.
  • Use Original Chargers: Stick to genuine certified chargers and cables provided by the manufacturer to ensure compatibility and safe charging.
  • Consider Battery Replacements: If your smartphone’s battery performance significantly deteriorates over time, consider replacing the battery to restore optimal performance. Your device should tell you about the battery condition and its capacity. You can expect some deterioration after between 500-1000 charge cycles, with more after that level. 3+ year-old devices may well benefit, though if carefully managed, can give much longer life.
  • Fast-charging technologies often incorporate features such as temperature management and voltage regulation to minimise stress on the battery, helping to prolong its lifespan.


While mobile phone batteries may lag behind the rapid pace of smartphone advancements, ongoing research and development efforts offer hope for a future where battery life ceases to be a daily concern. By embracing emerging technologies and adopting prudent battery management practices, we can free ourselves from the shackles of charging cables and enjoy uninterrupted connectivity on our smartphones. And when you consider that the average person checks their phone 150 times a day (that’s once every 6 minutes!), our hunger for battery juice than never depletes, is only going to increase.

It might not be long before we can see the prototypes for a more powerful, kinetic charging system that harnesses motion or mechanical energy to generate the electricity needed to power a smartphone. Exercising to charge up all round?

The Chargebox Team