TheDitigalCamera has developed a new battery life test procedure which confronts the batteries of smartphones with a burst of trying tasks, related to our usage. The results are surprising.
Remember your old Nokia 3310, that GSM capable brick that delivers your messages and calls for three days without ever getting near an electrical outlet. We are in the year 2000. 14 years later, most smartphones can’t go without a charge after a normal day of usage. It’s hard to speak of regression since their performance have reached monumental bounds… But we do it anyway. This frustration has been amplified since our smartphones have become more and more indispensable. And more versatile. Processors, screens, sensors of all kinds, the power exerted by smartphones is not vain, it corresponds with the natural evolution of always advancing multimedia usage: high resolution photos (See more: Best Camera Phone), Full HD video capturing, 3D gaming, multitasking, etc. How do we reconcile this abundance of performance with a suitable battery life? A technological challenge, surely one of the biggest of the next few decades for manufacturers of smartphones and mobile devices in general.
At the TheDitigalCamera labs, all smartphones pass 3 distinct battery life tests: web browsing, HD video playback, and voice communication. These three measures, when working together, allow us to get a precise vision of smartphone performance for three specific usages. But these three procedures are not always satisfactory, notably because a smartphone can have a very good battery life with vocal communication, but not with video playback. A question of (battery) size, but also optimization. These optimizations, in the maker’s hands, allow the improvement of the way the different Android, iOS or Windows Phone services and programs exploit the processor and memory of the device, among others. The example of Apple is particularly telling. The battery life of communication for the iPhone 6 is 12 hours and 27 minutes, a far cry from the Galaxy S5’s 26 hours and the HTC One M8’s 24 hours. Although, its battery life in video playback is 10 hours, around the average. These continuing comparisons of smartphones take into account the disparities of today, but we want to go even further.
We put in place over the last few months a new test procedure which confronts the smartphone with a chain of varied and repetitive tasks : web navigation, video playback, 3G audio streaming, etc. up until the complete use of the battery. This cocktail, being much closer to the reality of our usage, puts in light the overall battery life of smartphones. Nobody uses their smartphone exclusively to watch videos, exclusively to make calls or exclusively to surf the web. In summary, from this moment on we take into account the general optimization by the maker instead of the partial optimization. A complex measure for us, but a much clearer result for you. The goal is always the same: to help you more effectively choose the right high-tech equipment.
10. iPhone 6 Plus
The largest of the iPhone 6s is 10th on our list with an overall battery life of 6 hours and 41 minutes. It is, although, number 4th on our list of the most endurable smartphones for continuous video playback.
Overall Battery life: 6 hours 41 minutes
9. BlackBerry Passport
Battery life is one of the historic BlackBerry arguments. Their Passport ranks 9th on our list of most endurable smartphones, and is the 3rd choice for chatting (13 hours 9 minutes in conversation).
Overall Battery life: 7 hours 18 minutes
8. Samsung Galaxy Note 3
The Galaxy Note 3 from Samsung has been the reference in terms of battery life for a long time, notably thanks to its impressive 3200 mAh battery. It ranks 8th on our list with 7 hours 18 minutes on the clock.
Overall Battery life: 7 hours 19 minutes
7. Sony Xperia Z3
The latest high-end smartphone ranks in 7th. Not bad, but the manufacturer promised a 30% longer battery life than the Z2, which makes it better by 15 minutes.
Overall Battery life: 7 hours 23 minutes
6. Huawei Ascend G6
The Ascend G6 from Huawei has the 6th longest battery life in overall usage and only costs… 212 dollars. It particular to have a low resource utilization processor.
Overall Battery life: 7 hours 30 minutes
5. Sony Xperia Z2
Announced at the start of 2014, the Z2 stands its ground with a 7 hour, 30 minute battery life. It does even better than the newer model, which is supposed to be better in this aspect. A very good deal, as its price remains low.
Overall Battery life: 7 hours 39 minutes
4. Nokia Lumia 1520
Like the Galaxy Note 3, the Lumia 1520 gets a good score thanks to its large battery capacity (3400 mAh). It is, though, only 9th on our list of the top 10 most endurable in vocal communication (18h).
Overall Battery life: 7 hours 41 minutes
3. Samsung Galaxy S5
The Galaxy s5 is the third best smartphone on this list with a battery life of 8 hours and 2 minutes. We can say that its versatile: 26 hours in conversation and more than 15 hours in video playback. Nothing to say.
Overall Battery life: 8 hours 02 minutes
2. HTC One M8
3 minutes, is the gap that separates the HTC One M8 from the Galaxy S5. Enough to climb to the second step of our podium, even though it doesn’t do as well (by very little) in our three specific usage tests.
Overall Battery life: 8 hours 05 minutes
1. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
Impressive. The Z3 Compact shatters the competition in our test with 8 hours and 49 minutes without stopping, 40 minutes more than its closest competition. A considerable gap, especially its performance is at a high level.
Overall Battery life: 8 hours 49 minutes
The graphic sheds light on the absence of correlation between the battery life of smartphones in specific areas and their overall battery life. Having a longer battery life than all of its peers in communication, the Z2 is at number 5 in our multi-usage battery life test. Two interesting observations : the Sony Xperias are very well represented (Compact Z3 , Z2, and Z3, respectively 1st, 5th and 7th), and the iPhone 6 is 21st on this rankings. (5 hours 40 minutes).