Think of Apple's iPhone 4, Samsung's Galaxy S or the HTC Desire, and you'll see devices that give you the option to surf the web and indulge in a spot of mobile gaming beyond its cellular functions. The appeal of a smartphone is such that you can be duly entertained by simply checking your emails or social networks, or toss some very pissed off birds against the horde of ravenous, egg-swiping pigs when you're commuting.
Here's something to consider - it's been a long day out of the office. During which, you've been going at it with your emails, gaming and web surfing, giving your smartphone no opportunity for some well-deserved rest. In less than a working day, your trusty companion is on the brink of shutting down, displaying a measly 10% left on its battery charge.
The above scenario is very real for smartphone users. Alas, through all these years, I haven't chanced upon one that keeps going like the Energizer bunny does. Power management and efficiency is a finely-honed balancing act, one that needs to consider the trade-off between a high capacity battery and a stronger processor, larger screen, and smoother graphics acceleration.
And we haven't even considered the aesthetics that could influence the size of the device's battery. Though technological advancement has given us thinner and longer-lasting batteries, we are still far from having a paper-thin device. And what about non-removable batteries? All in the name of having a streamlined and seamless design, iPhones and even the Nokia N8 have integrated their batteries within, reducing your options to swap batteries as and when required.
Fortunately, there have been numerous ideas been tossed about, all in the name of extending the battery's mileage. Some of which have been shown to be practical, such as the Mili Power Pack that is an iPhone casing doubling up as a secondary battery. Then there are the eco-friendly solar powered devices like the Samsung Blue Earth, which is subjected to the mercy of the sky and the clouds. And lately, we've heard of battery extenders using removable batteries for you to swap whenever the battery pack is running low.
With the advent of devices that are strong, faster, and more powerful, perhaps the search for that power efficient mobile device is a never-ending story.
Seow Tein Hee / Former Associate Editor
Attuned to the latest mobile technology and news, Tein Hee is always on the lookout for innovation and creativity in the mobile industry.