Android Buying Guides

Which Smartphones Have the Best Battery Life in 2016?

Mihir Patkar 05-09-2016

Look up almost any survey of mobile phone users today and you’ll find that battery life is the biggest concern. It’s the only real limitation of the modern smartphone. How you use your handset often depends on how much juice you have left in the tank.


Engineers are tackling the battery problem on two fronts. First, they designed quick chargers to speed up battery charging What's a Quick Charger? Here's Why You Need One Now Smartphones take less time to charge up these days and it's all thanks to a new technology called Quick Charge. If you don't have it yet, you'll want it soon. Read More . Second, they are making the cells themselves larger.

Smartphone Charging Graphic

If you understand how a battery works How a Battery Works and 3 Ways You Can Ruin It The modern battery is featured in so many of our favourite technologies that you could almost be forgiven for not spending time learning about their workings. Read More , you’ll know to look for the milliampere-hour (mAh) rating. The higher the number, the larger the battery’s capacity. That’s the most important figure. But other factors also affect a phone’s battery life, like the hardware, the screen’s size and resolution, the antenna’s signal strength, the temperature of the device, and so on. On top of that, the battery’s age leads to reduced capacity — which is why you need to make your battery last longer How to Make Your Phone's Battery Last Longer and Hold More Juice Battery life is one of the biggest struggles of modern-day electronics. Smartphones, tablets, and laptops all deal with it -- so what can you do to maximize the amount of time you get per charge? Read More .

After putting it all together, it’s difficult to say objectively one phone’s battery life is better than another’s. The best we can do is make educated guesses based on core battery specifications, phone hardware, and expert and user reviews. With that in mind, these are the phones with the best battery life today.

Longest Battery Life: Asus Zenfone Max ZC550KL

Asus Zenfone Max ZC550KL 16GB Black International Version No Warranty Asus Zenfone Max ZC550KL 16GB Black International Version No Warranty Buy Now On Amazon

  • Capacity: 5,000 mAh
  • Talk time: 38 hours
  • Standby time: 914 hours

GSM Arena has one of the most comprehensive battery life tests for phones, and it is carried out in every model they review. Their numbers are trustworthy and reliable. From the models available in the U.S., the Asus Zenfone Max ZC550KL topped their battery test.

It’s not that surprising, considering the large size of the Zenfone Max and its 5,000 mAh lithium-polymer battery. Although the screen is 5.5 inches, its resolution is High Definition What’s the Difference Between HD Ready & Full HD? Television and computer monitor manufacturers can be a sly bunch, using different acronyms to disguise hardware capabilities. Well, worry no more. We've explained what HD Ready really means. Read More (HD is 1280×720 pixels) instead of Full HD (1920×1080 pixels). Since the screen pushes fewer pixels, it conserves power.

The Zenfone Max ZC550KL is ideal for anyone who needs a big screen, large icons, lots of talk-time and Internet-surfing, rather than playing games or watching movies. Outside of battery life, the Max’s anemic hardware isn’t ideal for power users.

At the same price tier, you can also consider the Lenovo Vibe P1, which is a better overall phone and still has a similar 5,000 mAh battery. The Vibe P1 has a much better screen, processor, and camera. While the battery life won’t be as long, it’s still better than most other phones and will last you longer than a day easily.


Best Battery Under $100: Blu Energy X2

BLU Energy X 2 - With 4000 mAh Super Battery - US GSM Unlocked Smartphone - Gold BLU Energy X 2 - With 4000 mAh Super Battery - US GSM Unlocked Smartphone - Gold Buy Now On Amazon $210.87

  • Capacity: 4,000 mAh
  • Talk time: 38 hours
  • Standby time: 875 hours

If you’re on a budget, the Blu Energy X2 does a good job of balancing long battery life with the base hygiene features required of a modern Android smartphone. Apart from the stellar battery, everything about it is “decent” or “good enough”.

The 5-inch HD screen and the Mediatek quad-core processor will ensure that the phone never draws too much power, so you can expect the battery to last a long time. In fact, Phone Arena estimates that it will last almost 15 hours, which is as good as it gets. It’s the successor to our beloved battery king the Blu Studio Energy BLU Studio Energy Review and Giveaway For only $150, the BLU Studio Energy packs a massive 5,000mAH battery that lasts for days - but is it more than just a huge battery? Read More  — so you’re buying a line with an established reputation for battery life.

