Best phone battery life 2019: The longest-lasting smartphones ranked
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 20 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 and Huawei are dominating the top 20 list with a total of five and four smartphones each, while Apple fails to make the cut – its longest-lasting smartphone is the iPhone SE (16hrs 46mins) if you’re curious.
As for new additions, five phones have made an appearance in recent months. The Moto G7 Power enters third place, while Xiaomi’s excellent flagship-killing Mi 9 arrives at seventh place with a time of 22hrs 54mins.
Samsung’s Galaxy S10 Plus has arrived on shop shelves and lasted for a total of 21hrs 17mins at 12th place. That’s lagging ever-so-slightly behind Huawei’s recently-launched P30 Pro, which reached a total time of 21hrs 21mins, boosting battery life by around 46%. Asus’ ZenFone 6 storms onto the chart in eighth place, with the OnePlus 7 entering at number 14. Lastly, Huawei’s Mate 20 X phablet is at 14th place.
Best phone battery life 2019: The best of the rest
There are still some rather long-lasting smartphones to consider, which unfortunately didn’t make the cut. Outside of the top 20, you can expect to see a handful of Samsung smartphones, including the Galaxy A7 (17hrs 43mins), Galaxy A8 (17hrs 34mins) and Galaxy J5 (17hrs 50mins). Lenovo’s Motorola One narrowly missed out, too, with a time of 17hrs 35mins.
As for some not-so-impressive recent devices, Google’s Pixel 3 only lasted over 12 hours on a single charge, but the Pixel 3 XL fared a little better at just over 13 hours. Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 845 chip is the biggest culprit, which isn’t quite as power efficient as its predecessor. All that power comes at a great cost to overall battery life.
Recent iPhone launches are similarly unimpressive. The iPhone Xs, with its A12 Bionic chip, lasted for 12hrs 45mins, and the cheaper iPhone XR fared a little better. The longest-lasting Apple phone is the iPhone Xs Max at 14hrs 18mins, although that’s still barely a scratch on the iPhone SE’s stamina.