Starting today, CNET is launching a regular column rounding up some great reader comments around our site by members just like you -- all collected and curated by yours truly. So be on the look out, you never know if your thoughtful or informative contribution might be featured next. Now let's kick it off with our first installment, which takes a dive into what's wrong with batteries today.
Can I get a virtual show of hands of who wishes their cell phone battery would last longer? I'm raising my hand! And so is member Sugata, who recently asked in the CNET forums, "Why are cell phone batteries so behind the times?"
In a nutshell, he expresses frustrations over a lack of decent battery life, and a lack of research on cell phone batteries. He feels that many of us continually have to worry about quickly draining our batteries. You would think with all these full-featured phones, battery technology for stamina, performance, and charging would match the advancement of the state-of-the-art devices, but he feels this isn't the case. Battery technology seems to make little progress and continues to fall behind, and he wants to know why.
Our community responded to his question, and I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight what some of our readers had to say.
For member Michael-G, he feels like it's not just limited to cell phones, but the automotive industry as well.
"The problem is battery technology in general. Batteries are not advancing as fast as other associated technologies. Look at the electric car industry as an example. Many very good electric cars exist but they are limited in range by the batteries. Because we are working with a technology that involves the interaction of chemicals, development is much more challenging. There are a number of potential game changers out there but the problem is that, for the moment, they are extremely expensive and many have safety issues." Read this user's full response.
Member bene_melos doesn't have the answer, but says there are improvements being made, just not as quick as we'd all like.
"It's not like it has been stagnant as an area of research. It just takes more time, effort, and the development of specialized technology to store energy; and there are limitations in physics and materials that are not (easy to work) around without impractical costs, assuming some workaround is even possible. Consider all that scientists have attempted (in order) to harness fusion as an energy source." Read this user's full response.
For member waytron, he understands that advanced technologies and features will inevitably drain batteries faster, but wonders why the manufacturers can't improve charging times.
"I do know that we are certainly asking more of our batteries with larger full-color screens, faster processors, Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi, and we definitely tend to use our portable devices for longer periods of time than we (used) to. But, if they can't improve the energy density of batteries then maybe they can improve charging them so that you could completely recharge in 10 seconds. Maybe someone else can enlighten us with some real facts on these and other battery technologies." Read this user's full response.
Given these great responses from some of our members, what are your thoughts? Are you in agreement with these responses; why or why not? Do you feel like the battery technology of phones is far behind the advancement of phone technology? What about battery capacity, do you think it is limited to just physical capacity or something beyond that? We'd all like to hear your take on this topic. And if you are a person working in the battery research field, please share your thoughts on this question. I look forward to reading your responses!