New Electronics 6-7-12

ELECTRONIC

We’ve all been there: halfway through the work day, the battery indicator on your smartphone switches to red, and you find yourself nervously looking for a power outlet.

Samsung Electronics hopes to alleviate the battery issue a bit–at least for most customers. The company has set a goal that smartphones coming out this year can last all day under average to moderately heavy use, according to Kevin Packingham, vice president of product innovation at Samsung.

“When you wake up to when you go to bed, we don’t want you feeling anxiety about your battery life,” he said in an interview at CES.

While smartphones are packing more and more features, the one thing that’s only gotten worse is the battery life on these devices. The problem is exacerbated by bigger screens, faster processors, and 4G LTE, which has proven to be a major drain.

It’s a problem that has plagued the entire industry. Motorola Mobility, for instance, recently announced the Droid Razr Maxx, a slightly bulkier version of the Droid Razr packing a significantly larger battery.

Samsung will also move to bigger batteries, Packingham said. But the company will work to better optimize different aspects of the phone, from the way it acts when it searches for Wi-Fi, to how often it powers up the 4G LTE radio. He added that the wider prevalence of the Verizon LTE network means the phone doesn’t have to constantly search for a connection, which draws a bit of power.

The Charge, which was Samsung’s first LTE phone for Verizon Wireless, was a good test bed for the company, Packingham said, but the company can do better. He acknowledged Samsung “wasn’t quite there yet,” in regard to improvements on power efficiency, but noted there has been progress.

Despite the potential improvements, he said power users are always going to face this dilemma. Many, however, have gotten accustomed to packing chargers, extra batteries, and the practice of looking for outlets.

Last year was a strong one for Samsung, having taken the top spot from Apple in smartphone shipments and sales, thanks in part to its Galaxy S II flagship phone. Packingham called 2011 a transitional year, particularly with the new technologies like the implementation of different chips and 4G LTE. This year, Samsung’s phones will have the polish and finish expected from the company, he said.

Presumably, that also means battery life too.

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