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Here's how 2014's flagships fare against each other with equalized battery capacity

Here's how 2014's flagships fare against each other with equalized battery capacity

The quest for better battery life will hardly ever cease to push manufacturers to try hard to boost their game in this so vital and most-appreciated department. Sure, we value big and sizable batteries as much as the next man, but isn't software optimization a tad more important that pure battery capacity? We decided to check out if this is truly the case by normalizing the battery capacity of some of 2014's most popular devices.

How did we do it? First things first, we took our battery life tests (in minutes) of 11 noteworthy devices from 2014 and divided them by the capacity of their respective batteries (in milliampere-hours). For each device, the resulting value (min/mAh) is then multiplied by the average battery capacity of all 11 phones - and voila! - we have the equalized battery life for all devices. Here's the formula, simplified even further:

[battery life (min) ÷ battery capacity (mAh)] × average battery capacity = normalized battery life 

What does the results listed below actually show us? It will show us how long would each tested device last if all had the same battery capacity - in this case, roughly 2933 mAh. Figuratively speaking, it's like putting different race drivers in one and the same cars for a 1-mile drag race - the only thing that matters will be the very driving skills of the racers and not the properties of their vehicles. Thus, we can easily see which manufacturers have succeeded in optimizing their devices and which have not. All in the name of science!

PhoneBattery capacity (in mAh)Actual result in our battery life testEstimated battery life with a 2933mAh battery
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact260010 hours and 2 minutes11 hours and 19 minutes
Sony Xperia Z3 31009 hours and 29 minutes8 hours and 58 minutes
Apple iPhone 618105 hours and 22 minutes8 hours and 41 minutes
HTC One (M8)26007 hours and 12 minutes8 hours and 7 minutes
Motorola DROID Turbo390010 hours and 42 minutes8 hours and 2 minutes
Samsung Galaxy S528007 hours and 38 minutes7 hours and 59 minutes
Samsung Galaxy Note 432208 hours and 43 minutes7 hours and 56 minutes
OnePlus One31008 hours and 5 minutes7 hours and 38 minutes
Google Nexus 632207 hours and 53 minutes7 hours and 11 minutes
Apple iPhone 6 Plus29156 hours and 32 minutes6 hours and 34 minutes
LG G3 30006 hours and 14 minutes6 hours and 5 minutes
Average2933


66 Comments
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posted on 19 Nov 2014, 04:20 36

1. aksa123 (Posts: 320; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)


Nokia 3310 : 10 years (exellent)

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 05:07 3

5. fatexo (Posts: 213; Member since: 21 May 2010)


You beat me to this comment XD

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 05:35 5

6. boosook (Posts: 1428; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


Homing pigeon: 20 years (if you feed it...)

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 12:09 2

21. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


Pigeons have a 20 year life span? That's pretty high for a bird. I had no idea. Lol

posted on 20 Nov 2014, 22:20

64. neela_akaash (Posts: 1117; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)


where is xperia z2? That is also released in 2014....

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 09:24 2

18. akki20892 (Posts: 3900; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


U meant....10 Million years

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 12:14 15

24. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


lies.

It would survive nuke war, be dug up by bipedal cockroach cavemen in the distant future and still be juiced enough to play snake.

posted on 21 Nov 2014, 04:29

66. mail2eswar (Posts: 15; Member since: 06 Mar 2013)


This is so stupid that they have order the phones with Estimated backup with 2933 batter". How can they order like that. Most important thing is what is the backup we are getting. Phonearena sorted the content in a way if it has a battery of size 2933mAh. How does it matter.
For example, Look at iPhone 6. It has 1810mAh battery and has 5h of backup. But they have sorted the content in way that if iPhone has 2933 battery it would have got 8h of back up. But iPhone doesn't have such battery and it will not. So, what is the point projecting these numbers.
Its just misleading.

