Chinese smartphone maker Huawei has a powerful new weapon in its competition for the global Android market: phone batteries that can recharge in less time than it takes to power down a latte. The company just unveiled quick-charging batteries at a Japanese trade show that charge to 50% capacity within what Huawei calls “mere minutes.”
The new lithium-ion batteries, Huawei says, charge at about ten times the speed of a normal battery. This is how the science works, according to a Huawei press release:
The company bonded heteroatoms to the molecule of graphite in anode, which could be a catalyst for the capture and transmission of lithium through carbon bonds. Huawei stated that the heteroatoms increase the charging speed of batteries without decreasing energy density or battery life.
Huawei’s press materials emphasize that phones can now charge in the time it takes to drink a coffee, and that the breakthrough can lead to a variety of new smartphone, electric vehicle, wearable device, and mobile power supply breakthroughs in coming years. The new batteries were developed by Huawei’s Watt Lab, which funnels an investment of about 20% of Huawei’s U.S. revenue into local R&D. The flagship R&D center in Silicon Valley employs about 600 people and is leads Huawei’s global efforts developing telepresence and cloud computing.