The Energy X2 also incorporates a quick charge feature that will give you about an hour’s worth of usage if you charge it for 10 minutes. All for one Benjamin Franklin note.


Best Compact Battery: Sony Xperia Z5 Compact

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact E5803 32GB Unlocked GSM 4G LTE Android Smartphone w/ 23 Megapixel Camera - Black Sony Xperia Z5 Compact E5803 32GB Unlocked GSM 4G LTE Android Smartphone w/ 23 Megapixel Camera - Black Buy Now On Amazon $175.00

  • Capacity: 2,700 mAh
  • Talk time: 15 hours
  • Standby time: 520 hours

Big battery life almost always means a big-sized phone, with the screen measuring 5.5 inches or more. The Sony Xperia Z5 Compact is the exception to this rule. It’s a smaller phone — much smaller than the iPhone 6s, even though it has a similar 4.6-inch screen. And the battery life is impressive.

GSM Arena gave it a high rating on its endurance battery testing, particularly noting that it excels in talk time. The Z5 Compact can manage 28 hours of phone calls on a single charge, so it’s one of the ideal handsets if you speak on the phone a lot throughout the day.

Most importantly, the rest of the hardware in the Z5 Compact is top-notch. You get one of the best cameras on the market, a snappy Snapdragon 810 processor, and all the bells and whistles you are used to. We loved the Sony Xperia Z5 Sony Xperia Z5 Review You're looking for a new phone. Something reasonably powerful, big screen, great sound. A handset to blow your iPhone loving friends out of the water. The Sony Xperia Z5 might just be it. Read More and we’re sure you’ll love the Z5 Compact. It’s no wonder this made it to our list of the best smartphones for students The Best Smartphones for Students in 2016 Before heading back to school this season, consider getting a new smartphone. Think a daily driver! But what are the best smartphones around? Read More in 2016.


Since this article was published, Sony has released a new version of the smartphone, the Sony Xperia X Compact.
Sony Xperia X Compact - Unlocked Smartphone - 32GB - Black (US Warranty) Sony Xperia X Compact - Unlocked Smartphone - 32GB - Black (US Warranty) Buy Now On Amazon $166.00

Best Phone With Stellar Battery: Samsung Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge

Samsung SM-G930UZKAXAA S7 Galaxy Smartphone Unlocked-32Gb, Water-resistant up to 5 Feet, US Warranty Samsung SM-G930UZKAXAA S7 Galaxy Smartphone Unlocked-32Gb, Water-resistant up to 5 Feet, US Warranty Buy Now On Amazon $99.99
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge unlocked smartphone, 32 GB Silver (US Warranty - Model SM-G935UZSAXAA) Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge unlocked smartphone, 32 GB Silver (US Warranty - Model SM-G935UZSAXAA) Buy Now On Amazon $219.00

  • Capacity: 3,000 mAh (S7) / 3,600 mAh (S7 Edge)
  • Talk time: 22 hours (S7) / 27 hours (S7 Edge)
  • Standby time: N/A

There’s no beating around the bush here. Samsung has outdone itself with the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge — arguably two of the finest Android phones ever made. Consumer Reports rates them in the top five for battery life.

When Riley reviewed the 5.5-inch Galaxy S7 Edge Galaxy S7 Edge Review and Giveaway Samsung's back again with some new smartphones: the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. It's still a premium device with uniquely curved edges, but should you consider upgrading? Read More , she was ready to make a long-term commitment to that phone. The 5-inch Galaxy S7 also has some amazing features 10 Lesser-Known Galaxy S7 Features You Need To Know About The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are filled to the brim with exciting features, but it can be a hassle to find and understand them all. Let's break down the best of them. Read More that aren’t well known. Both the phones come with state-of-the-art hardware and will safely get you through the next few generations of smartphones.

Picking between the two is a matter of subjective preference. The Edge looks sexier but ask yourself if you need curved glass or if it’s just a gimmick. The base S7 is more traditional but lacks the oomph of the Edge. And let’s face it, the Galaxy S7 Edge topped our list of the best Android phones of 2016 What's the Best Android Smartphone in 2016? Buying an iPhone is simple -- if you want the best device, you buy the newest one. If you want a cheaper one, you buy one that's a year or two old. Read More .

