Many smartphone manufacturers claim that battery life is not so important for most users. Which couldn’t be further from the truth. I mean, how can you even enjoy a “superphone” when you have to remember to plug it in every evening and, even if you do, there are no insurances it won’t run out on you at the worst possible time?
We’ve all been there. We let the HD screens, quad-core processors and LTE speeds fool us, we cough up 700 bucks on what’s basically a tiny computer and we end up with a gizmo that starts out capable of holding its own for a measly 10 hours between charges, then drops to eight hours, then before you know it it’s down to six hours.
How long are we going to accept that? I say no more. It’s time to let them know they have to step it up in the battery department. How? Simple, we’ll just buy one of the handful of phones that actually pack decent tickers nowadays.
Here are the top seven choices, selected only based on how ginormous their batteries are.
Quick disclaimer: Big batteries don’t automatically translate into long lasting phones, so be sure to check out reviews and autonomy tests before going for one of the below. Also, keep in mind that we haven’t taken into consideration devices that are not yet official or can’t be scored in the US at least off-contract. Now, let the games begin:
7. Sony Xperia Z Ultra
Battery size: 3,050 mAh
Claimed autonomy: Up to 16 hours in talk time; 820 h stand-by
Availability: Unreleased in subsidized form, hard to find unlocked, but available via Negri Electronics for $699.50 (HSPA+ version)
Other strong suits: Quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU; 6.5 mm thickness; 2 GB RAM; Android 4.2 Jelly Bean; resistance to water and dust; microSD support; 6.4-inch Full HD screen.
6. Samsung Galaxy Note 2
3,100 mAh battery, removable, rated at 16 hours in talk time, 890 h stand-by
Available with Verizon, AT&T and Sprint contracts starting at $50 through Amazon; also available in factory unlocked version for $494 and with T-Mobile for $0 upfront, plus 24 monthly payments of $24 each
Other strong points: 5.5-inch Super AMOLED screen; S Pen support; 16, 32 and 64 GB storage options; microSD support; 2 GB RAM
5. LG Optimus G Pro
3,140 mAh removable battery, rated at 21 hours autonomy in talk time, 550 hours in stand-by
Available with AT&T contracts for $59.99 via Amazon, $599.99 outright. Also available through GSM Nation for $549 in unlocked flavor.
Other strengths: 5.5-inch Full HD IPS Plus panel; Quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor; 2 GB RAM; microSD support; 13 MP rear camera.
4. Motorola Droid Razr Maxx and Razr Maxx HD
3,300 mAh non-removable batteries, rated at 21 and 380 hours and 32 and 372 hours respectively
Droid Razr Maxx currently out of stock with retailers such as Amazon or Best Buy; only available via websites like eBay for $370 and up off-contract
Razr Maxx HD available with Verizon contracts for $99.99 via Amazon
Other strong suits: Razr Maxx – thin profile; microSD support
Razr Maxx HD – Kevlar coating; splash resistant chassis; microSD support; 720p Super AMOLED panel.
3. Motorola Droid Maxx (new version)
3,500 mAh non-removable battery, rated at up to 48 and 600 hours of autonomy
Not yet released, available for pre-orders for $199.99 with two-year Verizon contracts via Wirefly
Other strong points: Large 5-inch 720p display; custom-made Motorola X8 processor based on Snapdragon S4 Pro; 2 GB RAM; 32 GB internal storage; 10 MP rear camera; optimized software (according to official claims); Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.
2. Lenovo P780
4,000 mAh non-removable battery, rated at up to 45 and 840 hours autonomy
Unavailable with US contracts and unlikely to be ever picked up by a major carrier, the P780 can be found at a number of third-party Amazon sellers for $340 and up sans contracts.
Other strong suits: Low price (see above); Android 4.2 Jelly Bean; large 5-inch 720p display; microSD support
1. Huawei Ascend Mate
4,050 mAh non-removable battery, rated at up to 32 and 216 hours of life between charges
Also unavailable with US contracts (now and for all eternity), the Ascend Mate can be found unlocked on Amazon for prices starting at $450.
Other upsides: 6.1-inch 720p display; Quad-core 1.5 GHz CPU; 2 GB RAM; microSD support; Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
More to come
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Expected out in late September or early October with 3,450 mAh battery, 5.7-inch Full HD screen, 2 GB RAM and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.
Also due in October with 3,000 – 3,200 mAh ticker, 5-inch 1,080p display and 20 MP rear camera.
Though it’s to be manufactured by an obscure brand and is likely to remain China-exclusive, the Z9 is worth a quick mention, since rumor has it its battery will be a record-breaking 5,000 mAh unit.
HTC One Max
Leaked a number of times already, the One Max is tipped to see daylight by October with a 5.9-inch Full HD screen and 3,300 mAh battery.
Oppo Find 7
This is another phone that might never make its way to American shores, but chances are Oppo will sell it with international shipping by the end of the year. Still mostly covered in mystery, the giant could pack a 4,000 mAh battery.
There you have it folks, seven superphones that are pretty super as far as battery life is concerned and five potential stars of the future. It’s not exactly ideal, but it’s definitely a start and we can all contribute to the progress of smartphone batteries if we give these big guys all our attention. Are you in or are you out?