Power banks, aka portable battery chargers, energy packs capable of doubling as protective cases, phones that juice up from 0 to 60 percent capacity or even more in under an hour, wireless charging pads, they’re all imperfect solutions or workarounds for possibly the greatest weakness of most modern-day high-end phones.
What good are breathtaking 4K screens, monumentally speedy octa or deca-core processors, and respectable PC-matching RAM counts when you can only enjoy the amazing resulting ensembles for 8, 10, 12 hours before hugging a wall or needing one of those magical power banks?
Well, if you’re smart, and choose your next Android handheld wisely, autonomy doesn’t have to be so rudimentary, and you can go 16, 20, 24, sometimes even 36 or 48 hours without requiring an extra energy supply. None of the below is quite as enduring as we dreamed several years back, and they’re all still easily eclipsed by “dumb” phones, but they’re the best money can buy stateside right now in terms of battery size:
- Lenovo Vibe P1 – available for $398 unlocked on Amazon
- Huawei Ascend Mate 7 – $390 unlocked
- Huawei Ascend Mate 2 – $200 factory unlocked
- Huawei Enjoy 5 – $234
- Sony Xperia Z5 Premium – $695
- Google Nexus 6 – $340
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4 – $502 factory unlocked
- Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ – $650
- Moto X Pure Edition – $400 and up with US warranty
- LG G4 – $425 and up factory unlocked
The biggest batteries don’t always equal the best battery life, but in P1’s case, there’s little to prevent the massive 5,000 mAh cell from keeping the lights on for what may feel like an eternity. Namely, up to 49 hours, Lenovo claims, in continuous 2G talk time, or over 600 (!!!) hours in stand-by.
The 5.5-incher is hardly the world’s sharpest or most powerful gadget, with a Full HD display and Snapdragon 615 processor in tow, alongside 2 GB RAM, 13 and 5 MP cameras, and pre-loaded 5.1 Lollipop on the software side of things. Still, it’s a fantastic investment if you’re constantly on the run, and need something to keep up with your busy life.
This is likely no longer the answer to the question on many people’s minds – “what smartphone has the best battery life?” But it could well be the second best, courtesy of a non-removable 4,100 mAh juicer rated at a “minimum” standby stamina of 608 hours.
Of course, no one spends four Benjamins to leave the object of desire untouched in a drawer somewhere, which is why we’re guessing the Mate 7 will crack in under two days of heavy use due to measuring 6 inches in screen diagonal and packing a power-hungry Kirin 925 silicon.
How is this 4,050 mAh battery beast so cheap? First of all, it’s ancient, having seen daylight way back in January 2014. As such, its software support is probably halted after a surprising 4.4 KitKat-skipping 5.1 Lollipop update.
Secondly, it’s got a modest quad-core Snapdragon 400 chip behind the hood. Thirdly, it tips the scales at an off-putting 202 grams. But the frugal SoC can be viewed as an advantage through the eyes of an independence-seeking traveler, and the least you could hope for is 24 hours of autonomy under constant pressure.
Where did this mid-range 5-incher come from all of a sudden? China, obviously, via unofficial channels, meaning a valid US warranty is hard to procure at the moment. If that sounds like a risk worth taking, it’s because the Enjoy 5 hauls a 4,000 mAh battery, which is absolutely huge relative to a 143.1 x 71.8 x 9.7 mm footprint.
In comparison, the standard Samsung Galaxy S6 measures 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm, shaving a vital 1,500 mAh or so off the cell size just to flaunt a catwalk-destined waist. Forget it, we’d rather have an all-day (and all-night) reliable phone… for a fraction of the price.
Also imported using frowned-upon means, this time from Japan, the Ultra HD pioneer stands out with water protection, fingerprint recognition and big battery too, though it goes without saying the 3,840 x 2,140 panel can do major damage on the 3,430 mAh juicer at full potential.
Good thing then Sony limits the display’s energy consumption at the risk of pissing off specs junkies, so hopefully, the Snapdragon 810/3 GB RAM/5.5-inch monster can chug along for a whole day’s work. If it doesn’t, Quick Charge 2.0 technology lets you go from 0 to 60 percent in a measly 30 minutes.
Yes, it’s old, yes, there’s a new version in town, and yes, that one’s better in essentially every way, including as far as battery capacity and endurance go. But the N6P is also much costlier, especially through Amazon, while Motorola’s OG “pure Google” phablet retains a certain je ne sais quoi.
Not to mention a 3,220 mAh power container. And wireless charging functions. And a cucumber cool quad-core Snapdragon 805 chip. And 3 GB RAM, and 32 GB ROM, and a water-resistant body, and 6-inch Quad HD AMOLED screen.
Did you know last year’s S Pen-supporting giant towers above its heir to the productivity throne in terms of battery size, with 3,220 to 3,000 mAh? Too bad the Note 4 remains so extravagantly priced. On the plus side, it may for some reason jump on the Marshmallow bandwagon before the Galaxy Note 5 does. The update gods seem to be working in decidedly mysterious ways.
Why this and not its stylus-wielding, non-edgy cousin? Because it looks so sweet, so curvaceous and slim, yet it still manages to accommodate a 3,000 mAh battery, reportedly good for more than 30 hours uninterrupted talk time activity, 10+ hours of web browsing, or close to 14 of endless video playback.
More affordable than ever, albeit far from a bargain, the S6 Edge Plus sports a 5.7-inch 2K screen, Exynos 7420 SoC, 4 GB RAM, 16 MP LED flash rear camera, and 5 MP front shooter, with wireless charging capabilities, and the absolute best in fast charging enhancements.
No love for the Droid Turbo? It’s too old, too tough to find someplace else than at Verizon, and besides, the X Pure Edition, aka X Style, squeezes a 3,000 mAh cell into an 11.1 mm thick frame. Clearly, this won’t win any beauty contests, but it’s very robustly built, the bang for buck is quite compelling, and the battery scored an impressive 63 hours endurance rating from GSM Arena.
Also, in just 15 minutes of plug-in action, you should get the battery mark up to a third of its full capacity. Not even Samsung can do that…
Is it the longest-lasting Android around? Hardly. Is it one of the absolute best phones in its price bracket? Definitely. Consider this – it’s got a 3,000 mAh juicer, rated at roughly 20 hours of talk time, hexa-core Snapdragon 808 CPU, 3 GB RAM, 32 GB internal storage, microSD support, 5.5-inch QHD display, Marshmallow goodies around the corner, and swanky leather exterior. It’s a very tough act to follow, which is why the V10 strayed so far from the beaten design path, also going with an entirely different moniker.