Our phones are faster and slimmer than ever before. That’s great in every way except one: battery life. Smaller phones means less room for batteries, while faster processors, high-resolution displays, and 5G cell networks quickly drain the charge you do have.
While plugging in a power bank will keep your phone running in an emergency, it’s one more thing to charge, carry, and think about. Instead, it’s worth looking specifically at phones with great battery life. The best of them can last a full day of heavy usage or 2+ days of lighter use on a single charge.
The battery performance of a phone depends on the physical capacity of the battery (measured in milliampere-hours, or mAh), but also on its processor, screen size and brightness, how well optimized its operating system and apps are, whether you use LTE and 5G networks a lot, and more.
In other words, a higher battery capacity doesn’t necessarily mean a longer battery life. There’s a lot more to think about than a single number.
The other thing is that long battery life is unlikely to be the only thing you care about. You don’t want a mediocre phone that runs for days. Instead, you want something that performs well, looks great, takes excellent photos—and also has enough juice to at least last an entire day away from a charger.
With that in mind, these are our picks for the best smartphones with long battery life on the market today.
- Screen: 6.6-inch AMOLED
- Storage: 128-512GB
- RAM: 8GB
- Battery: 4500 mAh
- Dual SIM?: No (USA) / Yes (International)
- Runs On: Android
- Screen: 6.7-inch OLED
- Storage: 128 or 256GB
- RAM: 8 or 12GB
- Battery: 5000 mAh
- Dual SIM?: No (USA) / Yes (International)
- Runs On: Android
- Screen: 6.5-inch LED
- Storage: 64 or 128GB + microSD slot
- RAM: 4GB
- Battery: 5000 mAh
- Dual SIM?: No (USA) / Yes (International)
- Runs On: Android
- Screen: 6.5-inch AMOLED
- Storage: 128GB + microSD slot
- RAM: 6GB
- Battery: 5000 mAh
- Dual SIM?: No (USA) / Yes (International)
- Runs On: Android
- Screen: 6.1-inch OLED
- Storage: 128 GB
- RAM: 6GB
- Battery: 4410 mAh
- Dual SIM?: Yes (nano SIM + eSIM)
- Runs On: Android
What to Look For
Until a better battery technology comes along, lithium-ion is where it’s at. Every phone on the market uses it, so to differentiate, you need to look at the actual battery capacity.
Usually measured in mAh, it can and does vary significantly from one device to another. As general rules, bigger phones have bigger batteries, and the higher the capacity of a given battery, the longer it will last on a single charge.
We’d recommend a minimum capacity of around 3000mAh for any phone, but the bigger, more-powerful, and feature-rich the device is, the higher this number should be. In general, you’re looking for batteries with at least 4000mAh capacity to ensure your phone lasts at least one full day between charges.
Operating System and Apps
Operating systems, and the apps you run on them, will have a significant impact on the battery life of your phone. Even a single badly-coded app can play havoc with your phone’s power consumption, draining the battery in a matter of hours.
iOS has traditionally been viewed as the more power-efficient of the two major phone operating systems, and despite ongoing improvements in each new version of Android, Apple still has the advantage here.
That’s partially due to Apple’s tighter control over its app store, and in parallel, stricter rules about what an app can and cannot do in iOS. This tends to reduce the feature set of iOS apps, but with the significant upside of better battery life.
Android is more of a mixed bag, with battery drain varying by manufacturer and model, as well as an individual user’s choice of apps. Look for phones with a minimum of preinstalled apps, and closely monitor the apps you install yourself for excessive battery drain.
One thing that’s more certain, however, is that for years, every Android update has seen battery life improvements. That’s why it’s worth buying phones from companies that guarantee a certain number of OS updates, and have a track record of actually delivering them.
Processor and RAM
A reasonably fast processor combined with plenty of RAM helps ensure your smartphone runs smoothly without draining excessive power in the process. Too slow, and the processor has to run at maximum load most of the time, which doesn’t do anything good for battery life.
For the last few years, iPhones have been powered by Apple’s own processors. Samsung has also developed its own Exynos CPU that it uses in some of its mid-range phones, while the company’s other models and almost all other Android devices are powered by either Qualcomm or MediaTek chips.
