The U.S.: land of the free and interesting commercials. Like this one from Samsung for its Galaxy S5 smartphone. There’s no weird storyline for this spot though, as Samsung has chosen to focus on the battery performance of its current smartphone flagship.
Titled ‘Wall Huggers’, the ad takes place in an airport, and you see a lot of people huddled around power outlets charging their phones (okay, iPhones). And they manage to get themselves into comical situations and inconvenience others at the same time. Of course, the contrast is the S5 users, whose phones are able to last longer even when power is running low, thanks to a Ultra Power Saving Mode. It ekes out more battery life by going into a black-and-white mode, limiting the apps you can use, and flipping the switch on some connectivity options (e.g., NFC, Bluetooth). Yes, that sounds a bit extreme, but it could well earn you enough time for that all-important, last minute call. The other benefit of the S5 is that it allows you to pop out the rear cover to swap in a fresh battery. In a nutshell, before a takeoff, it’s better to hug your loved ones than walls.
While we may laugh at the ad, the problem of battery life on today’s mobile devices is very real. Using your phone’s power-saving mode and swapping the battery are two workarounds; others include getting a phone with super-fast charging like the Oppo Find 7 or 7A to minimize outlet hogging time or getting a power bank. For Android users, the next version of the OS, tentatively known as ‘L’ now, is also something to look forward to. Coming in fall, here is where you’ll see the fruits of Google’s Project Volta, which is set up to optimize power on Android. Ars Technica has put Project Volta to the test recently, and found that it (along with the switch from Dalvik runtime to ART) prolongs battery life by 36%.