Smartphone batteries are getting larger and larger, with the promise of phones that can go all day on a single charge. But which phones really last?
Credit: Tom's GuideIn our battery test, we have phones continuously surf the web over LTE until they run out of juice. The average phone lasts 9 hours, 48 minutes, but the phones we’ve highlighted here held out for at least 11 hours.
Grab a fully charged Cat S41, and you won’t need to search for any electrical outlets during the day. The durable phone from Cat is the longest-lasting phone we’ve tested in the past year-and-a-half, lasting more than 15 hours on our punishing battery test.
Here are all the top performers we've tested in the last year-and-a-half.
Smartphones With the Longest Battery Life (Hours:Minutes)
- Cat S41: 15:19
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro: 14:39
- Cat S48c: 13:08
- ZTE Blade Max View: 12:48
- Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra: 12:46
- Galaxy S10 Plus: 12:35
- Google Pixel 2 XL: 12:09
- Sony Xperia XZ2: 11:47
- BlackBerry Motion 11:44
- Moto X4 Android One: 11:41
- iPhone XR (tie): 11:26
- Galaxy Note 9 (tie): 11:26
- Asus ZenFone Max Plus: 11:25
- iPhone 8 Plus: 11:16
- Honor View 10: 11:12
Wedged between the top-performing Cat S41 and the newer Cat S48C is the Huawei Mate 10, which held out for more than 14 hours and 30 minutes when we put it to the test. Huawei's phone is among the oldest models on this list, but it's also one of the last Huawei devices to be officially released in the U.S. and it's still available (and at a significant discount, since Huwaei has subsequently released the Mate 20 Pro, which lasted a little more than 10 hours on our test.)
The newest addition to our Top 15 is Samsung's Galaxy S10 Plus, which held out for more than 12.5 hours on our test. It's also got a reverse-charging feature that lets you power up other devices wirelessly.
We've capped our list to the 15 longest-lasting phones we've tested in the last 18 months. That excludes older phones like the ZenFone 3 Zoom (which topped 16 hours when we tested it in the first half of 2017) and the Mote E4 Plus (an aging budget phone that lasted for nearly 15 hours). We've also omitted long-lasting phones like the Huwaei P20 Pro and Vivo Nex S that aren’t available in the U.S. but may still be on sale elsewhere.
When testing phones, we set each phone's display to 150 nits to normalize for brightness and make sure each handset is receiving at least three bars of service.
These days, battery life is more important than ever, thanks to the big screens, superfast processors and demanding apps we find on the latest phones. After all, what good is that advanced camera or high-resolution display if your handset is dead before the sun goes down? Here's a closer look at the phones that make the grade when it comes to all-day battery life.
1. Cat S41 (15:19)
Cat phones are renowned for their battery life, and the Cat S41 lives up to that reputation without the large price tag that's accompanied some other cat models. Not only does the 5,000 mAh battery powering the Cat S41 last for 15-plus hours in our test, you can also turn the phone into an external power pack that boosts the battery of other devices. We wish the camera on the S41 performed better, but if you need a phone that doesn't require a charge to get you through the day, Cat's smartphone is tough to beat.
2. Huawei Mate 10 Pro (14:39)
The Mate 10 Pro may be getting up there in age — it first hit the U.S. in early 2018 — but its 4,000 mAh battery and power management features remain formidable, especially since subsequent Huawei phones haven't made it to the U.S. The 6-inch Mate 10 Pro lasted more than 14-and-a-half-hours on our battery test, besting the similarly-sized Pixel 2 XL by more than 2 hours. Huawei's phone also lasted nearly 4 hours longer than Apple's original iPhone X. You'll also appreciate the reverse-charging mode on the Mate 10 Pro, which lets you power up other devices from your smartphone.
3. Cat S48C (13:08)
As with the Cat S41, the S48C lasts a very long time on a charge. This more recently released phone designed by Bullitt Group held out for more than 13 hours, thanks to the durable phone's 4,000 mAh. The S48c is available through both Sprint and Verizon's business and enterprise store, so it's easy to get your hands on one. Our one complaint with the battery on the S48c is that it lacks the reverse charging feature offered by the Cat S41.
4. ZTE Blade Max View (12:48)
ZTE's return to the U.S. market isn't a complete success, but at least you can count on a very long lasting phone with the $199 Blade Max View. The 4,000 mAh battery in this budget phone helps the phone last nearly 13 hours on our battery test. Our one complaint about the battery: it takes a long time to charge. We tried several different USB Type-C adapters, but each time, it took us several hours to fully charge this phone.
5. Xperia XA2 Ultra (12:46)
The battery life on this blocky 6-inch phone is one of the most noteworthy things about Sony's otherwise bland midrange offering. The Xperia XA2 Ultra lasted nearly 13 hours on our battery test, thanks to a 3,580 mAh battery. We just wish the phone could charge faster. After draining the battery and plugging in the Xperia XA2 Ultra, we only recorded a 19 percent charge after 15 minutes; after an hour of charging, the battery was only up to 56 percent.
