This $179 Android handset runs for four days on a single charge

Though smartphones are getting slimmer by the year, there are still plenty of people who would compromise on a thin-and-light device for better battery life — which explains the success of chunky battery cases like Mophie and battery-focused phones like the Motorola Droid Turbo. A new smartphone from Blu has a bigger battery than them all, though, packing a 5,000mAh battery.

blue-studio-energy

Miami-based Blu says its Studio Energy smartphone can run for four days without a charge under “standard use” thanks to its big battery. The rest of the Studio Energy’s specs aren’t nearly as impressive: A low-end MediaTek chip, no LTE (although it works on AT&T and T-Mobile’s HSPA+ networks), and a 8-megapixel camera behind a 5-inch 720p screen. It’s also shipping with Android 4.4 KitKat — and Blu makes no promises about when it’s getting Android 5.0. The Studio Energy does have dual SIM support and an expandable MicroSD card slot to expand the 8GB of built-in storage.

However, the price is right. The Blu Studio Energy will cost only $179 when it goes on sale at the end of January. Don’t expect to pick one up from your carrier, though: Blu’s strategy is to sell its devices unlocked directly to consumers through Amazon and other online retailers.

Blu doesn’t mention how thick the Studio Energy is, but from photos, it certainly looks a little chunky. If the Studio Energy isn’t your speed, take a look at another one of the seven smartphones Blu announced at CES. The $199 Vivo Air packs a 2100mAh battery and is only 5.1mm thick.

Battery startup Eos Energy is raising another $30M

Startup Eos Energy, which has been building a low-cost grid battery using air and zinc, is ending out the year by going back into fundraising mode. According to a filing, the company is starting to raise another $30 million round, and has closed on $2.5 million of that.

Eos Energy, founded in 2008 using a tech breakthrough from founder and inventor Steven Amendola, has just started to get its pilot batteries into the hands of some utility customers. The company sent its first grid battery system to New York utility Con Edison, it’s testing products with DNV GL, and it says it has secured European energy giant GDF SUEZ as a customer. In conjunction with Con Edison, the partners are using a state grant to install batteries on the New York grid.

Eos Energy Aurora grid battery

Eos Energy Aurora grid battery

Scientists have been working on using air as the cathode for batteries for half a century. A battery is made up of an anode on one side, a cathode on the other and an electrolyte in between. Air is a desired cathode for a battery because it is abundant, lightweight, doesn’t require a heavy casing to contain it inside a battery cell, and theoretically can achieve a high energy density, or amount of energy that it can store.

Eos Energy has developed a bi-directional air cathode that it says can last for 10,000 cycles (around three decades), with initial costs of $160 per kWh, and can be made up of everyday benign materials. Eventually the company is shooting for its batteries to cost closer to $100 per kWh.

Labs of Eos Energy

Labs of Eos Energy

The funds will presumably help the startup scale up its battery tech and get it into the hands of more potential customers. While Eos Energy is currently shipping some smaller pilot batteries (kW scale), in early 2015 the company is expected to announce MW-scale batteries that will be available commercially in 2016.

Earlier this year Eos Energy announced it had closed $15 million in funding, in a round led by AltEnergy and including NRG Energy. That was the “first closing” of its Series C round.

Eos Energy is one of a handful of battery companies looking to build the next generation of batteries for the power grid. Others include startups like Aquion Energy and Ambri, flow battery makers like Primus Power and Imergy, large battery giants like AES Energy Storage and Panasonic, and even electric car maker Tesla.

Eos Energy to soon crank out zinc-air batteries

Next-gen, low cost power grid batteries are emerging to help make the power grid more efficient, cleaner and more resilient. Eos Energy is the latest startup to begin the move to crank up manufacturing.