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Smartphones with best battery life represented by a person who's battery is running low

Smartphones With the Best Battery Life

These five devices are good for all-day use

The best smartphone in the world isn’t worth much if you need to recharge it every few hours. That’s why Consumer Reports likes to point out which models in our smartphone ratings have the best battery life. To some consumers, this is the single most important factor in choosing a phone.

The five smartphones featured here manage to stand out even in a field that has seen significant improvement in recent years. That’s thanks to batteries with a big capacity—3,000mAh (milliamp-hours) and higher—and processors and wireless connections that smartly adjust power consumption to suit the job at hand.

More on Smartphones

Lab testers evaluate smartphone batteries by using a robotic finger that simulates what a person might do with a phone throughout an average day—without taking a break. The robot browses the internet, takes pictures, uses the GPS navigation and, of course, makes phone calls.

It’s important to remember that the best battery life doesn’t automatically mean a great overall phone. You can check our smartphone ratings and buying guide to help decide on the best one for your needs. And while all of these phones are recommended by Consumer Reports, they don’t all come from big-name brands or include the high-end features that a lot of consumers now take for granted. Remember that a large-capacity battery requires a large-capacity shell, so yes, these phones tend to be on the bigger side.

Here are some tactics you can use to get more battery life from any phone:

Tips to Extend Battery Life

  • Set the screen brightness to Auto so the device can adjust to indoor and outdoor conditions. (We test phones with the screens set to 100 percent brightness.)
  • Lower the baseline brightness. In most phones, you can do this by using a sliding switch in the Display menu.
  • Set the screen to go to sleep after 15 or 30 seconds of inactivity.
  • Turn on Airplane mode when you’re in an area with no signal.
  • Reduce the frequency of updates for email, social network feeds, and other apps to once every hour.
  • If you’re streaming content over a WiFi network to stretch your data allowance (and doing other data-intensive tasks such as internet gaming), keep a power adapter handy. Our tests have found that performing tasks over WiFi can drain batteries significantly faster than using cellular-data connections.

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If you’re reading this article on your smartphone, we recommend that you rotate it to landscape mode to view the tables below better.

Smartphones in Our Ratings.
Current Smartphone Ratings