A Solar-Powered Smartphone Could Soon Change The Way We Charge Our Phones

The new smartphone functionality is aimed at extending the battery life

Haven’t we all wished for a smartphone that doesn’t require charging? Well, Xiaomi might have a solution. The Chinese smartphone maker has reportedly filed a patent with WIPO (World Intellectual Property Office) for a smartphone that features a solar panel on the back.

What’s this solar-powered phone?

This new smartphone functionality is aimed at extending the battery life as it’ll be a solar-powered smartphone. According to a report by technews portal LetsGoDigital, Xiaomi filed its design patent on July 2018. Going by the initial sketches released by the tech website, it will be an all-screen smartphone with an integrated solar panel that covers most of the back. The rear panel also features a dual camera placed vertically, with a flash in the middle, the entire front of the smartphone will consist of a screen surface with no sight of a selfie camera, pop-up camera, notch or hole.

Has this been done before?

According to www.bgr.com, both Samsung and LG have been down this road with little success. In 2009, Samsung released two phones with solar panels included — the E1107 and the Blue Earth S7550. The Blue Earth S7550 had a solar panel complementing its battery. It could power a 10-minute call with an hour’s worth of sunshine. LG had also released an optional solar cell battery cover back for its LG Pop GD510 in 2010. It could be powered to make a 2-minute phone call by keeping the cover out in the sun for 10 minutes.The success of these phones have been quite limited because it had to be put under direct sunlight for long time and even then the results were not satisfactory.

Will this change the way we use smartphones?

Xiaomi is known for experimenting with new technology and it may spring a surprise for its users. Also companies like Apple and other manufacturers are putting their efforts in making eco-friendly smartphones. However, it’s not very clear whether Xiaomi will release the solar powered smartphone any time soon. If this goes right, it would really revolutionise how we recharge phones. We could directly recharge by exposing it to sunlight, without requiring an AC adapter, or any form of connected DC source.