Mobile World Congress hosted this year's truly unique smartphone designs. One of the strangest is without doubt the Energizer PowerMax P18K Pop, a smartphone brick that attracts attention, with a battery of 18,000 mAh.
I know what you're going to ask, "Wait, Energizer makes phones?" Yes, it sounds like the 45th Energizer phone announced. Energizer Holdings grants its brand to Avenir Telecom licensed for mobile phones. This French company uses this brand to create feature phones and smartphones with generic appearance since 2016.
The Energizer Mobile page is here, but nowhere does it recognize the existence of the P18K. The only official information we need to continue is a BusinessWire press release containing a single (misleading) photo. I think that some skepticism about Energizer Mobile has been justified since last year at the Mobile World Congress, when the company unveiled the Power Max P16K Pro, a phone with a 16,000 mAh battery. The company gave it a launch date of September 2018 and a selling price of $ 738, but it was never put on the market and, according to GSMArena, it was canceled. Future has also brought to MWC what appears to be a plastic model of a foldable 5G phone, which does not seem to have any great chances of getting into the market.
Avenir's press release therefore indicates that the P18K is not another piece of vaporware, but that it has a 2220 × 1080 6.2 inch screen (third party reports say it's a screen LCD), a MediaTek Helio P70 chipset, 6 GB RAM and 128 GB of storage. There are three rear cameras and two front cameras in a pop-up section located on the top of the phone rather than taking up space for the display. In the absence of front cameras that worry about it, the screen was endowed with very thin glasses.
The press release promises "Users will be able to spend up to 90 hours of calls, listen to 100 hours of music and watch about 2 days of video on a single charge.In standby mode, the battery lasts up to 90 hours. at 50 days. " You can also use the phone to charge other devices via a USB cable.
GSMArena was able to find the phone at the Mobile World Congress and filled much of the whites of Avenir's online presence. The report states that the phone has a thickness of 18 mm, which corresponds to more than two normal-sized smartphones stacked. We can also see the phone from several angles, which is nice.
For an 18mm thick smartphone, many design decisions seem inherited from smartphones with size constraints. For example, there is a side-mounted fingerprint reader, but the sensor is a skinny reader designed to fit a normal smartphone of 8 mm thickness. This makes no sense on an 18 mm thick smartphone, which could easily hold a round and full-sized fingerprint reader on the side. There is no headphone jack and I can not believe that there is no room for a smartphone of 18 mm thickness. There is also always a camera hump on the back, which is a compromise specifically to let the larger camera modules integrate into thin smartphones. Rather than design something without the current size constraints of smartphones, it seems that Avenir has just taken a generic smartphone 8 mm thick and slapped a power bank on the back.
I congratulate all companies willing to venture outside the usual profile of the anorexic smartphone, but it seems that there are better ways to take it than that. Customer surveys regularly show that battery life is one of the major drawbacks of modern smartphone design, and the obvious solution to this problem is to make slightly thicker smartphones with larger batteries. Making a phone 18mm thick seems a little excessive, however, and apart from a bigger battery, it does not seem that the future has really reflected on the potential benefits of a larger smartphone.