Sony has announced a range of lightweight external batteries that will keep your mobile devices fully charged for longer.
With over 500 million Android-enabled devices in operation worldwide and more than 85 million iPhones in use in the US alone, there can be little doubt of the impact
that smartphones are having on everyday lives.
What used to be a device for making phone calls is now the first thing consumers reach for to check the news, shoot videos, update Facebook profiles and even pay for goods and services. However, what consumers are also discovering is that with constant use comes constant battery strain and most heavy users are lucky if they can get through the day on a single charge.
At the moment, the only smartphone on the market with a battery that can last up to three days despite constant use is the Motorola Razr Maxx, meaning that everyone else who is a regular user has to make sure they've packed their charger or their cable every time they leave the house so that they can keep topping up the battery through the day.
Enter Sony. The electronics giant announced on Monday that it is set to launch a line of lightweight, elegant external batteries called CycleEnergy that will help our smartphones and tablets go that extra mile. The range, the first to use its industry-leading laminate technology (which saves on weight and materials and reduces size) will include a 7,000 mAh capacity battery that measures 130.6 millimeters x 70.4mm x 12.9mm and weighs a mere 198 grams (in other words, roughly the same size as the average smartphone) yet is capable of providing the equivalent of three full charges to a typical smartphone simply by connecting your device to the battery's USB port.
Sony will also launch a smaller model that holds 3,500mAh, as well as a number of smaller colored cylindrical 2000mAh batteries, all of which are capable of doubling the battery life of an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy handset.
The batteries will make their official debut on the Japanese market, with the smaller cylindrical type going on sale on October 13 and the larger flat batteries becoming available from November 14. Prices will range from 2,300 Yen (US$30) to 7,000 Yen (US$90). According to company spokeman Jin Tomihari, although no official date was given, the batteries are also expected to launch in the US in November at a similar price to the Japanese market.
And while external battery packs are nothing new in the tech market, up until now their relative size, weight and reliability has made them more suitable for camping trips and backpacking holidays than for the daily commute or a night out with friends. With Sony's entry into the market, that could be about to change.