posted on 01 Jun 2015, 03:20 1

69. JoshN (Posts: 156; Member since: 01 Apr 2015)


It could pull a captaim america and be frozen for gazzillions of years then be thawed and still have enough battery to boot faster than the latest iphone :-)

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 04:53 1

2. azirgi (Posts: 7; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)


There is no point in increasing the capacity of traditional lithuim ion batteries, smartphone companies need to search for alternatives. CPU, GPU and Display are three major power drainers.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 05:03

4. rency0722 (Posts: 155; Member since: 12 Jun 2013)


That's the point. The search for an alternative to the ever-traditional Li-ion or Li-Po batteries inside the smartphone is slower these years than the rapid growing advancements on the SoCs and displays.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 05:38

7. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Cell network connection drains a battery quite a bit...

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 07:24

13. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1888; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


But what if you tackle the problem from both end? Bam! just got 24 hrs of on screen time :P

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 04:54

3. shy2papa (Posts: 298; Member since: 23 Jan 2010)


The Gionee M3 has a 5000 mah battery in a 5.0inch phone but without highend specs calculat that one.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 05:40

8. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


My Nexus 5 would last two days with normal use by flashing Hammerhead Bricked kernel. Hopefully, the developer makes one for my Nexus 6, arriving next week.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 06:32 6

9. vishalvenky (Posts: 67; Member since: 12 Feb 2012)


Where is Lumia 1520? It lasts a day or two for.me..

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 06:45 1

10. roldefol (Posts: 4097; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


Conspicuously missing from the list: Droid Turbo, which already has a 3900 mAh battery. I feel like the article could have been one long Turbo ad.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 07:10

12. TU_Buckeye29 (Posts: 10; Member since: 06 Sep 2011)


I've noticed Droid Turbo doesn't get much mention on PA and has conspicuously been left out of the last few "battery" & performance" articles....

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 08:11 1

16. DocOc78 (Posts: 17; Member since: 05 Nov 2014)


Yeah, forget the "what-if".....the Turbo already gets 10+ hours.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 16:01

48. corvette72778 (Posts: 58; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)


at the expense of a pretty thick phone. Note 4 is the best between thin and long life.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 23:01

58. roscuthiii (Posts: 2199; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)


They must have updated the article... In the graph below the slideshow the Turbo is clearly present in the middle of he pack at 8 hours 2 min.

I was interested in the Turbo, still am, but I'd like to know why exactly it didn't well enough to make it in the top 5.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 07:09 1

11. TyrionLannister (unregistered)


Where's galaxy alpha. it would last beyond 16 hours.

posted on 21 Nov 2014, 01:21

65. laughmi (banned) (Posts: 283; Member since: 28 Oct 2014)


yes Alpha is sorely missing and also Xiaomi/Huawei. PA is biassed towards Chinese OEMs

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 08:04 3

14. Slammer (Posts: 1515; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


It is nice to dream of more hours of use per day. But, we need to look at the overall problem of the battery lifespan.

The current typical Li/Po battery has a charge cycle of 400-550 times. It is also very fragile in terms of discharge limitations. Completely draining this type of battery then initiating a charge cycle will kill the battery. Increasing capacity to allow 10 hours of use is still less than a full 24hr day. So with a recommendation of not allowing a complete dischage, a charge once a day will only give a battery lifespan of 14 months respectively.

Add the fact that most people like a full charge to start the day, they will charge it evey night anyway. Adding 4000mah battery will not increase the lifespan of the battery. We still be looking at a possible battery replacement at 14-15 months regardless.

I think everyone knows where I'm going with this.

Sealing a battery in where it can't be replaced means the battery will possibly die before the two year contract is up. This means rather than just spending 25-40 dollars on a replacement battery, the customer may be forced to pay up to $200 for a refurbished phone just for a battery issue. With Apple, a battery replacement can be done for $80 but is still 2-3 times the cost of a customer being able to perform their own replacement.

