OnePlus reportedly planning a phone with mammoth battery life

New silicon-carbon tech could lead to a major breakthrough in battery life

The OnePlus 12R on a pink background
(Image credit: Future / Sam Cross)
Quick Summary

OnePlus is said to be looking at creating a 7,000mAh phone, using silicon-carbon technology. 

The new technology increases the energy density of batteries allowing for more diverse designs.

OnePlus has been one of the companies that has put battery life at the forefront of its phones. It all started with Dash charging, then Warp charging and, more recently, SuperVOOC, which on the OnePlus 12 will charge the phone at 100W – amongst the fastest charging speeds you'll find in a smartphone.

But the latest development in the battery experience might not come from charging speed, instead it might come from a change in battery chemistry. OnePlus won't be the first to use this technology – I saw it earlier in the year in the Honor Magic 6 Pro and it delivered on its promises. Let me explain.

According to a leaker called Digital Chat Station (via 91mobiles), OnePlus and Oppo's R&D division – called Ouga Group – is looking at silicon-carbon batteries for future OnePlus devices, with the suggestion that a new battery type could find its way into a mid-range OnePlus phone.   

The details, shared on Weibo, suggest that the aim is to produce a 7,000mAh battery. OnePlus' largest battery is currently 6,100mAh in the OnePlus Ace 3 Pro, and the problem with creating larger batteries is the size and weight, which limits how capacious they can be in a smartphone.

Using silicon-carbon materials, however, can lead to a battery that's more energy dense than those using graphite. Increased energy density means greater capacity in the same or smaller physical size and weight. It's a technology that's of great interest to the car industry for the batteries that power electric cars.

When will we see more silicon-carbon batteries in phones?

According to the leaks, before we get to the 7,000mAh battery, there could be a phone announced with a 6,500mAh battery from OnePlus. The battery capacity of the Honor phone I mentioned was 5,600mAh.

We're just as the start of this new technology appearing in devices, with TDK – an Apple supplier–- being one of the biggest players in silicon-carbon battery game, according to Bloomberg. TDK is said to be "fielding surging inquiries" from manufacturers in Asia, who are interested in the battery tech because it will allow for slimmer designs, for example.

Norubu Saito, TDK CEO, told Bloomberg that he expects silicon-carbon batteries to increase from 5% of the company's current battery sales into double digits in the next few years as demand for the premium tech surges.

That should result in more phones appearing with silicon-carbon batteries. It might be a while before we see it in an iPhone, but that could be how Apple achieves its super-thin model rumoured for 2025.

Chris Hall

Chris has been writing about consumer tech for over 15 years. Formerly the Editor-in-Chief of Pocket-lint, he's covered just about every product launched, witnessed the birth of Android, the evolution of 5G, and the drive towards electric cars. You name it and Chris has written about it, driven it or reviewed it. Now working as a freelance technology expert, Chris' experience sees him covering all aspects of smartphones, smart homes and anything else connected. Chris has been published in titles as diverse as Computer Active and Autocar, and regularly appears on BBC News, BBC Radio, Sky, Monocle and Times Radio. He was once even on The Apprentice... but we don't talk about that.