Lots of different factors go into picking the best phone for your needs. Cameras are a big consideration, of course, and screen size is important, too. I, being the more sensible type, opt for a more compact designs. Your mileage may vary as to what the decisive factor for buying a phone should be.
But I think there's one thing that often gets overlooked among phone shoppers that really shouldn't — battery life. After all, no matter what kind of phone you get, you're going to want one that lasts a long time on a charge. I recently switched from an aging iPhone that required near constant trips to a wall charger to a newer model that goes from dawn to dusk on a single charge. It's improved outlook on life considerably.
I'm not saying that battery life isn't the only thing to consider — just a really important thing. And if you do value battery life above all, there's only one phone to consider — the Moto G Power (2021).
Actually, looking at our best phone battery life list, the newest version of the Moto G Power isn't in the No. 1 slot. That honor belongs to last year's Moto G Power, which outlasts the newer model by a little more than 2 hours on our battery test. Of course, the 2021 edition of the phone has a better main camera and a lower starting price, so maybe that extra 2 hours is worth trading off.
Big batteries don't cost big bucks
A couple of things strike me every time I update that list of long-lasting phones, which is based on how long the phones hold out on the Tom's Guide battery test. (We set each phone we review to surf the web continuously over a cellular connection, recording how long it takes to go from fully charged to dead as a doorknob.) For starters, you don't need to pay big bucks for a phone that goes a long time on a charge.
Among the top 10 longest-lasting phones we've reviewed in the last 18 months, only four will run you $699 or more — the rest all cost less than $500. You'll need to make trade-offs when you get a budget phone, but longevity doesn't have to be one of them.
The other thing that stands out about our best phone battery life entries is that Motorola has this competition clocked. Besides the two most recent Moto G Power models, four other phones from Motorola are in the top 10. While a couple of those handsets came out 12 months ago, others — like the Motorola One 5G Ace — are new arrivals.
And not to get ahead of ourselves, I'm willing to wager some additional Motorola phones are going to land on that list soon. I'm currently testing the Moto G Stylus (2021) for a full review on Tom's Guide. Even while stepping away to take care of other stories and reviews, I find the Moto G Stylus' battery hardly dropping at all. On standby, this phone simply sips power.
Considering that last year's edition of the Moto G Stylus is already on our list for best phone battery life, and this year's version features the same 4,000 mAh battery, I'd be very surprise if the newer phone doesn't join its predecessor. And that's before we've even tested the Moto G Play (2021) and its 5,000 mAh battery.
How Motorola does it
What's the secret to Motorola's long-lasting success? Big batteries obviously play a part, as a lot of the phones that have impressed us feature hefty power packs. Like the Moto G Play, for example, the latest Moto G Power also has a 5,000 mAh battery.
But Motorola also seems to turn to chipsets that have a handle on power efficiency. The Motorola Edge, for example, is powered by the Snapdragon 765, a system-on-chip that seems to be inside of a lot of long-lasting phones. Its snazzier sibling, the Motorola Edge Plus, uses a Snapdragon 865, and just barely missed the 11-hour mark on our battery test, which is usually enough to land you on the list of long-lasting handsets.
The takeaway here if you want your next smartphone to last a long-time on a charge? Make sure that a Motorola device is on the list of phones you're considering. Maybe it won't meet all the criteria you value, but chances are, it will deliver long battery life.