To summerize: This whole battery fiasco leads to point that everything reported on this or that accessory or expanding battery capacity is useless when sealing in the very component that has the highest fail rate of any part in the phone with the exception of cracked screens.

Let's keep batteries accessible until we can force the battery manufacturers to redesign the common rechargeable battery.

John B.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 12:31 2

28. strudelz100 (Posts: 644; Member since: 20 Aug 2014)


That's the idea. OEM's want battery degradation to be a driving cause of cell phone replacement now that general performance is excellent across most devices.

Quick Charge tech was designed to exacerbate this problem.

Since you took a long time to write this response, I'll offer an alternative solution.

Personally, I think that there is absolutely no reason to continue increasing performance with the A series reaching half the singe threaded performance of a Intel laptop CPU.

Companies could easily flip Moore's law to keep the performance the same, and half the power draw.

Even if the battery tech is slow to improve, there is plenty of room to continue reduce power draw with ever shrinking NM processes, and improved software enhancements. As long as we aren't constantly looking for double the processing power every year.

Less power draw means, less charging and longer battery cycles.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 14:19

37. corvette72778 (Posts: 58; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)


quick charge was designed to exacerbate this problem? Lol. thats like saying cpu power is up to drain the battery quicker to we have to upgrade sooner. stupid comment. It is a very valuable feature

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 14:47

40. Slammer (Posts: 1515; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


Strudelz100 is correct. Quick charging current technology batteries is a huge detriment due to heat buildup. The cells are not designed for administrating a flash charge. Quick charging should be reserved for emergencies only. All these quick chargers are often backed by the battery manufacturers. Why do you think that is?

Wireless charging is even worse.

Most of the device manufacturers are trying to design software and components to compensate for 30 year old battery technology. If battery life is getting better, it is due to device design; not battery.

John B.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 15:02

42. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


correct.

the faster you charge the battery the more it stresses the chemical and physical components of it, be it from heat, damage from the current, whatever. Also I bet money once a battery becomes damage it will be much more likely to explode under "quick charge" then regular charge.

All of our longevity increases are due to better SoC's and better optimized software.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 16:03

49. corvette72778 (Posts: 58; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)


I am going to predict that when I upgrade to the Note 5 from my Note 4, I wont' notice a difference to my battery as a result of using the quick charger over a year of time.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 15:01

41. Slammer (Posts: 1515; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


Thank you for understanding the issue at hand. It is important that when people purchase a device without removable battery, that they have full knowledge of the implications that can arise from such purchase.

John B.

posted on 20 Nov 2014, 01:56

59. livyatan (Posts: 867; Member since: 19 Jun 2013)


You are all so blind to the most admirable fact of all, the fact that mobile SoC efficiency is the most advancing aspect of technology ever seen.
Here are some examples among the countless.

http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_alpha_vs_one_mini_2-review-1137p6.php

The Alpha has smaller battery, same sized screen of same resolution, yet it's GPU is on average 8 TIMES faster.
And the cherry on top - go for battery endurance comparison between the two.

http://www.gsmarena.com/compare.php3?idPhone1=4620&idPhone2=6742

iPad Air 2 has only 50% battery, same sized screen and resolution, and its GPU is approximately 12 TIMES more powerful.
Battery endurance?
Basically the same.

How about this one?

http://www.gsmarena.com/compare.php3?idPhone1=5665&idPhone2=4854

Note 3 with the bigger and far more dense screen and almost equal battery capacity actually improves on the endurance.
But the real kicker - its Adreno 330 can do 158 GFLOPS, compared to Note 2's 20 GFLOPS!

I could go on and on.

Of course, the process difference plays its part but the architectural efficiency improvements are much greater (for example Mali T8xx and PowerVR series 7 designs this year are bringing yet another 40% and 60% efficiency improvements in the SAME process and clock speed compared to previous generation).

