In the early days of smartphones, they competed for battery life king status by just chucking in larger and larger batteries. A bigger battery meant better battery life and it was as simple as that.
Apple did not run this race, they believed in creating lean software and optimising their hardware so as to eke out more from smaller batteries.
They had to do this because for a while they were stubborn, saying the perfectly sized smartphone had a 4-inch screen. This small form factor limited the size of battery they could use. It’s crazy that of their latest iPhone 14 range, the smallest has a 6.1-inch screen. They were super wrong.
The Android contingent competed on size but we knew the day would come when they could not keep doing that. For as much as we appreciated bigger screens and bigger batteries, phones started approaching tablet territory. Nobody wants a 7-inch smartphone, that’s too massive.
These less-than-6.8-inch beasts we have now top out at 6000mAh batteries for the most part. Most have 5000mAh cells.
When battery physical size could no longer be increased, manufacturers had to start thinking about lean software, efficient chips and charging speeds.
Apple had longer to solve this puzzle and as their phones got bigger, they started competing and beating the best when it comes to battery life. All this despite having smaller batteries.
That’s well and good for how long a phone can last between charges but the charging experience is part of the battery experience too. A phone that lasts long but takes 2 hours to top up can be annoying to use. Especially in Zimbabwe where a power cut can strike without warning.
The Chinese have been leading the charging speed race for years. Last year we saw the OnePlus launch with 150W charging. You can charge the 4500mAh battery in that phone from 0-100% in under 17 minutes. You need 2 hours to top up an iPhone 14 Pro Max and 59 minutes for the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
240W hits the market
Last year, OnePlus’ parent OPPO announced a proof-of-concept charging standard that gets to an eye-watering 240W. For context, the iPhone 14 Pros top out at 27W and the recently announced Galaxy S23 Ultra only manages 45W.
It’s no longer a concept. 240W fast charging is now on a phone that’s for sale – the Realme GT Neo 5. It is ridiculously fast.
The phone in question comes with a 4600mAh battery and you can top it up to 20% in just 80 seconds, 50% in 4 minutes, and 100% in under 10 minutes. 0-100 in less than 10 minutes my friend.
I can only imagine how that would ease my battery anxiety. Knowing that I can play with my phone all I want and should I mess around and deplete the battery, I only need 10 minutes to top it up again would be a game changer.
I feel like even if this phone lasts 1 hour less per charge than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, it provides a better experience than the iPhone which would need to be plugged in for 2 hours to get back to 100%.
We talked more about what this kind of fast charging means here: Fully charge your phone in 9 minutes? OPPO says why not with 240W fast charging