Need to know
- CHOICE experts tested more than 75 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 that your phone's battery won't let you down.
Our expert testers put more than 75 smartphones through their paces to give you accurate information about battery life, as well as factors such as durability and GPS performance, which are 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.
The Realme 6 (128 GB) topped our test for battery life.
Smartphones with the longest battery life
These are the phones that scored best for battery life in our lab tests:
- Realme 6 [128 GB] (CHOICE battery life score: 92%)
- Samsung Galaxy A71 (91%)
- Oppo A52 [64 GB] (88%)
- LG Velvet (85%)
- Oneplus 8 [256 GB] (85%).
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 Denis Gallagher, CHOICE smartphone expert.
"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 OnePlus 8 (256 GB) gives 11 hours of operational time after a 15-minute quick charge.
The phones with the longest operational time after a 15-minute charge:
- Realme 6 (128 GB): 12 hours
- OnePlus 8 (256 GB): 11 hours
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G (512 GB): 9 hours
- OnePlus 8 Pro (156 GB): 9 hours
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus 5G: 9 hours
- Oppo Find X2 Pro: 9 hours
- Samsung Galaxy A71: 9 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."
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.