back to article Motorola strap-on packs a 2,000mAh battery to appease the 5G gods

With the standalone 5G spec (3GPP Release 15) nailed down in June, it was only a matter of time before the first phone was formally announced. And as expected, it isn't a phone at all, but an addon that clamps to the back of an expandable Motorola phone. Verizon has earned the bragging rights to be the first to deliver …

  1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Power hungry, low coverage, and heavier.

    No doubt plenty of the clueless will be queuing up to buy this latest piece of shiny.

    But not me.

    1. cream wobbly

      Re: Power hungry, low coverage, and heavier.

      Now if only they'd make 3G phones last almost a full working day before they run out of battery. That'd be nice.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Power hungry, low coverage, and heavier.

        Now if only they'd make 3G phones last almost a full working day before they run out of battery. That'd be nice.

        Sigh, oh the good old days where a phone would last a week or so. Not that they got used for BitCoin mining in those days...

        Apple conned the world into thinking that battery life didn't matter, just a few hours would do. That was an impressive feat, and they've made a ton of cash as a result. Of course, Apple also at various times didn't seem to think that phones should be able to work properly on a cellular network, or when held by human hands...

        At least there's some manufacturers that still think a solid day's usage without a top up is a worthy goal. My BlackBerry Motion can easily do 2 whole days no problems at all.

        1. Paul 129

          Re: Power hungry, low coverage, and heavier.

          With a recharge time of under a minute its not an issue. Flip the back off swap the battery, replace the back and power on (Love my V20)

          Sadly, it's not likely to be repeated.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Power hungry, low coverage, and heavier.

      But if you have the only 5g phone in the country then you don't have to share bandwidth

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So 5G in 2H? Is that the same as Q2?

    1. Recaf

      2H = Q3/4

      "Some time in the second half of 2019"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 2H = Q3/4

        Aah. Thank you.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Expandable or expendable?

    ...just askin'....

  4. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Some of the Moto Mod-compatible phones have fairly small batteries because they're slim and designed with extra battery 'backpacks' in mind. This might be an additional reason for the 5G Mod containing a battery.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      The extra power is necessary for 5G

      Very likely its mostly because first generation 5G chips promise to be extremely power hungry and run very hot. Just like first generation LTE chips did, and like first generation 3G chips did...

  5. DougS Silver badge

    I wonder what the pricing is

    How much sense can it make to spend a couple hundred bucks (likely) to upgrade an outdated phone? They're just doing this for publicity for this ridiculous 'mods', and to claim 'First!' to 5G. Not that there are any 5G base stations for it to connect to yet...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Good old Claude Shannon pointed out that it takes a certain amount of energy to get a bit of information to travel from A to B. 2G, 3G and 4G have been steadily marching towards that limit, and there can't be much more room for improvement. 4G uses quite a lot of processing already to get the most out of the channels that are available, I wonder just how much 5G uses? I guess that's why it's costing network operators quite a lot of money...

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: Shannon

      Whilst your point is valid for a bit of information at a given frequency, there is plenty of room for improvement across frequencies as the restrictions at this point are mostly regulatory than physical.

      My physics isn't up to scratch enough to understand how close mobile phone frequency quanta are to the discrete physical limits imposed by the quantum state jumps in the actual EM photons. If indeed that is actually a thing, I presume most of the non-frequency spread solutions are well tried at this point.

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Shannon

      5G doesn't get you any closer to the Shannon limit. It has the same maximum bits/Hz as the most recent version of LTE, so it isn't making more efficient use of spectrum at all. The only advantage over LTE it has is reduced latency - which is a good thing, but it isn't getting you any more bandwidth.

      The promises of huge bandwidth from 5G come from all the new spectrum that is being opened up for it on higher frequencies, as high as 39 GHz. AFAIK there's no reason LTE couldn't use those higher frequencies, but since those high frequencies are much less useful for voice (you'd constantly lose connection while walking as you passed a tree or building) it makes sense to dedicate them to 5G with its advantage of reduced latency.

  7. Gordon 10 Silver badge

    Would be interesting to get one of these for the UK

    Then go sniffing for all the 5G trial kit. Are driveby attacks over GSM kit a thing?

  8. Bavaria Blu

    Let market forces do their thing

    In the linked article it is a bit of a fantasy to say 3 GB an hour for HD video. My movie streaming service lets me download a full HD 2 hour film for 1.5 GB so more like 750 MB per hour.

    I think 5G will come in fairly slowly. Users value coverage just as much as speed. We need to get 4 G coverage up. I imagine Three will eventually be allowed to merge with O2 to form three main providers which will reduce the costs for the operators.

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