Do you take careful note of your smartphone’s battery life everytime you check your email or Twitter? Do you plan your day so that you’re never far from an electrical outlet or a car charger? Have you started to accept that the extra weight of a backup battery in your purse is the price you must pay for your power-peace-of-mind? If you’ve answered “yes,” to any of these, you might be suffering from Phone Power Phobia, or PPP.
No, PPP isn’t a thing, at least not officially. But it should be, as anyone who has stared at a screen that refuses to respond can easily attest. The folks at Consumer Reports understand this creeping anxiety and want to do their part, so they’ve released their list of the top five phones with the best battery life. These phones pack plenty o’ power, often giving their owners much more than 24 hours of go-juice.
- Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (multiple carriers, from $299 on a 2-year term)
- Samsung Galaxy S7 (multiple carriers, from $199 on a 2-year term)
- Nexus 6P (multiple carriers, from $99 on a 2-year term)
- LG G5 (multiple carriers, from $199 on a 2-year term)
- BlackBerry Priv (multiple carriers, from $399 on a 2-year term)
So what makes these phones so much better than the competition? Why, for instance, doesn’t the iPhone (in any of its flavours) make the cut? Two main factors contribute to battery life:
- Battery capacity. Bigger, as they say, is sometimes better. In the case of battery capacity — as measured in milli-amp hours or mAh — the higher the number, the more power the battery is capable of storing. Like having a car with a massive gas tank, big batteries let you tote around more fuel for all the things your phone does during the day.
- Power management. Think of this as the phone’s equivalent of fuel efficiency. The newest phones have way more “smarts” when it come to turning on and off all of their functions in order to maximize battery mileage. Some can even implement an emergency power management plan when your battery gets below ten percent to keep you running for as long as possible.
Needless to say, the top five phones all have big batteries. If you’re not in the market for a new phone though but still want to stretch that go-juice as far as you can, we do have some suggestions:
- Screen brightness. Perhaps the biggest drain on most people’s batteries is the screen itself. Dim the screen, get more battery life. It’s really that simple. Additionally, you can reduce the time your screen stays on before automatically turning off — this helps a lot too, especially if you’re at a minute or more.
- Cellular service. Because your phone really wants to maintain a strong connection to your mobility carrier’s cell towers (so you don’t get dropped calls), the further you stray from a tower, the more energy your phone expends maintaining that connection. If you find yourself out of connection range, shut off your cellular service and/or WiFi too using airplane mode (just remember to turn it back on once you’ve returned to civilization).
- Apps, Apps, Apps. We love our apps – they’re the whole reason for owning a smartphone. But some apps can be enormous energy hogs. The newest versions of both Android and iOS can help you pinpoint the worst culprits. You may decide to keep using them, but at least you’ll know what that means for your battery life.
In case you’re curious, Consumer Reports has also released the bottom five phones from the battery life list. While there’s no need to avoid these models (the iPhone 6s remains one of the best phones on the planet, in our humble opinion) you might want to consider bringing along a back-up power pack if you need more than 10-15 hours of continuous use.
- iPhone 6s (multiple carriers, from $299 on a 2-year term)
- Microsoft Lumia 950 ($749, unlocked)
- Samsung Galaxy Core ($225, unlocked)
- BlackBerry Classic (multiple carriers, from $49 on a 2-year term)
- Microsoft Lumia 640 XL ($259, unlocked)
For more information about the battery life of different phones, check out the video above.