You only really need to worry about the CPU’s effect on battery life if you’re buying at the low end of the market. Any of the phones we mention below, and most other mid to high-end phones, are fast enough that this isn’t an issue.
As for RAM, anything with 4-6GB of memory should be able to handle almost any task without draining too much battery power, and provide snappy performance when needed. We wouldn’t consider anything less than 4GB as acceptable in a new phone at this point.
Cellular data usage will have a major impact on your battery life, and that’s especially true if you’re using 5G networks. This high-speed technology can upload and download data extremely quickly, at least in theory, but at the expense of significantly higher battery drain.
Note too that whatever cell technology you’re using, you’ll use more battery in areas of poor or no service than you do when you have a strong signal. Your phone increases power to the cellular radio when it’s having trouble connecting, which (you guessed it) drains the battery more quickly.
If you’re trying to conserve battery, use Wi-Fi when you can, 4G/LTE when it’s fast enough for your requirements, and 5G only if you really need it. Also, if you know that you’ll be in an area with no cell service for a while, flick your phone into flight mode while you’re there.
Display Size and Type
The size and type of display used in your phone can have a big impact on battery life. We recommend opting for a phone with an OLED screen, which uses less energy than LCDs. This is for various reasons, but the main one is that entirely black pixels on an OLED display use no energy to display.
As a result, setting a phone with an OLED display to use a dark theme by default will make it use noticeably less battery than when you’re using a light theme. Strange but true.
Regardless of the display type, be sure to turn on adaptive or ambient lighting if it’s not enabled by default. This automatically adjusts the brightness of the screen based on lighting conditions, so you’ll use less power in darker environments.
The size and resolution of your phone screen also affects battery usage. Generally, larger screens have higher resolutions (i.e., more pixels), and the more pixels there are, the more power a given screen requires.
Of course, bigger screens come on bigger phones, which usually also have bigger batteries, so often it can be pretty much a wash. Just double-check that the giant phone you’re planning to buy actually does come with a larger battery than its smaller rivals.
While the majority of battery-saving software features are built into the operating system and available on any phone, some manufacturers go above and beyond to include extra power-sipping settings.
These settings can do anything from reducing how often apps are allowed to use cellular data to dropping screen refresh rate, enabling a monochrome mode, being more aggressive about how soon an unused app gets shut down, and more.
You’re unlikely to choose a phone based on the presence or otherwise of these settings, but it’s worth at least checking to see if they exist, so you’ll know to turn them on if you’re finding battery life isn’t what you were hoping for.
While most of us think about battery life in terms of day-to-day usage, the term also has another meaning: how long you can expect the battery to last before it loses its ability to hold a charge. All lithium-ion batteries will do this over time, but how long it takes can vary widely.
Heat is a major contributor to battery degradation, so any phone that can’t disperse heat effectively will both run more slowly and accumulate battery damage more quickly. Efficient thermal design is the key here, but occasionally you’ll even see inbuilt fans or liquid cooling to keep temperatures down.
Charging a battery too quickly can also cause overheating problems, especially as you approach its maximum capacity. That’s why most modern phones will charge at full speed up to around 70%, and then slow down significantly after that. Make sure yours will do the same.
Lithium-ion batteries benefit from spending as much time as possible between roughly 20 and 80% charged. Dropping to zero or staying on the charger at 100% for hours stresses the battery and reduces its lifespan.
That’s why some phones have smart charging systems, which know when they’ve been put on the charger overnight and learn when you usually wake up. This means they can stop charging once they hit 80%, restarting just before you get up so they’re only at full capacity for a short period of time.
For any phone, do what you can to keep it away from extreme heat. Don’t leave it in a vehicle or beside a window with the sun streaming in, and if you take it to the beach, keep your phone in your bag or under a towel or item of clothing to help keep its temperature down.
Best Android Phone With Long Battery Life: Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
Looking for the comfort of buying from a major global brand, but still want a phone with great battery life? Take a look at the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus, part of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S range.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus is a high-end, premium device, and one of the best long battery life phones on the market. Its 4500 mAh battery is paired with a range of intelligent management features to optimize power usage throughout the day.
