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Batteries in smartphones are lasting longer than ever. But it’s inevitable that, eventually, they’ll run out. It’s always helpful to have a spare, but some phones outshine others in terms of their ability to last longer before creeping into the red.
Which Phones Have the Best Battery Life?
We spent time with some of the most popular smartphones on the market to find the phones with the best battery life. These phones were rated not just on length of battery life, but also how likely they are to malfunction in conditions like when it’s cold out. Battery meters can also be deceiving, as some companies show the display at “100% charged” for longer than it actually is, and same goes for the opposite end when it’s almost out, displaying less power than you really have.
Manufacturers are in tight competition against each other to win the recognition of best phone battery life, with tests running neck and neck and finishing around the same time. Here’s what to consider when searching for your next phone with a long-lasting battery.
Power Amount: Smartphone batteries are measured in mAh, or milliamp hours. Something around 4000-7000mAh is what you’ll find in most phones nowadays, give or take. In previous generations of phones, 5-7 hours of use might zap your battery. But newer phones should, at the very least, get you through the day without having to charge it up (with normal usage) often stretching past 8-10 hours.
Drainage: Having things like WiFi and Bluetooth switched-on is a drain on your battery; same goes with display settings, including resolution and especially refresh rate, when it’s set too high. Typical usage around 60fps should be fine for simple games, but detailed games, particularly ones with energy-eating bright screens on an OLED display, eat up a lot of power. Other features like a camera with intense magnification can be power-eaters as well.
Charging: Just as important as a long battery life is how fast it charges up. A 20W, 25W or higher fast-charger speeds up refueling, but don’t count on it being included when purchasing the phone. Magsafe, a new magnetically attached way of charging, is still going to be a little slower than wireless charging, at about 15W (and can often drop to 7.5W or even 5W). Reverse charging is a neat feature too, allowing you help out a friend in need and provide some of your power to their dying battery.
Think ahead and consider what you’ll be using your phone for. If using a battery-eating application is a big part of your day, we’ve rounded up our picks below of phones that’ll last long without skimping on features.
1. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Samsung’s phones all have noteworthy battery life, but this one excels at a whopping 37 hours of talk time on a single charge.
You won’t be compromising on features either. This still packs a 100x Space Zoom on the depth-sensing 108MP camera, a 6.9″ Infinity-O display, and is 5G capable.
The battery here is massive: 5000mAh, and still fills up fast with 45W wired charging capabilities (wireless is available too, though slower, at 15W). Everything is packed into a slim and sleek unit that’s one of the longest-latest Android devices around.
2. Moto G9 Power
In terms of long-lasting battery life, this 6000mAh monster can get you up to a day or two of heavy usage between charges, and much longer in standby time. Part of the reason is that it’s a less powerful phone than most of the other newer, smarter ones here, but if battery life is top of your list, don’t overlook this little Moto.
The 6.8″ full HD+ display is plenty for playing games and watching video content, with 4GB of RAM, 128GB of built-in storage, and a 64MP camera, as well as speakers that get loud. It’s also guarded against wetness like rain and sweat.
If you’re looking for a fully-featured smartphone for work, you may want to consider other options on this list. But for a basic phone for calls, texts and streaming, this one has a lot of juice to last you a long time.
3. Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple rarely reveals their exact battery time, but tests show that this phone can last up to 28 hours on a single charge with a mix of usage. More specifically in our experience, the phone lasted through 12 hours of video playback and 80 hours of audio.
The 6.7″ Super Retina XDR display looks gorgeous, with the body being IP68 water and dust resistant – higher than most in this bunch.
And while its cutting-edge attributes like triple 12MP cameras do affect the battery’s life, it’s also fast-charge capable with a 20W adapter, filling up halfway in around 30 minutes.
One of the biggest concerns with iPhones in the past was how quickly the battery drained, but with the iPhone 12 (and the newer iPhone 13) models, Apple has addressed that concern and delivered a more reliable, longer-lasting unit.
4. Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC
If you’re searching for a long-lasting battery phone on a budget, and don’t necessarily need the absolute latest features, Xiomi’s Poco packs a 5160mAH that’ll last you at least a day or two away from a charger.
There’s a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, plus the 64MP camera performed well too. The 6.67″ HD display is impressive at a smooth 1080p and 120Hz, with colors that pop and bezels that stretch outward far toward the edges. Most common games and apps ran lag-free, plus it’s microSD compatible with 6GB of RAM, as well as stereo speakers and a 3.5mm headphone port.
It fuels up fast, works with 33W chargers, while being IP53 damage-proof against dust and light water.