Need to know
- Our experts tested more than 70 smartphones to assess their battery life
- You may want to consider a mobile power bank for your phone once its battery performance has declined
- Quick-charge technology can give you several extra hours of use from just a 15-minute charge
Lost without your smartphone? A dying phone battery can be all sorts of stressful, especially if you're counting on it to stay connected.
But it's not just about needing to check your Twitter feed or Instagram likes. If you're hotspotting on the fly for work, in an emergency situation or in an area where power supply is sketchy, you'll want to be sure your phone's battery won't let you down.
Our expert testers put more than 70 smartphones through their paces to give you accurate information about battery life, as well as factors such as durability and GPS performance – important when you're cut off from the world but need to stay connected.
Here are the models we've tested that have the most juice.
Smartphones with the longest battery life
These are the phones that scored best for battery life in our lab tests:
|Phone||Battery life score (%)|
|Realme 7 (5G, 128GB)||92|
|Samsung Galaxy A52 (5G, 128GB, Single Sim)||89|
|Oppo A74 (5G, 128GB)||85|
|Motorola Moto G50 (128GB)||85|
|Oppo A54 (5G, 64GB)||84|
The Oppo Find X5 Lite (5G, 256GB) topped our quick-charge test. It offers 20 hours' operational time after a 15-minute charge.
Why is it that you only realise your phone is about to run out of battery just as you're leaving the house? A mobile power bank is a good option in these situations. But if you don't have one, quick-charging technology could save you.
"This is where the phone is able to take a big hit of energy to increase the battery capacity in less time than usual," says CHOICE smartphone expert, Denis Gallagher.
"Some phones can give you several hours of use from just a 15-minute charge before you dash out the door.
"The lesson here is: check out your existing phone to see if it supports quick charging. And you could give it a new lease of life by buying a quick charger for those times when you need to charge in a hurry."
The phones with the longest operational time after a 15-minute charge:
|Phone||Operational time after 15-min charge|
|Oppo Find X5 Lite (5G, 256GB)||20 hours|
|Oppo Find X5 (5G, 256GB)||15 hours|
|Oppo Find X5 Pro (5G, 256GB)||14 hours|
|Realme 7 (5G, 128GB)||12 hours|
|Oppo A77 (5G, 128GB)||11 hours|
|Oppo Reno 8 Lite (5G)||9 hours|
|Motorola edge 30 Pro||9 hours|
|Oppo A74 (5G, 128GB)||7 hours|
|Samsung Galaxy A52 (5G, 128GB, Single Sim)||7 hours|
|Samsung Galaxy S21 (5G, 128GB)||7 hours|
Do I need a power bank for my mobile phone?
"Most people own their mobile for two to three years before upgrading and you can expect your battery to last without incident over this time," says Denis.
"However, the battery performance (how long it lasts before a recharge) will worsen after a year or so of use.
"If you like your mobile and don't want to get the latest and greatest model, you may want to consider a power bank for those occasional days of heavy use."
Smarter charging for a healthy battery
According to Denis, if you're in the habit of plugging your phone in even when it has plenty of charge left, you could be doing damage to your battery life.
"Trickle charging after your phone is fully charged is a waste of money and also reduces the life of the battery," he says.
"Don't be obsessed with keeping your phone at 100% all the time, as most performance testing considers 80% to be the best capacity as far as usability is concerned."
How we test mobile phones
Our experts conduct rigorous tests on each mobile phone in our dedicated test facilities. Testers rate aspects of each phone, including:
- Durability: We simulate falls from a table or shirt pocket up to 25 times; store the phones in hot, damp conditions; and carry out a rain test.
- GPS: We measure for accuracy and speed.
- Battery life: We record the time-in-use results in hours, and standby times in days.
Want to know more? Here's the lowdown on how we test smartphones.
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.