You can expect over 18 hours of video playback with moderate screen brightness, and longer if you’re only doing basic activities like web browsing. That’s a lot, and translates to somewhere around a day and a half of normal usage for most people.
If you’re looking to eke out even longer between charges, you can also drop the screen refresh rate from the default 120Hz to 60Hz. The trade-off is slightly less-smooth movement, but if you really need the extra battery life, that’s probably something you’re willing to accept, and it’s good to have the option.
When you do finally manage to drain the battery, you won’t need to wait long for it to charge up. Expect around 50% charge in a little over 20 minutes if you’re using a 45W USB C PD PPS charger. That jumble of acronyms is important: other types of charger are noticeably slower.
As is increasingly the case these days, there’s no charger in the box. Wireless charging is also built in, although it’s quite a bit slower: you’re better off using it to charge overnight than rely on it for a quick top-up.
The S22 Plus looks fantastic, with a big, bright, and rich 6.6″ screen. Inside sits Snapdragon’s speedy 8 Gen 1 chipset, 8GB of RAM, and 128-256GB of storage. Unlike earlier versions, though, there’s no microSD slots if you manage to fill that up.
5G connectivity is built in, although just like LTE when it first came out, don’t necessarily expect it to work outside the region you bought your phone in. It’ll also drain your battery more quickly than 4G/LTE, so unless you really need that extra speed, you may want to consider disabling it for now.
A major selling point of the device is its cameras. While it doesn’t have the 10x optical zoom and ridiculous 100x digital “Space Zoom” of the Ultra version, the 50MP sensor is a big improvement from the previous model, and it takes great shots.
I’ve been very impressed with the quality of the photos from the S22 Plus, especially in well-lit areas, and to a lesser degree, low-light conditions. You’re unlikely to be disappointed with video footage either, with recording in up to 8K resolution and reliable stabilization built in.
There’s no headphone jack, but the payoff for that is IP68 water and dust resistance. With wireless earbuds and headphones commonplace these days, having a phone that can handle being in five feet of water for half an hour is a tradeoff that most people are increasingly happy to make.
Overall, this is a well-rounded everyday smartphone with great battery life and a very good camera. It’s available in a range of attractive colors, and there’s a huge range of third-party cases and accessories available.Buy on Amazon
Best iPhone With Long Battery Life: Apple iPhone 14 Plus
The latest iPhone models are here, and they pack a heck of a punch in terms of battery life. Even the base version lasts for up to 20 hours of continuous video playback, but its bigger sibling is even more impressive, adding an extra six hours before you’re heading for a wall outlet.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max has a 4325 mAh battery, very slightly larger than the top-of-the-line 14 Pro Max that costs at least an extra couple of hundred dollars. Paired with iOS’s well-optimized software, you’ll struggle to find another phone that lasts as long between charges.
When it does finally go flat, half an hour on a 20W+ wall charger will get it back up to 50% (although Apple doesn’t include one in the box). Magsafe and Qi wireless charging is also available: again, you’ll need to buy a separate charger for this if you don’t already have one..
Other highlights of this model include up to 512GB of storage capacity (it’s also available in 128 and 256 versions), impressive photo and video performance with improved stabilization, and a new Emergency SOS mode. In the US and a few other countries, it’ll connect you via satellite when you don’t have cell service to make an emergency call.
The 14 Plus is powered by Apple’s A15 chip, the same one that was in last year’s Pro models. Even if it’s not the absolute fastest processor that Apple makes, most people will never notice: it offers lightning-fast performance even by flagship smartphone standards.
Durability is about as good as it gets, with Apple’s “Ceramic Shield” screen glass that has dramatically higher more drop resistance than most earlier models. There’s also IP68 dust and water resistance, with the phone certified to handle submersion in up to 19 feet of water for half an hour.
As you’d expect from Apple, the main downside is cost: this phone is anything but cheap. Despite the high price, it also doesn’t come with a charger, or any accessories other than a USB-C to Lightning cable. There’s also an issue that’s specific to US-based buyers: the lack of a SIM card slot.
Apple has opted for dual eSIM support on the US model, and you can’t use a physical SIM card in the iPhone 14. It’s unlikely to matter much inside the United States, but makes it much harder to save money by getting cell service from local carriers when traveling overseas.
