Best phone battery life of 2016

Best phone battery life of 2016 - Lovefone, London

Portable battery extenders are convenient, sure. And there are some cool ones coming out, like this Pokédex battery pack to assist with a full day’s worth of Pokémon Go play.

The increasing need for a longer-lasting battery is a universal phenomenon. From rural shepherds using donkeys decked out with solar-panels to power their phones on the go, to Indian KFC chains offering to-go meals with a “Watt a box” container with USB ports to give your smartphone some juice along with your chicken, these half-solutions are being thought up everywhere. But the truth is, the best solution is buying a phone with a good battery to begin with.

So with the stakes higher and higher for manufacturers seeking the mantle of “smartphone with the best battery life,” Apple, Google, and the other big names in smartphones have been pushing cutting-edge battery tech to the limits.

And the winner is…

#1) The Motorola Droid Turbo

Motorola Droid Turbo

According to (one of the best, most unbiased places to compare products, digital or otherwise), the Motorola Droid Turbo takes the cake. Retailing for around £150, the Droid Turbo boasts 24+ hours of talk time, rapid charging, wireless charging, and the record-breaking battery capacity of 3,900 mAH.

Of the top five phones with the best battery life specs, it is interesting to note that none of these phones have a removable battery. For someone without the ability to charge, yet for whom always having an available smartphone is a necessity, there is something to be said for smartphones that can let you switch out a fresh battery. Apple has long eschewed the removable battery in exchange for a sleeker design and (supposedly) faster battery charging.

While many lament the loss of removable batteries, Samsung and Motorola have run with this new standard, and now their highest-end phones have battery lives that regularly best the newest iPhones.

#2 Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge with a battery capacity of 3,600 mAH

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

#3 Samsung Galaxy S6 Active with a battery capacity of 3,500 mAH

Samsung Galaxy S6 Active

#4 Samsung Galaxy S7 with a battery capacity of 3,000 mAH

Samsung Galaxy S7

While I’m sure Samsung would have rather claimed the mantle for themselves of “best battery life smartphone,” if you aren’t going to get first place, getting second, third, and fourth is probably some consolation. 

Battery life versus performance has been a design and usage trade-off as long as portable electronics have been a thing, going all the way back to Walkie-Talkies and even earlier. But now, with smartphones tied so much to our daily lives, not having a charge on your phone can mean you’re not able to answer your doorbell or, in a worse scenario, have paramedics unable to access your medical information through your smartphone.

A large battery life is typically more about convenience than necessity, though, and plenty of users (especially iPhone users), are happy to trade a tiny bit of performance for having what is, in their subjective opinion, a better phone.

What matters most to you?

September 23, 2016
Andrew Hendricks