If you own a smartphone – and if you're reading this then chances are you do – then you'll be all too aware of the nightly ritual of plugging in your mobile to charge it ready for the morning. Few of today's top models can last more than a full day of steady use, with current lithium-ion technology struggling to keep pace with the growth in screen sizes and power requirements of our handsets.

But why is battery technology lagging and why doesn't it seem to be getting any better? We've analysed the current state of the market to bring you the reasons why you have to charge your phone every night – and how that could change over the next few years.

A very brief, simplified science lesson: the lithium-ion battery inside your phone isn't fully lithium, and if it was, it would last a lot longer. Every battery has three main components: an electrolyte providing electrons, an anode discharging them, and a cathode receiving them.

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