Saturday, February 21, 2015

54. MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS....WHAT IS THAT?                                     

You have heard of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, but MWC, what is that? Most consumers are not aware that it is one of the premier tradeshows where mobile devices OEMs announce and introduce their newest gadgets and devices. This year, it will happen during the week of March 2nd; that's about a week from today. The venue is in lovely Barcelona in Spain. The show is typically attended by a large international crowd, numbering well in excess of 100,000 professionals.

At MWC 2014, exactly one year ago, we saw Samsung announce its Galaxy S5 as well as its smartwatch, the Gear 2. Nokia announced new Android phones, the X and XL, in a stark departure from its tradition of launching only Windows phone. Sony introduced its beautiful Xperia Z2, which was superseded in September of 2014 by the even more beautiful Xperia Z3. They also introduced the Xperia Z2 tablet. LG also announced new products including a smaller version of the G2 called the G2 mini as well as a supersized phone, the G Pro 2. I can go on and on, but I will probably put you to sleep quickly. These products and names already feel so obsolete. Only one year and the market is already expecting newer, faster and better devices. This is a fast-moving industry with little room for mistakes or slouching. The mantra for all the mobile manufacturers ought to be: Innovate quickly or die!

Yet, a quick glance at these phones from yesteryear is sufficient to show that these Android devices have very little to distinguish them. They all share powerful and fast yet similar Snapdragon platforms from Qualcomm. They all have beautiful crisp screens. They are all priced similarly and they all come from highly reputable manufacturers.

What these phones still did not have, at least to a level that was satisfactory to the consumers, were batteries that delivered long life and that can be charged fast. Yet, the 2014 vintage of smartphones were the first in a generation that effectively acknowledged that battery was now the #1 feature to conquer. The Sony Xperia Z2 launched with a massive 3,200 mAh battery -- but was a slow monster to charge. It is very likely that more and more smartphones in 2015 will exhibit large batteries near 3,000 mAh. But as I have indicated in prior posts, breaking this 3,000 mAh is becoming difficult because of the limitations on energy density.

The 2014 smartphones were among the first to adopt Qualcomm's Quick Charge 2.0 technology. That is an excellent platform that allows the newer generation of smartphones to fast charge -- provided the mobile manufacturers incorporate the proper charging algorithms that will preserve the battery's life with fast charging.

So what new smartphones and features do we expect to hear at this year's MWC tradeshow? Clearly, faster and more powerful processors, and nice looking screens, but this is now the minimum standard required. Batteries are likely to continue at or near 3,000 mAh. And hopefully, some honest fast charging, not marketing gimmicks that give the illusion of fast charging.

In about one week, we will likely hear Samsung announce the Samsung S6, LG probably introduce its LG G4, Sony possibly unveil what the Xperia Z4 might look like, and certainly many more unveiling from other and rising manufacturers such as Lenovo and Xiaomi. 

By now, you are probably saying, what about Apple? Well Apple does not attend MWC and do not attend CES. Apple and its consumers dance only to Apple's beats, pun or no pun intended.

© Qnovo, Inc. 2015 / @QNOVOcorp @nadimmaluf #QNOVOCorp

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Most of us recall the days of the flip phone, a mere decade ago, when the battery was small, a puny 800 mAh, yet it lasted days. Over these past several years, our phones got smarter, they got sophisticated, and the battery took the brunt of this evolution. While nearly every component inside the smartphone can boast of the power of Moore's Law (doubling power every about 18 months), the battery is the only outlier that has been progressing at a snail's pace. The result is that the battery is now the bottleneck in the evolution of mobile devices -- hence the incessant complaints from end users.

So let's look at the evolution of the battery in the last two years, and how it has impacted the design and functionality of the modern smartphone. The following chart shows the energy density in Watt-hours per liter (energy per unit of volume) plotted against the charge capacity (in A.h) for a survey of smartphones released in 2013 (red squares) and 2014 (blue dots). 

We observe two trends. The first trend is the migration of battery charge capacity to the right, in other words, the charge capacity increasing from about 2.5 Ah to about 3.0 Ah, or an increase of about 20%. This trend clearly gives the end user more battery life and hours of use per day. The second trend is that the energy density also has increased, from a range of 530 - 550 Wh/l to now a range of 560 - 600 Wh/l, or an increase of about 10%. 

Now let's give this a bit more thought. The capacity went up by nearly 20%, but the energy density went up by only 10%, so the difference had to be accounted for by an increase in the volume of the battery. In other words, the battery had to either get longer/wider or thicker. However, the fashionable trend is now for high-end smartphones to get thinner. Many smartphones are now dipping below the 7-mm thickness mark. For these thin devices, the battery had to grow in length and width, in other words, only large screen phones (greater than 5-in) can now accommodate these larger battery capacities, especially 3.0 Ah or more.

So in summary, the battery trends have had a huge impact on the form factor of the modern smartphone and its fashionable looks. In particular, because energy density is not keeping up with the rise in required charge capacity, the smartphones essentially got bigger. We witnessed in 2014 a rise in the number of smartphones that sport 5.5-in and even 6-in screens. 

© Qnovo, Inc. 2015 / @QNOVOcorp @nadimmaluf #QNOVOCorp

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


You are mobile. You travel. You own a smartphone, a tablet, and a laptop. You are always on the lookout for a power outlet that is not used by a competitor, i.e., another mobile traveler like you. You hate compromise. You need fast charging in each of your mobile devices but until now, all you had were promises. 

You can now travel with a fully powered office in a backpack. One that can hold your mobile devices and charge them multiple times. And if your office runs out of battery juice, refill it in minutes with Qnovo's fast charging technology + never compromise your battery's longevity. This is quality that you should expect! No compromise, no lies, no cheating.

So if you want one of these neat backpacks and like to support innovation, get it here at Indiegogo.  You can get this entire backpack from AMPL and take your office with you for only $225. Or you can get a kick-ass charging booster for only $49 with 5,000 mAh of battery capacity enough to charge your iPhone three times in a row. And when you need to charge your booster, you won't need to wait for long. This booster charges at a phenomenal 1C charge rate, which means you will go from a low battery level (20% charge) to a high charge level of 75% in less than 30 minutes. That's 2X or 3X faster than what you will see anywhere today. That also means you can get enough charge in your booster to recharge an iPhone 6 battery in less than 20 minutes! This is mobility that totally frees you from the wall socket!

And if you are ever in doubt about the charge time and the longevity of your battery, here's some real measured data on its performance. Unlike others, we are straightforward about the high quality that we deliver. No tricks, no cheating! You get what you are promised and what you expected when you purchased the product. 

This first curve shows the actual charge time for the battery. Zero to 50% in 30 minutes. Zero to 80% in a little over 45 minutes. At the 80% charge level (or state of charge), the booster battery holds 4,000 mAh, enough to recharge an iPhone 6 twice and more.

This second graph shows the longevity (or cycle life) of the battery. You will charge your battery over 500 hundred times (cycles) before the battery loses a mere 10% of its available charge capacity (the blue curve). If you were to do the same fast charging using conventional CCCV charging, then the result would be disastrous: Only 100 cycles, or a couple of months of operation before you declare your battery wasted and needing replacement (that's the green curve in this chart).

© Qnovo, Inc. 2015 / @QNOVOcorp @nadimmaluf #QNOVOCorp