Jun 1, 2021

Xiaomi builds charger that charges phones in eight minutes

Xiaomi
Technology
Mobile
connectivity
2 min
Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has built a smartphone charger that can take phones up to full power in eight minutes.

Xiaomi, a Chinese smartphone manufacturer, has announced that it has created a smartphone charger that can charge phones in eight minutes when connected via a cable and 15 minutes wirelessly. The company revealed the news yesterday (31 May) on their Twitter account, posting it alongside a demonstration video. 

Using 200W of power, Xiomi claimed that the charger, known as "Hyper Charge", was able to a modified Mi 11 Pro with a 4000mAh battery to 10% in 44 seconds, while half charge took just three minutes. In just eight minutes, the phone was fully charged. 

The growth of smartphone technology

The technology of smartphones has been developing and with ever-increasing speed, from higher-quality, built-in cameras to enhanced display capabilities. However, battery capacity and finding ways to increase it has always been a challenge for smartphone manufacturers, but, if successful, Xiaomi’s new charger could help to overcome that obstacle. 

In addition, Xiaomi’s demonstration video also showcased the charger’s 120W wireless charging capabilities as it was able to charge a battery of the same power to 10% in one minute, 50% in seven minutes, and full charge was reached in 15 minutes. 

Xiaomi Hyper Charge demonstration. Video: Xiaomi. 

This latest project is a step forward from another charger released by the company two years ago, which demonstrated how smartphones could be fully charged in 17 minutes, nine minutes more than Xiaomi’s current efforts. 

However, there are claims that Xiaomi’s eight-minute charger demonstration video was only made possible with some help from specific equipment such as a charging brick and data cable. It is also thought that the battery used in the video does not match the one found in Mi 11 Pro. 

The company also didn’t mention if it was using a standard USB-C power delivery, and while it may be some time before a fast charger such as this one is mass-produced, it definitely shows that fast charging and improved battery capacity are possible. 

 

 

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Jun 12, 2021

What’s next for a post-smartphone LG? 

LG
Smartphones
apps
Technology
3 min
Following its exit from the smartphone business, South Korean tech giant LG may be refocusing its attention on the software sector. 

South Korean mega-conglomerate LG made its dramatic exit from the smartphone business at the beginning of April 2021. While the company’s weird, wacky, and kind of wonderful smartphone designs never managed to create the kind of commercial success the company was clearly after, LG’s exit from the business raises one important question: What’s next? 

As a brand, LG is thoroughly baked into the fabric of Korean life. The company’s home electronics and white goods are popular overseas, but its presence in Korea is on a whole other level of ubiquitous. Every air conditioner in my 20 storey apartment building is made by LG. The corporation owns one South Korea’s three major telecom carriers, and a subsidiary of LG’s Chem division, LG Energy, is having enough success making car batteries for everyone from Tesla and General Motors to Renault that it filed for what promises to be one of the year’s biggest IPOs this week. My toothpaste is made by LG. 

People who worry about LG’s exit from the smartphone business clearly don’t understand just how big this company is. All the closure of its mobile device business means is that this titanic organisation is funneling wasted resources into something more profitable.  

When it announced the closure of its smartphone business in April, despite ongoing concerns about what to do with its overseas factory assets, LG said that the staff working in its mobile business would be rotated away to other areas. So, where have they gone, and what are they doing now? 

Is LG’s Smartphone Division Getting Reimagined as a Software Company? 

There’s a good chance that a number of LG’s smartphone division’s employees have wound up in the company’s software development arm. On Thursday, LG unveiled a new mobile app designed to improve pedestrian safety (if you had to dodge delivery drivers watching netflix on their phones while driving at 30 miles per hour down the pavement on your way to shops everyday, you’d agree with me that this is a welcome piece of news in its own right) which is just the latest development in a flurry of app-based activity at the firm. 

Last week, LG also announced that FOSSLight (Free and Open Source Software Light) system, its open source software management tool, will be made available free of charge to third party developers. TechRadar also reported that, according to several LG analysts, the company is looking to “bolster its presence in the software community.”

The new pedestrian safety app, called Soft V2X, is deployed in vehicles, and can warn drivers of potential collision risks between them and nearby pedestrians by relying on ultra-fast data exchange between the app, the vehicle, and surrounding devices. Basically, if the app detects it’s getting really close to a pedestrian’s smartphone really, really fast, then it will intervene with an alert. Presumably it can pause Season One of Bridgerton to offer a polite warning to look at the road. 

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