Which smartphone has the best battery life? [Infographic]

Mobile phones used to last for days between charges. But the advent of smartphones, with their bright screens and thirst for battery draining mobile data, means many phones struggle to last a whole day without a trip to the wall socket. This, despite the fact many people insist battery life is one of the most important features of a good phone.

Indeed, a J.D Power survey last year said ‘satisfaction with smartphones is greatly impacted by battery performance’ and that ‘battery performance is by far the least satisfying aspect of smartphones’. That’s why we don’t publish any mobile phone review without a thorough battery life test where we test every phone’s talk time at medium 3G reception levels – a more realistic measure than typical manufacturer estimates.

But which smartphone is the best for battery life?

Samsung Galaxy SIII best for battery life

Best smartphone battery life

Click to enlarge

As the graphic above demonstrates, the Samsung Galaxy SIII tops the charts for battery life. With a quite astounding result of 726 minutes of calls on medium 3G reception – that’s over 12 hours of calls – the Galaxy SIII is the best smartphone for battery life we’ve ever tested.

It beat the nearest challenger, the HTC One X, by 91 minutes and managed 259 minutes more than the iPhone 4S – enough time to watch England’s Euro 2012 defeat to Italy twice if you’re feeling especially masochistic. To see how the rest of the features in the phone performed read our Samsung Galaxy S3 review.

The average talk time of the 101 phones Which? has tested was a meagre 315 minutes – slightly over five hours. But some phones, such as the HTC Sensation XL and Motorola Gleam fell below even this low benchmark. The HTC lasted just 272 minutes, around four and half hours, while the Gleam’s 135 minutes (2 hours, 15 mins) is just embarrassing, and it’s not even a smartphone.

If you’re having problems with your phone’s battery life, try our top 5 ways to improve mobile phone battery life to see if you can do better.

How Which? tests smartphone battery life

Everytime we test a mobile phone we perform a range of tests on the battery life to give you an impression of how well it will perform in everyday use. We test how long each handset can make calls over medium reception – to give a realistic estimate of performance – how long they can surf the web using a 3G connection, and how long it takes for each battery to fully recharge.

All of this information is available in our full mobile phone reviews, along with information about how well each handset performs in everyday use and the verdict on its camera, music player and web browser.

More on this…

18 replies

  1. > Of the 101 phones Which? has tested, the average talk time
    > on 3G was a meagre 315 minutes – slightly over five hours.
    > But some phones, such as the HTC Sensation XL and
    > Motorola Gleam fell below even this low benchmark.

    The way you’ve written the second sentence really strongly suggests that you don’t know what an average is or how it functions.

    Perhaps you were endeavouring to write creatively and the failing is really that nobody bothered to properly edit or proof read your text before you were allowed to hit the [Publish] button.

    Please try harder.

    1. Well said!

      Like these idiots that say a particular area has a higher THAN AVERAGE rate for cancers and is near a phone mast or something. When – most like – about 50% are above average and 50% below. Faulty stats. Its this sort of thing that stops me trusting ‘experts’ like which. Phones are always RIDDLED with design faults that reviewers fail to spot – clowns!

    1. Battery capacity alone doesn’t mean it’ll last long. It’s all about how it’s used and what kind of tech is inside the device.
      It’s like saying the car with the biggest gas tank would automatically have the best mileage. You’d be a fool to say that without knowing what kinda engine each car has.

    1. Droid fanboys bashing. Oh life would be good if there would be only android and google knowing every step we take, when we sleep and have sex :P As a previous user of SGS, SGSII and now using Lumia900 I 100% prefer Lumia. Slick, fast and does everything you need. No more phone restarting, connection problems, freezing apps, overheating, s****y GPS etc.

  2. If the Samsung Galaxy S3 Battery Life is so much better than the iPhone why rate them both as 5 stars in the full review – being a bit generous to the iPhone.

    1. Not to mention that iPhones are appalliing at making telephone calls (I’ve owned a 3GS and own a 4GS) both flaky and unreliable for making calls and yet they get rated as being the best smartphones.

      I talk to my fellow geeks using Android devices who have no such gripes.

      So, please, also including the ability to use a smartphone as a phone a part of the tests.

  3. Thanks for any other informative web site. The place else may just I am getting that type of info written in such an ideal approach? I’ve a mission that I am simply now working on, and I have been at the glance out for such info.

  4. Everything said was actually very reasonable. But, what about
    this? suppose you added a little information? I am not
    saying your content is not solid, however suppose you added something
    that grabbed people’s attention? I mean Which smartphone has
    the best battery life? is a little vanilla. You ought to peek at Yahoo’s front page
    and see how they create post titles to get people interested.
    You might add a video or a picture or two to get people excited about what you’ve written. Just my opinion, it could make your
    blog a little bit more interesting. latahza

Create account

You can leave a reply without having a WordPress account, but if you do register you can upload an avatar. A WordPress account is not connected to your Which? login and cannot be used to login to which.co.uk or any other Which? services.

Sign up