Best Non-Android Battery: Microsoft Lumia 1520

Nokia Lumia 1520 16GB Unlocked GSM 4G LTE Windows 8 Smartphone w/Carl Zeiss Optics 20MP Camera - Yellow (No Warranty) Nokia Lumia 1520 16GB Unlocked GSM 4G LTE Windows 8 Smartphone w/Carl Zeiss Optics 20MP Camera - Yellow (No Warranty) Buy Now On Amazon $168.81

  • Capacity: 3,400 mAh
  • Talk time: 25 hours
  • Standby time: 768 hours

If Android isn’t your thing, then the Nokia/Microsoft Lumia 1520 is the best you can get. On GSM Arena’s endurance test, it scored 107h and ranked at number 5 overall, while the iPhone 6s Plus was only at 85h and not worth ranking.

Of course, the Lumia 1520 is a pretty old model at this point, having first released in 2013. But it’s among the few Lumias that you can upgrade to Windows 10 mobile Why You Should Upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile and How to Do It Windows 10 Mobile has finally been released to the public. Provided your phone is supported, you should upgrade. Here's everything you need to know about upgrading from Windows Phone 8.1 to Windows 10 Mobile. Read More and take advantage of all the new cross-platform features like Continuum (check out the new Windows 10 features 10 Surprising Reasons Why You Will Like Windows 10 It's almost cool to hate on Windows 10 these days. Don't let that deprive you of all the benefits Windows 10 will bring! We show you what you're missing out on. Read More ).

That said, the gargantuan 6-inch screen and the limited 2 GB RAM might make it unwieldy as a phone, and not that powerful as a mobile computer.

Outside the U.S.

Step outside the U.S. and you can get some incredible phones for a low price. Don’t knock those Chinese brands — they make reliable and brilliant handsets these days. In fact, cheap Androids often beat flagships in battery life 5 Ways Cheap Android Smartphones Beat the Flagships Who says you need the latest and greatest (and most expensive) smartphone out there? The cheaper alternatives are actually really good. Let us show you. Read More , as the ones below will show.

Gionee M6 Plus

The Gionee Marathon M6 Plus is set to be the king of battery life. It’s a huge 6-inch phone, and it has an incredible 6,000 mAh battery that will keep it ticking long after every other phone has died. The previous model, the Marathon M5, is GSM Arena’s current battery topper. The new model, releasing soon, should be a doozy.

Xiaomi Redmi 3 series

With a 4,100 mAh battery packed with a 5-inch HD screen and a low-power processor, the Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime has been wowing reviewers with its incredible battery life. The Redmi 3 series, which also includes the Redmi 3, Redmi 3s, and Redmi 3 Pro, have similar specifications with an odd change here or there. This Redmi 3 series has again ranked high on GSM Arena’s battery endurance test and is a solid 4G-ready smartphone for India and China.

Moto Turbo

It can be a little tricky to get your hands on the original Motorola Droid Turbo in the U.S. now, but the Moto Turbo is still available in other markets. With its 3,900 mAh battery, reinforced high-resolution glass screen, waterproof body, and powerful hardware, this is one of the best phones money can buy.

How Long Does Your Phone Last?

Before you make a buying decision based on this article, remember, the battery is just one aspect of your overall smartphone experience. Having fantastic battery life but substandard performance isn’t worth it. Similarly, it’s frustrating to have great hardware but see the battery dying quickly. Balance out the features that matter to you, that’s always the key.

With that in mind, which smartphone are you thinking of buying? What are you using right now, and how often do you recharge it? And do you prefer Quick Charge or larger batteries?

Related topics: Android, Battery Life.

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  1. Berly
    February 19, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    How about Redmi 4 Prime which has 4000 mAh battery?

  2. Jordan Smith
    November 5, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    My S6 can barely make it through 2 hours of online chat with screen brightness set to a minimum, power saving mode on, mobile data on but wifi and gps signals off, along with sync and nfc off and background processes set to just one in developer settings. No other apps installed other than stock. I was using skype, but chat only, no video. It sill says the screen used 45% of its power, even on lowest brightness. Is this normal? Ive reset it to factory settings multiple times now.

    PS: This phone can only just last 4 hours of listening to offline music like this too.


  3. black_bob
    November 1, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    Honor 7 easily lasts two days if you don't hammer it.

  4. Jinal Chadda
    September 19, 2016 at 11:27 am

    I'm using Asus Zenfone3 best phone for photography. The hidden photographer in me is so thankful everyday for buying this phone. 4K Video recording and a 16MP camera with 4-axis OIS for shake free photos. Simply amazing.