Most 5G phones offer big batteries owing to the increased power consumption of early 5G modems and connectivity. But just how much more power does a 5G phone need over a 4G device?
Redmi general manager Lu Weibing has taken to Weibo to answer this question, claiming that 5G phones consume ~20% more power than a 4G phone. This suggests that a 20% increase in battery size is needed for a 5G phone to achieve the same endurance as a 4G variant (assuming everything else is equal).
The Redmi executive adds that Qualcomm‘s flagship 800-series processors consume 20% more juice than an upper mid-range Snapdragon 700-series chipset. So when taken together, this means a 5G flagship will consume significantly more power compared to a mid-range 4G phone, which means battery capacity and optimizations are key for high-end 5G phones.
Weibing also touched on the extra challenge of making the Redmi K30 Pro, featuring both 5G and a pop-up selfie camera. The executive said they adopted a “sandwich” motherboard design and ultra-thin in-display fingerprint sensor to make space for the phone’s 4,700mAh battery.
The Redmi representative’s assertion comes despite initiatives from the likes of Qualcomm to reduce 5G power consumption. The silicon designer launched its 5G PowerSave solution at MWC 2019, promising endurance that was comparable to Gigabit LTE phones.
Nevertheless, 5G phones will undoubtedly offer improved endurance down the line as the technology matures. After all, some of the first 4G phones were power hogs too.