Xiaomi appears to be getting closer to releasing smartphones powered by solid-state batteries ahead of Samsung. Or if Xiaomi isn't any closer to beating the Korean tech giant, at least it's trying to make people aware of its advancements in mobile battery technology.
Xiaomi recently announced that it developed a so-called Xiaomi 13 prototype smartphone powered by a solid-state battery. To be more accurate, Xiaomi doesn't appear to have revealed this device, but instead, the company released a handful of slides and alleged specifications and performance figures. They are impressive nonetheless, and if accurate, they may give us a glimpse into the future of solid-state batteries for mobile devices.
Samsung's been developing solid-state batteries for more than a decade
Samsung, too, has been working on this technology for many years, but no company appears to be ready to mass-manufacture solid-state batteries just yet. Time will tell which OEM will be first, but Samsung has been showing off functional solid-state batteries since at least 2013. Quite literally, Samsung's been working on this technology for at least a decade, and in 2013, the company actually demonstrated the technology in its early stages and highlighted its benefits (image below).
So, Xiaomi isn't quite the first to make announcements on solid-state batteries, but it is apparently making progress. Its recently-revealed slides and renders claim that some of its prototype solid-state batteries achieved 1,000Wh/L energy density, which means such a battery could offer a 6,000mAh capacity in a package the size of a standard 4,500mAh lithium-ion battery. (via NotebookCheck)
Aside from the ~33% capacity increase, solid-state batteries are supposedly much safer than lithium-ion batteries. They don't explode, and there's no risk of catching fire when punctured. Xiaomi also claims that the technology can offer 20% more energy in extreme cold (-20 degrees celsius).
Despite all the hype, however, Xiaomi is not yet ready to push these prototype solid-state batteries into production. Nevertheless, Samsung appears to have a competitor in this segment, which could accelerate development for all companies involved.
Samsung has a solid-state battery pilot production line in the works, which the company expects to complete before the end of the first quarter. However, Samsung SDI has more ambitious plans for this technology, and this pilot production line is geared toward manufacturing solid-state batteries for electric vehicles rather than mobile phones and tablets. But Samsung will surely adopt similar battery technologies for mobile devices at some point in the future. The first smartphones powered by a solid-state battery will hopefully be released before the turn of the decade.