October 18, 2011
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Did you ever think about why your phone works at all? Probably not. But, if you think about it, all portable gadgets rely on a battery to keep ticking – and some have better battery life than others. That’s why we’re going to take a peek at what keeps your phone ticking and why some batteries do better than others.

Lithium-Ion Battery

Lithium-Ion Batteries began their development in 1912. However, they did not become popular until they were adopted by Sony in 1991. Lithium Ion Batteries have high energy-densities and cost less than lithium-polymer batteries. In addition, they do not require priming when first used and have a low self-discharge. However, lithium-ion batteries do suffer from aging – even when not in use.


 

TypeSecondary
Chemical ReactionVaries, depending on electrolyte.
Operating Temperature4º F to 140º F ( -20º C to 60º C)
Recommended forCellular telephones, mobile computing devices.
Initial Voltage3.6 & 7.2
CapacityVaries (generally up to twice the capacity of a Ni-Cd cellular battery)
Discharge RateFlat
Recharge Life300 – 400 cycles for 100%
Charging Temperature32º F to 140º F (0º C to 60º C)
Storage LifeLoses less than 0.1% per month.
Storage Temperature-4º F to 140º F ( -20º C to 60º C)
Disposal
  • Can be recycled by dropping them off at any of our over 7,200 stores nationwide.
  • Should be recycled through your local RadioShack store.
Other Notes
  • Typically designed to be recharged in the device rather than in an external charger.
  • The chemical construction of this battery limits it to a rectangular shape.
  • Lighter than nickel-based secondary batteries with (Ni-Cd and NiMH).

Lithium-Polymer Battery

Lithium-polymer batteries can be dated back to the 1970’s. Their first design included a dry solid polymer electrolyte that resembled a plastic film. Therefore, this type of battery can result in credit card thin designs while still holding relatively good battery life. In addition, lithium-polymer batteries are very lightweight and have improved safety. However, these batteries will cost more to manufacture and have a worse energy density than lithium-ion batteries.


 

TypeSecondary
Chemical ReactionVaries, depending on electrolyte.
Operating TemperatureImproved performance at low and high temperatures.
Recommended forCellular telephones, mobile computing devices.
Initial Voltage3.6 & 7.2
CapacityVaries depending on the battery; superior to standard lithium-ion.
Discharge RateFlat
Recharge Life300 – 400 cycles
Charging Temperature32º F to 140º F (0º C to 60º C)
Storage LifeLoses less than 0.1% per month.
Storage Temperature-4º F to 140º F ( -20º C to 60º C)
Disposal
  • Can be recycled by dropping them off at any of our over 7,200 stores nationwide.
  • Should be recycled through your local RadioShack store.
Other Notes
  • Typically designed to be recharged in the device rather than in an external charger.
  • Lighter than nickel-based secondary batteries with (Ni-Cd and NiMH).
  • Can be made in a variety of shapes.

Wrap-Up and Winner

After reading all of the pro’s, con’s, and specifications of both battery types, you can see that there isn’t much of a competition here. Although the lithium-polymer battery is sleeker and thinner, lithium-ion batteries have a higher energy density and cost less to manufacture. Therefore, we obviously know which one is chosen by companies like Samsung, Apple, Motorola, and more. Finally, with new chemicals and such being added to these batteries often, who knows which will come out on top in the long run. The only thing we do know is that this phone, will be sporting a very thin and transparent lithium-ion battery.

Source: RadioShack

Matthew Sabatini
Matt has been an Android fanatic since the original Motorola Droid. In addition to designing web pages, running his own company, and going to school, he finds time to write for Android Authority. Matt still owns that good old Droid 1 and a Xoom Family Edition.
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