Deciding on which smartphone to buy is no easy task. We all need a phone with top-notch performance and a capable camera for our Instagram vanity snaps, but a smartphone’s battery life is an increasingly important factor. No matter how excellent your brand-new phone is, it’s not much use to anyone if you’re always having to charge it up.
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When making your decision, it’s best to look at battery size (measured in mAh) to give you a bit of an indication of how long-lasting the phone is expected to be. Other factors such as display size and resolution and power efficiency still play a massive part, too. But, the times of guessing are over – we’ve got you covered when it comes to the phones with the best battery life.
Every single phone that passes through our doors is faced with our in-house battery-life test. As such, we know exactly which phones you need to consider when making your next purchase if battery life is at the top of your agenda. Below, we’ve ranked the top 20 best phone battery lives of 2019, including those pricey flagships and forgotten about budget alternatives.
Best phone battery life 2019: How we test
To find out how well your phone performs against its rivals, we’ve placed all of our battery scores from our hundreds of smartphone tests conducted every year and crammed them into one easy-to-use graph, so you can see which phones are the best battery performers.
To measure a smartphone’s battery life, we run a continuous video-playback test. The video file includes a handful of scenes from Spider-Man 2, encoded to H.264 and looped to a 20-hour length. We use the MX Player app on either Google Play or the Apple App Store to play the file and record the length of time played on reboot. We also set the phone to aeroplane mode, turn off any automatic brightness and sleep settings, and set the screen brightness to a standardised 170cd/m2.
Aeroplane mode switches off all of the phone’s wireless features – naturally, extending battery life – which means that our tests are repeatable and consistent. The big problem with wireless is that signal strength can come and go, which forces the phone to adjust the amount of power that it uses constantly, causing variable results.
Best phone battery life 2019: Results
As you can see from the graph below, smartphone battery life, despite stagnating a little in recent years, has rapidly improved. All 20 phones in our hierarchy reached over 21 hours in our battery benchmark before needing to recharge, and a significant chunk of the most recent headsets seriously outdo their predecessors.
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The Lenovo P2 has been king of the bunch for almost two years, remaining unopposed with its 28-hour battery life – although sadly it’s no longer on sale and can only be found through third-party resellers.
Just behind is Huawei’s Mate 10, at 26hrs 43mins and the Moto G7 Power squeezes onto the podium at 26hrs 22mins. Samsung is dominating the top 20 list with a total of six smartphones, while OnePlus, Huawei and Motorola each have three phones in the list. Apple fails to make the cut, although its battery life is steadily improving – its longest-lasting smartphone is the iPhone 11 (18hrs 36mins) if you’re curious.
As for new additions, six new phones have made their first appearances in recent months. The Samsung Galaxy A70 and Galaxy A50 have both shown up in fourth and 15th place respectively. The Oppo Reno 10x Zoom enters tenth place, with the OnePlus 7T and Huawei Mate 20X joining the fray at 18th and 20th place.
Finally, we have our first 5G phone on the list. The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G reaches ninth place, although you can’t expect similar levels of stamina as soon as you switch on data connections – 5G is quite a power hog.