One final note: while the battery life is very impressive, part of the reason for that is because the Plus is a very large phone. If you’d like something that’s easier to hold in one hand, the standard iPhone 14 still lasts most people an entire day between charges, and costs somewhat less as well.
Best Mid-Range Phone With Long Battery Life: OnePlus 10 Pro
We often tend to think of smartphones in two categories: flagship and budget. In reality, mid-range phones offer the best value for most people, bringing a useful mix of specs and features without costing four figures to buy.
The OnePlus 10 Pro was close to that when it first came out, but it’s amazing what a few months does to the price, and it’s now one of the highest-spec phones you’ll find for the money.
As usual with OnePlus’s premium devices, it’s an attractive phone available in a few different colors, and the internals are equally impressive: you get a very fast Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, 5G support, 8 or 12GB of RAM, and 128 or 256GB of storage.
The 5000mAh battery in the OnePlus 10 Pro can power you through a day of heavy use without needing to worry about going flat: that’s pretty impressive, given the big, bright 6.7″ display that can run at anything up to 120Hz when necessary.
When the phone does eventually go flat, it won’t be for long. OnePlus has long had some of the fastest charging in the business, and while a few rivals are trying to catch up, the 65W charger in the box is still extremely quick. Expect to go from 0-50% in around half an hour, very impressive with a battery this size.
Even wireless charging is incredibly fast, at least as long as you’re using OnePlus’s proprietary charger: you’ll get 50W out of it, which is more than most phones can manage with a cable!
Also as usual for OnePlus, though, while the specs of the three cameras seem impressive, the resulting image quality is less consistently so. You’ll often get decent shots from the 50MP ultrawide lens, and most photos are acceptable in good lighting, but the phone struggles at night and in low light.
Likewise, the phone’s built-in speakers fail to excite, and (at least on the unlocked US model) there’s no official water resistance. If you can live with those limitations, however, this is a very fast, stylish phone with great battery life for not a lot of money.Buy on Amazon
Best Budget Smartphone With Long Battery Life: Motorola Moto G Power
Motorola’s Moto G range has long been our pick for anyone looking for a good budget smartphone, and if battery life is your main priority, the Moto G Power is the best of the lot.
The “Power” name signifies a bigger-than-average battery, and at 5000mAh, it’s as large as you’ll find in any mainstream smartphone this year You should get at least two full days of use out of this device, potentially even more with light use. That’s better than anything else worth owning at this price.
The phone’s MediaTek Helio G37 chipset isn’t the fastest you’ll find, but it’s fine for the kind of web browsing and photo taking that most people do. Paired with 4GB of RAM and 64-128GB of storage, you’ve got a useful, inexpensive phone that’s well-suited to budget buyers.
There’s a headphone jack (increasingly rare these days), and a micro-SD slot that lets you add up to 512GB of additional storage. USB C charging is also available, although with just a 10W charger in the box, don’t expect it to get back to 100% particularly quickly.
The screen resolution of 1600×720 isn’t a lot for a screen this size, but the 90Hz refresh rate makes for a better viewing experience, providing smoother motion with less blur. Having a lower-resolution display helps with battery life as well, so for this phone in particular, it’s a sensible trade-off.
The camera is a big improvement over earlier versions of the Power, producing shots you’ll be happy with most of the time in good lighting conditions. Low-light photos aren’t great, though, not helped by the lack of a dedicated night mode.
The IP52 ingress rating means the phone has decent protection against rain and splashes, but don’t submerge it in liquid if you want it to keep running.
Overall, this is a surprisingly good phone for the money, even if you weren’t getting 2+ days use out of each charge. Add that to the mix, and you’ve got our top budget phone with long battery life right now.Buy on Amazon
Best Value Smartphone With Long Battery Life: Samsung Galaxy A53
The Samsung Galaxy A53 is a well-balanced smartphone that combines impressive performance with a moderate price. It’s one of the best value devices from a major brand right now, particularly so if you’re after a phone with good battery life and few compromises.
With its 5000mAh battery, this mid-range standout can power through around 10 hours of continual basic use like web browsing. That’s as good or better than anything else at this price point, and if you’re not pushing it super-hard, you’ll easily get more than a day between charges.
