Mobile Technology

Graphene sticker promises up to 20 percent more smartphone battery life

Graphene sticker promises up t...
NanoSkins and NanoStickers can allegedly save battery life on almost any phone
NanoSkins and NanoStickers can allegedly save battery life on almost any phone
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NanoSkins and NanoStickers can allegedly save battery life on almost any phone
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NanoSkins and NanoStickers can allegedly save battery life on almost any phone
NanoSkins and NanoStickers are on sale now, with NanoCases to come
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NanoSkins and NanoStickers are on sale now, with NanoCases to come
The skin is supposed to work by reducing the heat of the handset and its battery, conserving energy
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The skin is supposed to work by reducing the heat of the handset and its battery, conserving energy
Skins are now available for the latest handsets from Apple and Samsung
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Skins are now available for the latest handsets from Apple and Samsung
The makers of the NanoSkin claim it can extend battery life by up to 20 percent
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The makers of the NanoSkin claim it can extend battery life by up to 20 percent
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Battery life is a worry for pretty much anyone with a smartphone, which is why so much is being done to try and squeeze more juice out of our mobiles. A new graphene sticker called NanoSkin, to be launched at CES, promises to add up to 20 percent extra to your existing phone battery.

It works not by plugging into your phone's charging port but by keeping the back of the handset cool. That, the makers of the NanoSkin say, is enough to significantly reduce power drain, especially if you're doing something intensive like streaming video or playing games.

Of course we'll have to wait to get our hands on a sticker to test it out for ourselves, but the idea of squeezing out more battery life without any extra accessories, cases, power sources, or tweaks to the software sounds like an appealing one.

There are actually two products here. The NanoSticker is a small, oval-shaped sticker that fits on the back of pretty much any smartphone, and the NanoSkin is a made-to-measure backing for specific phones (like the iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S7), saving even more battery life.

Skins are now available for the latest handsets from Apple and Samsung
Skins are now available for the latest handsets from Apple and Samsung

A NanoCase is on the way too, a more traditional phone case design with the same graphene-based technology to dissipate heat and keep your handset cool.

It's no secret that warm temperatures can shorten the lifespan of a lithium-ion battery, and so anything that can keep temperatures low should help. The team behind the NanoSkin says factors like the type of phone you have, how you use it, and the average temperature in your part of the world will all have an influence on the effectiveness of these products.

The makers of NanoSkin point to recent research demonstrating how graphene can conduct heat effectively and cool down electronics, at least in a lab setting, carrying heat quickly and effectively away from other materials.

It's just one of many advantageous properties of graphene, a combination of carbon and graphite just one atom thick, and it's continuing to live up to its reputation as a wonder material: it's already improving electronics, strengthening helmets, and purifying water, as well as extending battery life.

However, not everyone's convinced that a graphene sticker or case can affect battery life to any great degree.

"My suspicion is that in a phone+sticker+air system like that, thermal dissipation is controlled by interface resistance more than by the intrinsic high thermal conductivity of graphene," UC Davis chemistry professor Dr. Davide Donadio told New Atlas.

"More specifically, the main bottleneck in my opinion is the graphene-air thermal resistance. I am a bit skeptical that the sticker will make much of a difference."

We've contacted the makers of NanoSkin for more details and will aim to run our own tests to see if their claims stand up. In the meantime, NanoStickers can be picked up now for £11.61 (about US$14) each, with NanoSkins starting at £17.37 (about $21).

Product page: NanoSkin

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11 comments
GeneMoore
I wonder if the same idea would work for my Lio motorcycle battery???? I guess I'll have to write them and ask.
Paul Anthony
I can buy 2 spare batteries for the price of that sticker .
oferalpha
I got to say - It sound to me like those BS antenna stickers from few years ago, It won't surprise me if it turn out to be a fraud..
Nibblonian
I would be surprised if a graphene skin can really act as a heatsink to help draw heat away from the phone case and dissipate it to the air. And even if it could, what about the adhesive that sticks it to the case material? What sort of thermally conductive properties does it have? We might get better results by applying a layer of snake oil to the device /s
Michael Logue
So, they are saying that adding at least three layers of different materials (adhesive, graphene, and a substrate that both are applied to) is going to make heat disperse faster than heat dissipating straight from the phone's case.... Riiiiiiiight...........
Milton
Glad to see proper journalism w/ getting the opinion of the UC Davis Chemestry Teacher. right on!
StevenR01
I agree with the comment about adding layers of anything to anything making it conduct more heat. It just ain't so. I'm no engineer but, oh wait, yes I am. And, up to a point, warmer means MORE output, not less for LiPo and LiFePO4 batteries. It seems about 120F is the sweet spot for LiFePO4, but I would actually have to do some tests on the LiPo's to be sure about them.
WatchingWithWonder
A way this could possibly improve overall heat transfer out of the phone is if heat concentrated in a small area of the phone back is instead spread efficiently over a wider area by the membrane. In that case, the overall thermal conductivity out of the phone would rise. But I think phone batteries usually occupy most of the area already, so for most phones I doubt the effective area can be increased much. Better wait for independent testing...
zr2s10
ASIDE from the fact that this is likely BS, and there's no way this will improve battery life nearly as much as they're claiming (if at all): Has Graphene become easy enough to make to even support this pricing? What are they calling Graphene? I doubt it's really Graphene, and more "Graphene" lol. Embedding carbon in plastic does not qualify it as Graphene.
SamDicker
I hadn't thought of the effect of heat dissipation on cell-phone battery life. Does that mean that my leather case and even keeping it in my pocket is shortening my battery life?