Battery life – which smartphone wins this all important battle?

Without a doubt, and heavy mobile phone users will attest to this, nothing is more infuriating than having to search for a charging point for your phone in the middle of the afternoon after it just sat at 100% charge in the morning.

Smartphones are incredible pieces of technology but as of yet, their manufacturers still cannot give us a battery that will match their overall abilities. Remember the old Nokia 3310? That phone would last up to FIVE days on one charge! Granted, it could only send texts, make phone calls and play Snake but mobile phone users still value a decent battery life as an important selling point for a phone.

Let’s be honest though. Smartphones today simply do so much for us. From social networking, emailing, texting, instant messages, surfing the internet, apps for just about anything and of course, playing games, it is no wonder that the battery life on a smartphone doesn’t last for a day in most cases.

That said, some phones do perform far better than others and for that reason, we at JP Phones decided to run a test to see which of the top smartphones on the market perform the best.

Our test method

We tested a range of smartphones, excluding the recently release Apple iPhone 7 which we will add to this test result later in the year. Now testing a battery needs a fairly involved effort that is universal across all the handsets that are tested.

To do this, we looped a music video to run for 36 hours (not that we believed a phone could get there but it is better to be prepared). We then ran that video on each and every phone with the sound output coming from a pair of headphones.  We then recorded and timed the sound coming out of the headphones and when it died, we knew the battery was all used up in each particular handset. Each phone was put into its relevant airplane mode while we kept them all set to the same brightness level. We also turned off any automatic sleep settings. In each case, we used the default player on each phone to play the video.


Why do we put the phones into airplane mode? Well, that turns off all unnecessary background systems including Wi-Fi. If we left Wi-Fi on, each phone would hunt for Wi-Fi signals as they become weaker or get stronger and so use up battery life. As each phone does this differently, Wi-Fi needs to be turned off.

Also, we did not run these test just once. Each phone was tested three times with the average of the battery life recorded below.

Test results

Well from our results, smartphones from Samsung are the clear winners in terms of battery life. Let’s take a look.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 21h33m

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge 18h35m

Samsung Galaxy S7 17h43m

OnePlus 3 16h50m

Apple iPhone SE 16h33m

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge 15h45m

Motorola Moto X Force 15h01m

Apple IPhone 6s Plus 14h55m

Motorola Moto G4 13h25m

Samsung Galaxy 6 13h22m

Sony xperia Z5 compact 13h20m

OnePlus X 13h04m

Microsoft Lumia 950 XL 13h01m

Vodafone Smart Prime 7 12h54m

Huawei P9 Plus 12h30m

Apple iPhone 6s 11h20m

Google Nexus 5x 10h15m

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium 9h38m

As you can see, there is a massive difference between phones and battery life can certainly be an important factor when choosing your smartphone. For example, you might be a sales rep and on the road all day. You would certainly need a phone that can last for a 12-hour stretch.

Battery tips to consider when buying a smartphone

When you do buy a new smartphone, or upgrade on your existing contract, there are a few things that you can do to ensure that you pick a phone with a decent battery (if this is one of your primary requisites when choosing a phone).

The most important thing to look at is the overall capacity of the battery. This is measured as the mAh rating. So if you have two phones you like and you would prefer the one with the better battery, then choose the one with the higher mAh rating. In other words, the more the mAh rating of the phone the more battery life it should have.

There are other factors at play here however, and they do need to be considered. These include the brightness of your screen as well as its resolution and how much battery power the operating system of the phone uses when it is idle. But generally, if you are worried about battery power, choose the phone with the higher mAh rating.

Battery life – which smartphone wins this all important battle?