Great balls of graphene: New Samsung tech could charge phones five times faster

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 how does fast charging work
Samsung’s Advanced Institute of Technology has come up with another use for graphene, a material that’s part of many exciting future projects from purifying seawater to detecting cancer, this time putting it to work inside lithium-ion batteries. Scientists created a “graphene ball” coating for use inside a regular li-ion cell, which has the effect of increasing the overall capacity by up to 45 percent and speeding up charging by five times.

Any smartphone owner will know the pain of waiting for a battery to charge up, especially when time is of the essence, and even though we have effective proprietary tech available to use like OnePlus’s Dash Charge and Huawei’s SuperCharge, the recharge times never dip below an hour. If a graphene ball can speed things up in the manner suggested by the research team, that will all change.

If your phone charges up in 90 minutes now, that number will tumble to just 18 minutes if the cell inside has been given a graphene ball boost. What’s more, this doesn’t seem to affect the cell’s lifespan, with the team claiming that after 500 cycles, the enhanced battery still had a 78 percent charge retention. The graphene coating improves the stability and conductivity of the battery’s cathode and electrode, so it’s able to take the rigors of fast charging with fewer downsides.

Samsung’s research team has published a long, very technical paper about how the graphene ball works, and how it’s produced. It’s clear the technology is at the very early stages, and isn’t likely to be a major feature on the Galaxy S9 (or the iPhone 11 or any other device next year), but its potential to have an impact on future batteries inside Samsung and other phones is obvious. Who doesn’t want a faster charging, longer-lasting battery inside their favorite device?

Li-ion batteries power not only our mobile gadgets, where fast charging is a extremely helpful, but they are also used in electric vehicles, where fast charging is essential for wider adoption. Samsung says it’s possible the graphene ball technology can be scaled up from small capacity cells in our phones, to much larger batteries inside cars. The company has filed patents in the United States and South Korea for graphene ball technology, but there is no indication when or if it will reach a consumer product.

Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.
Home Theater

The seven best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2018.
Product Review

The Huawei Mate 20 is the Stephen Baldwin of smartphones, and that’s OK

The Huawei Mate 20 exists in the shadow of its more desirable sibling, the Mate 20 Pro. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth your time though, and it actually has some features that are more preferable than those on the Pro.
Deals

Simplify your life with one of these wireless smartphone charger deals

Banish nightly cable fumbling with a wireless smartphone charger. If your smartphone is compatible with wireless charging, the simplicity of placing it on a pad is a beautiful thing. Wireless chargers are also excellent gifts for coworkers.
Mobile

Microsoft Outlook for iOS gets big redesign, with Dark Mode coming soon

Microsoft has deployed a huge redesign for its Outlook for iOS app, which includes new blue branding and some quality-of-life improvements. Dark Mode isn't included, but it's coming soon.
Computing

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

Vanquish lag for good with the best routers for gaming

Finding the best routers for gaming is no easy task. With so many out there, how do you know which to pick? We've looked at the many options available and put together a list of our lag-free favorites.
Mobile

Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5 now available on the Apple Store

The Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5 is now available on the Apple Store for $150. The sensor strip, which is only 2 millimeters thin, automatically tracks a wide array of sleep data when placed under the user's sheets.
Deals

Save up to $750 with the best smartphone deals for December 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $750.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

Google to end support for Android devices running Ice Cream Sandwich

Anyone with an old phone that is still running Android 4.0 may want to look into upgrading their phone, as Google has announced that it will be ending support for this older version of Android.
Mobile

Amazon knocks $30 off its Paperwhite ebook reader in limited-time deal

Amazon is running a couple of limited-time deals for its Paperwhite ebook reader. One offers a $30 discount, while the other throws in a pair of headphones and a free, extended Audible trial.