And overall advancement in mobile GPU fps per watt is nothing short of unprecedented.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 08:06

15. dimas (Posts: 1967; Member since: 22 Jul 2014)


Mugen made a case with extended battery for Z1 and Z1 compact. Now I want to know if they will create one for Z3 compact. 2600 + 3000 will be a stamina beast.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 09:11 1

17. StanleyG88 (Posts: 231; Member since: 15 Mar 2012)


Once again, another article from Phone Arena where they have refused to include (should we say boycott ?) the Droid Turbo in it's comparisons.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 12:17 1

25. strudelz100 (Posts: 644; Member since: 20 Aug 2014)


Why report anything on a device with 1 total carrier world wide.

Typical American thinking tbh. The internet is world wide son.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 13:41

33. StanleyG88 (Posts: 231; Member since: 15 Mar 2012)


Moto Maxx international version of the Droid Turbo has been announced, also an AT&T version called the Moto X Play has been reported. They will be identical in specs and operation except name. ONLY the "Droid Turbo" name is exclusive to Verizon, NOT, the phone.

One must look forward, not backward.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 15:04

43. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


The X play variants for ATT&T & Tmobile have been conspicuously abscent. It cleared the FCC for Tmobile over a month ago but that was the last bit of info anyone has gotten.

However, strudelz, your a bit off. With that thinking we would not of heard much about the iphone for years while ATT had exclusivity.

Actually... that wouldn't have been a bad thing. lol.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 12:02 3

19. rd_nest (Posts: 1591; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)


Useless exercise - beacuse you don't normalize the screen surface area. On same 'averaged' battery capacity, a phone with smaller screen will obviously benefit. Say average battery capacity is 2500mAh. So a 4.7-inch display will obviously run more than 6-inch display. You don't need to be sherlock holmes to know that.

And how come Nexus 6's Normalized batterylife increase when the Note 4 decreases? They have both same battery capacity.

Here what PA did (can't even calculate properly) --

473 * (3220/2933.18) = 519 mins

Whereas, it should have been

473 * (2933.18/3220) = 431 mins = 7hr 11min

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 16:19

52. mustafansu (Posts: 10; Member since: 18 Nov 2012)


This article doesn't take into account the screen size and pixels (which IMO is the biggest battery drainer). Which makes this comparison kind of pointless. You shouldn't just make one point normalized and keep the rest same in order to benefit one phone (cough* iPHone *cough)

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 12:04

20. k1ng617 (Posts: 264; Member since: 13 Oct 2009)


I'm a big PA fan but this article is pretty pointless. No one cares if all the batteries were the same size which would last longer. People care about how long the battery lasts PERIOD. It's like saying if an ANT were the size of a human it could lift 300x, but in reality we can squish them between our finger tips.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 12:13

22. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


People care, at least the ifans. Apple and their fans love to normalize everything to make them look good and they use that in their marketing and arguments all the time. Lol

They are stupid but they out number us. Lol

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 12:20

26. strudelz100 (Posts: 644; Member since: 20 Aug 2014)


You are living in fantasy land. "Out number us?" Is this a Droid vs Apple war or something?

You're sad.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 15:06

44. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


1) its not a war, nor is it teams.. its just a phone. lol

2) Android users FAR FAR FAR outnumber iOS users across the world. The only reason iPhones post large sales numbers is because they only sell 1-2 phones at a time. If you want iOS, those are your choices. If you want android you have the whole rainbow of ranges and devices to choose from. If there was competition on the ioS side with their total device sales, we'd never hear anything from Apple about "great sales", because they wouldnt be selling that many of any one device.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 17:42

53. darkkjedii (Posts: 20021; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


You take this way too serious dude. You should go out on a date sometime. "They outnumber us", these are people with phones dude, nothing more.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 20:02

55. dimas (Posts: 1967; Member since: 22 Jul 2014)


In case you're not reading the article they DID place the actual battery life of the devices enlisted. That's why there's a WHY IF blackboard, to see if a 4000mAh can bring difference. People are so stupid they're too lazy to read the whole write up before reacting.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 12:13

23. strudelz100 (Posts: 644; Member since: 20 Aug 2014)


The article is a crude, and mostly correct way to show power drain of the device.

