Of all the things that we debate when comparing smartphones, there is one above all others that can render the rest irrelevant. If your phone runs out of battery, you can’t use any of its amazing features.
Bad battery life on smartphones is something we’ve all grown to tolerate. While Apple’s iPhone is usually cited as a device that needs charging by lunchtime, it is not the only culprit.
And hey, we’re all probably just staring at our phone screens for too long. Phones – and therefore batteries – are pretty small!
That’s why at Tech Advisor we test the battery life of all the phones we test. Some phones are designed to have extra-long battery life by using large batteries and mid-range processors. But other popular high-end models are slim and battery hungry and leave some users frustrated.
You can of course charge during the day if it doesn’t bother you or even carry around a power bank to top up your phone. But if you don’t want to keep checking that percentage icon, then there are some phones that you should look to.
We review and test many phones. The below list are the ten phones that most recently have given the best battery performance.
Battery capacity explained
Battery capacity is measured in milliamp hours (mAh). The higher the mAh of a battery, the higher the technical capacity. But the phones with the highest mAh aren't always the phones with the best battery life.
It can depend on how efficient the processor is in conjunction with the software, as well as how much you actually use your phone. Expensive high-end phones often are faster and have better screens, but this will mean the battery life is normally shorter.
What to look out for
Phones with great looking QHD displays will drain battery life faster than phones with lower resolution displays. So you need to prioritise - if you want longer battery life, you might have to settle for a mid-range phone. Thankfully, this means your phone will cost you less.
Many phones today, but not all, have fast charging. Often cheaper mid-range phones have great battery life, but don't fast charge. Check before you buy to avoid disappointment.
What do the results show?
We use Geekbench 4’s battery test feature to get the time in minutes and seconds, but this is not an indication of how long the phone will actually last.
In all tests, the screen brightness is set to the same level to ensure a fair test (120cd/m2). The phone fully discharges its battery and the screen is set not to dim or turn of.
For example, if a phone lasts 8:15 in a test, it lasted 8 hours and 15 minutes with the screen on and the test processes running. This example is a very good ‘screen on time’ – and that phone will last a very long time in real world use, most likely over a day's use.
As well as the Geekbench test, we also confirm with real-world use that these phones had excellent battery life that lasts throughout a day of use and beyond.
The star scores here are the scores we gave the phone overall in the original review, not star rating scores for battery life.
As we test more phones, we’ll update the chart.
Best battery phones 2019
1. Huawei Mate 20 Pro
Battery test score: 11:35
Battery size: 4200mAh
Budget phones with big batteries and low-res screens are normally at the top of this chart, so it's amazing to see a bonafide flagship here for once. The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is not only one of the phones of the year but the current phone we've tested with the best battery life.
Huawei has done a great job on the battery life but the phone itself is a stunner - an amazing display, three superb rear cameras and even reverse wireless charging to top up someone else's phone.
Add to that improved EMUI software that's better than before and you have a real - if expensive - winner.
Read our Huawei Mate 20 Pro review
2. Moto E5 Plus
Battery test score: 11:22
Battery size: 5000mAh
This phone has outstanding battery life. This is down to its relatively low-end specs and very large 5000mAh battery.
It also has a big 6in screen and costs just £150. You do sacrifice performance, but if you want a cheap smartphone with the longest lasting battery, this is it.
Read our Moto E5 Plus review
3. Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1
Battery test score: 09:59
Battery size: 5000mAh
The ZenFone Max Pro M1 has a huge battery and rightly delivers on outstanding battery life. It charges quite slowly, though.
The clean software it runs is most welcome and the large 6in display is great for the price. Dual cameras and solid build make this a great choice if you want a simple, affordable phone that lasts for two days.
Read our Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 review
4. Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra
Battery test score: 09:57
Battery size: 3580mAh
The XA2 Ultra is a large phone, but this means it packs a huge battery. With that you get a big display that lasts a whole day and then some.
This is down to the efficient processor, Android Oreo and a lower resolution screen than high-end phones. If you don't mind the size, it's a great battery choice.
Read our Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra review
5. Moto G6
Battery test score: 09:15
Battery size: 3000mAh
The Moto G6 is an outstanding battery performer. Like other phones in this chart it is a mid-range phone, but what you lose in performance you gain hugely in longevity.
It does it with a normal 3000mAh cell too, meaning this is an affordable, sleek phone that runs Android Oreo out the box.
Read our Moto G6 review
6. Oppo RX17 Pro
Battery test score: 08:57
Battery size: 3700mAh
Not officially yet available in the UK but on sale in Europe, the Oppo RX17 Pro has outstanding battery life coupled with the fastest charging on any phone we've ever tested.
The software takes a bit of getting used to but the design is premium, performance is above average and the triple cameras are versatile. A battery champion.
Read our Oppo RX17 Pro review
7. BlackBerry Motion
Battery test score: 08:45
Battery size: 4000mAh
This utilitarian BlackBerry phone isn't the most powerful but has an outstanding battery life, in Geekbench as well as real world use.
The high capacity cell makes it run for hours no matter what you throw at it, while the Android software is clean. And because it's a BlackBerry, you get very regular security updates.
Read our BlackBerry Motion review
8. Sony Xperia XA2
Battery test score: 08:26
Battery size: 3300mAh
A smaller version of the XA2 Ultra, it has a smaller battery - but one that still outperforms most other phones on the market.
A more manageable size, slick Android Oreo software and a great price make this long lasting phone a great choice.
Read our Sony Xperia XA2 review
9. BlackBerry KeyOne
Battery test score: 08:26
Battery size: 3505mAh
With the same battery score as the Xperia XA2, the KeyOne is one of two BlackBerry phones in the chart. Physical keyboards might not be your thing, but if they are then this phone is for you.
It lasts for two days with medium heavy use, gets great security updates and stands out from the crowd.
Read our BlackBerry KeyOne review
10. Moto G6 Play
Battery test score: 08:14
Battery size: 4000mAh
A great little phone with a large battery capacity, the Moto G6 Play is one of the cheapest phones in our list. That isn't to say it's a bad performer either - as well as great battery life it runs well enough for most tasks.
Add to that a fingerprint scanner and 18:9 screen and it's a great budget choice.
Read our Moto G6 Play review