6. Galaxy S10 Plus (12:35)
The 4,100 mAh battery in Samsung's latest big-screen phone has no problem keeping that 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED display powered up throughout the day. We managed to get a little more than 12.5 hours of battery life when we put the Galaxy S10 Plus through our test. But a long-lasting battery is only part of the power management story with the S10 Plus. The new S10 phones offer a Wireless PowerShare feature that lets you wireless charge other device — yes, even iPhones — by placing them on the back of the S10.
7. Google Pixel 2 XL (12:09)
Looking for a long-lasting flagship phone that doesn't hit the $1,000 mark? Try 2017’s 6-inch phone from Google instead, which remains available at Verizon . The Pixel 2 XL lasted more than 12 hours on our battery test, topping the newer Pixel 3 XL by more than 2 hours. And when you run out of juice with the Pixel 2 XL, fast charging should give you 7 hours of battery life just 15 minutes after plugging in. Unfortunately, this phone doesn’t offer wireless charging like more recent flagship phones (including the Pixel 3) do.
8. Sony Xperia XZ2 (11:47)
Sony's phones have a habit of landing on our longest-lasting list, and one of last year's flagships — the Xperia XZ2 — is no exception. Lasting nearly 12 hours on our battery test, it beat flagships from Samsung and Apple; only the Mate 10 Pro and Pixel 2 XL fare better among high-end phones. Two additional features on the XZ2 — Qnovo Adaptive Charging and Battery Care — figure to keep the Xperia's battery in top shape as the phone ages. Qnovo modulates charging based on the battery's health, while Battery Care learns your charging habits to reduce stress on the battery.
9. BlackBerry Motion (11:44)
If you like the security and productivity-focused nature of BlackBerry's devices but don't necessarily need the physical keyboard on the Key2, the Motion is a fine alternative. It's also a historic device for BlackBerry: The Motion is the company's first water-resistant smartphone, rated at the IP67 level, and claims the largest battery BlackBerry has ever crammed into one of its devices, at 4,000 mAh. The latter helped the phone along to an impressive 11:44 time in our battery test.
10. Moto X4 Android One (11:41)
If you're looking for a reason to jump on the Google Fi wireless service, maybe the long battery life of the Moto X4 Android One will convince you. This is a special variation of the midrange Moto X4 for Google's wireless service, and it lasted for 11:41 of continuous web surfing. The X4 Android One gives you a lower-cost option for Google Fi alongside its impressive battery life.
11. Apple XR (11:26)
Apple’s most colorful iPhone is also its longest-lasting. The iPhone XR turned in the best time ever for an Apple device on our battery test, matching the 11:26 time of Samsung’s Note 9 while costing a lot less. Like the iPhone XS and XS Max, this 6.1-inch model supports wireless charging and fast-charging though the latter feature requires you to buy a separate adapter.
12. Galaxy Note 9 (11:26)
Samsung went big on the battery with the Note 9, upping the power pack to 4,000 mAh from 3,300 mAh in 2017’s Note 8. The new phone lasted longer on our battery test, but only by a little, out-pacing the Note 8 by 15 minutes. Initially, the Note 9 lasted 11:16 on our battery test, but turning off adaptive brightness on the phone's display improved that time to 11:26
13. Asus ZenMone Max Plus (11:25)
On its own, an 11:25 time on our battery test would be a pretty impressive result. But the ZenFone Max Plus is made by Asus, which also produces other longer-lasting devices that have other things going for them, like the dual rear cameras on the ZenFone 3 Zoom. In the case of the Max Plus, battery life is pretty much all this phone has going for it. You do get a reverse-charging mode to share some battery with other devices, and the phone's Double Battery Lifespan aims to keep battery life from degrading rapidly over time.
14. iPhone 8 Plus (11:16)
This 2017 Apple flagship improved on the iPhone 7 Plus' battery test performance by 45 minutes — impressive since little changed about the battery with the iPhone 8 Plus. Credit the phone's A11 Bionic processor, which not only boosts the iPhone 8 Plus's performance but also seems to manage power more efficiently. That's not the only interesting thing about the iPhone 8 Plus's battery: the new phone also supports wireless charging, using the Qi standard. And with the arrival of new iPhone models, the price on the 8 Plus has dropped. You'll still need to pony up for an adapter to take advantage of the phone's fast charging feature.
15. Honor View 10 (11:12)
Honor View devices look to bring premium features to midrange phones. In the case of the Honor View 10, one of those features is 11 hours-plus of battery life. And when you do need to charge your phone, the View 10 powers up quickly. After just 15 minutes of charging, our tapped-out review unit was up to 26 percent of capacity; it reached 53 percent at the half-hour mark.
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