There are real scientific instruments that do the same thing. Notebookcheck.com for instance measures exact power drain of the device, chassis heat, and runtimes using actual instruments instead of stop watches.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 12:30

27. murron (Posts: 160; Member since: 10 Jun 2014)


You guys did not normalize the Nexus 6's result correctly. It's says it's normalized battery life is 8 hours and 33 minutes but it would really be 7 hours and 11 minutes.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 13:18 3

29. fzacek (Posts: 2486; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


Xperia Z3 Compact destroys the competition...

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 13:22 1

30. StanleyG88 (Posts: 231; Member since: 15 Mar 2012)


So what does this have anything to do with the real world? Guess they had to come up with something to get the iPhones off the bottom of the battery life charts.

Guess your normalized iphone user will be totally confused after 5hrs 23min when his iphone 6 dies and he looks around and says what happen to my 8hrs 41 min?

Maybe PA should divide it all by #Pixels to get a min/mAh/pixel.

Anyone notice that PA took this article down for a time to rewrite it? It still is not reporting something that has any application for real world use.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 13:39 1

32. roldefol (Posts: 4097; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


Yeah, seriously. Ok, so the iPhone is frugal on a normalized basis. But that has nothing to do with anything. Apple won't pack a 2800 mAh juicer into the iPhone because then it won't be thinner than the last iteration. At some point you have to choose practicality over style, and that's why comparable phones like the M8 and S5 blow past the iPhone in battery life, and the Xperia Z3 line practically doubles it.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 13:24

31. mokhtar (Posts: 405; Member since: 06 Jan 2014)


2600 mah and destroy the others.. Really sony doing well

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 13:58 1

36. rd_nest (Posts: 1591; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)


It's a small display, smaller resolution. Not a rocket science to understand the logic.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 22:26

56. mixedfish (Posts: 1154; Member since: 17 Nov 2013)


Ironically it takes rocket science for other OEMs to figure out balance for once in a phone, without going for overkill size and specs.

posted on 20 Nov 2014, 15:57

61. zachki17 (Posts: 261; Member since: 14 Sep 2014)


Small resolution ... lg g3 it hass 3000 mah but Quad hd .. Big resolution twice the resolution of the s5

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 13:43 1

34. SuperEd (Posts: 132; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


@ Peter K. It would behoove your credibility if you at least included products other than iOS and Droid. As you well know, the Nokia 1520 is quite capable and since your not gushing over the OS's, it would be nice to know how the Nokia line stacks up. Thank you, and i look forward to seeing your well balanced comparison next round.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 16:00

47. corvette72778 (Posts: 58; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)


Nokia sucks

posted on 21 Nov 2014, 06:38

67. naraby (Posts: 2; Member since: 20 Nov 2014)


Samsung Sucks

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 13:49 4

35. tedkord (Posts: 10602; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


I don't understand the point of this article. If my car had an electric/hybrid engine it would get much better mileage and more miles per tank, too. So what? It doesn't.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 14:22

39. corvette72778 (Posts: 58; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)


Lol. you are right

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 14:22

38. corvette72778 (Posts: 58; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)


No phone compares to the Samsung and Ultra battery saver mode. Its one of the coolest features. When the phone is in this mode it doesn't use hardly any power!!!! Awesome. What even better, I don't have to use this mode as the battery life is already very long. Despite being the same size battery as the prior year it lasts 20-30% longer.

posted on 19 Nov 2014, 22:30

57. mixedfish (Posts: 1154; Member since: 17 Nov 2013)


Even better battery life is when I turn off my phone. It only uses 20% in one year, so good it's just like not using a phone at all.

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