That battery performance is particularly impressive when you consider the A53 has a big 6.5″ OLED display and a 120Hz refresh rate. It’s rare to find the latter on a value-focused phone like this, and the smoother scrolling and animations are immediately noticeable.
Speaking of the display, it’s an area where Samsung often excels, and the A53 is no exception. Bright and vibrant, with impressive color accuracy, it’s easily one of the best you’ll find in a mid-range phone. The device looks great overall: sleek and stylish, in a way you definitely don’t expect at this price.
While you shouldn’t expect blistering performance from Samsung’s Exynos 1280 chipset, it handles most day-to-day use just fine. Other than high-end games, apps run smoothly, with little in the way of noticeable slowdowns or long loading times.
The other specifications are in line with many current mid-range smartphones, with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. If that’s not enough space, a microSD slot lets you add up to 1TB more. There’s IP67 dust and water resistance, but no headphone jack: an increasingly-common tradeoff.
Fast-ish charging is available if you use the right charger, but there isn’t one in the box. Samsung sells one, but any other decent USB C PD 25W+ charger should do the job as well. There’s no wireless charging on offer here.
Camera performance in Samsung’s Galaxy A range has been a bit hit-and-miss over the years, and that’s the case here to some extent as well. While photos are reasonable in most lighting conditions, and the ultrawide camera does a pretty good job, shots are often over-exposed and over-saturated.
If photo quality is super-important to you, you’re probably better off with the Pixel 6a (below). It’s usually a similar price, and although the screen isn’t as good and you get three years of updates instead of four with the Samsung, it takes better shots in pretty much every situation.
If you want an attractive phone with long battery life, a great screen, decent performance, and the support of a major vendor, however, and don’t want to pay a lot for it, the A53 is absolutely the way to go. It’s our value pick right now.Buy on Amazon
Best Long-Battery Smartphone for Travel: Google Pixel 6a
We’ve been big fans of Google’s Pixel range for a long time, and the latest 6a model is no exception. Even though it has a slightly smaller battery than the previous version, it lasts just as long in the real world, ensuring this budget-friendly phone remains our long battery life recommendation for travel.
The phone packs plenty of features and performance into its low to mid-range price point. It comes with 6GB of memory, 128GB of storage (there’s no SD card), and the same Tensor chipset that’s inside the “big brother” Pixel 6. 5G support is also included.
Google has optimized the phone well. Real-world performance is plenty fast enough for most people, with none of the slowdowns and stuttering you often find at this price point. It’s a stylish and well-built device as well, looking more expensive than it is, and available in three attractive colors.
You can expect over a day of moderate use before needing to hunt out a wall socket: even a full day of exploring a new city, taking photos and using the phone for navigation, shouldn’t leave you gazing anxiously at the battery level over dinner.
The 18W max charging speed is reasonable if not exciting: other phones can charge more quickly, even at this price point. There’s no charger in the box either, and while it’s becoming increasingly common for people to already have a decent USB C fast charger in their home, it’s not a given.
The most exciting part for travelers, though, is the camera. The Pixel 6a takes the best photos of any phone in this price range, and betters many others that cost significantly more. You’ll get impressive shots regardless of overhead conditions, and Night Sight mode ensures great low-light images as well.
The phone is a sensible size for travel, the 6.1″ OLED display and thin bezels making it small enough to fit in your pocket and use with one hand, while still having a screen large enough to watch a movie on the plane.
eSIM support is built-in, alongside the standard nano SIM slot. Google’s ditched the headphone jack in favor of water resistance (it’s rated to IP67): we’ve dinged phones for this in the past, but with customers increasingly moving to Bluetooth headphones and earbuds these days, it makes more sense.
On the software side, a pure Android experience and consistent updates have long been one of the best reasons to buy a Google device. That’s no different here, with Android updates promised for at least three years. That’s extremely rare in a mid-range phone.
The downsides of this model are a lack of expandable storage or wireless charging capabilities. If you can overlook these drawbacks, the Pixel 6a is a well-rounded, budget-friendly option for travel that’ll keep going even during the longest, toughest days on the road.Buy on Amazon
Main image via rawpixel, product images via Amazon