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Phones with best battery life (Updated September 2021)

Phones with best battery life (Updated September 2021)
Which phone has the best battery life? Here at PhoneArena we test battery life thoroughly in various ways to reveal the battery performance of a phone during three different scenarios: its battery life while doing simple tasks like browsing the web, battery life during video playback, and finally, battery performance with 3D gaming.

In this article, we aim to show you an overview of the phones that ranked highest in our battery tests, along with some key details about their battery capacity. We have divided this selection in two parts: flagship phones with the best battery life and budget phones with the best battery life. Budget phones might not have the same speedy chips and impressive cameras, but they do traditionally perform very well in terms of battery life.

So without further ado, let's take a look at the phones with the best battery life in 2021!

High-end phones with best battery life:


Budget phones with best battery life:


High-end phones with best battery life

*This ranking is for phones used at 60Hz refresh rate. Higher refresh rates can reduce battery life significantly.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max


Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
9.0

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max


The Good

  • Largest, toughest display on an iPhone
  • The best camera set on an iPhone
  • Double the base storage of its predecessor
  • Futureproof 5G support with bands record
  • Best water-resistance on a general purpose phone

The Bad

  • Static 60Hz display refresh on a $1099 phone
  • Blocky and heavy compared to its peers
  • Expensive $599 body repair if you crack the rear
  • No power adapter in the box, slow charging

Web Browsing test score: 14 hours 6 minutes
Video streaming test score: 8 hours 37 minutes
3D Gaming test score: 3 hours 20 minutes

While we wait for the iPhone 13 series, which were leaked to have bigger batteries than the previous models, let's take a look at the current models. Despite the fact that the iPhone 12 Pro Max has a slightly smaller battery than the 11 Pro Max, its battery testing results are generally about equal or better. The only significant downside to this phone is its surprisingly poor performance in our gaming tests, thus we can't recommend it for gaming at the moment. That aside, it handles general social media use, web browsing and video streaming well, even surpassing the 11 Pro Max in our web browsing test.

The iPhone operating system – iOS – is known to be highly efficient, so even with a smaller battery, the fact that Apple's iPhone 12 Pro Max can keep up with the previous iteration (for the most part) isn't a surprise. As for the gaming performance, the results may have something to do with the new A14 Bionic chip inside the phone requiring games to be optimized for it. But we're yet to see if the issue can be solved eventually via software updates, or is permanent. Non-gamers needn't worry about it.

Samsung Galaxy S20+, S20, S20 FE

*Exynos models tested.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
9.2

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE


The Good

  • Excellent value for the money
  • Impressive two-day battery life
  • Bright and flat display with high 120Hz refresh rate
  • 3 years of Android version updates and up to 3 years warranty
  • Good pictures and video quality
  • Very good stereo sound recording and playback
  • Durable housing in a variety of matte colors to choose from
  • Quick optical in-display fingerprint scanner

The Bad

  • The 5G model is only available in a 6GB RAM/128GB storage version
  • The screen colors are a bit on the cold and saturated side
  • Display is Gorilla Glass 3 only but it does come with protector pre-installed

Web Browsing test score: 12 hours 40 minutes for S20+, 12 hours 28 minutes for Galaxy S20 FE, 12 hours 12 minutes for S20
Video streaming test score: 9 hours 53 minutes for S20+, 10 hours 20 minutes for S20, 9 hours 9 minutes for the Galaxy S20 FE
3D Gaming test score: 8 hours 29 minutes for S20 FE, 8 hours 26 minutes for S20+, 7 hours 43 minutes for S20

For the Galaxy S20 series Samsung has managed to include huge batteries, which is reflected in the battery rankings. In stark contrast with iPhones, the Galaxy S20 series are one of the longest lasting phones when it comes to video streaming, so if you are watching a lot of YouTube videos, they should definitely be on your radar.

Unfortunately, this excellent score comes with a very important disclaimer: the results you are seeing only apply if you are using the phones at 60Hz refresh rate. Opting for the smoother 120Hz option brings a big decline in battery life, so much so that the S20 series drop out of the top battery performer rankings. 

That's not true for the Galaxy S20 FE, though, which has a 1080p display, and the same huge battery pack that is in the S20+, and is on top of that much less expensive. Moreover, while the S20 line got discontinued, you can still snatch an S20 FE from Samsung.

OnePlus 8


OnePlus 8
9.0

OnePlus 8


The Good

  • Great, ergonomic design and feel
  • Fantastic display
  • Fast, solid performance
  • Meaningful feature set

The Bad

  • Camera quality lags behind competing flagships
  • The storage-hungry might want larger options or microSD slot
  • No telephoto camera, macro camera is meaningless
  • Speakers are harsh

Web Browsing test score: 12 hours 15 minutes
Video streaming test score: 9 hours 37 minutes
3D Gaming test score: 10 hours 16 minutes 

The OnePlus 8 is the first OnePlus phone that is available on Verizon Wireless, in addition to T-Mobile, marking the expansion of OnePlus to North America. And we're glad for that because the phone scores very highly on our battery tests.

With the Snapdragon 865 chip inside of it, a more affordable price than the rest of the phones on this list, save for the S20 FE, and a 4300mAh battery, it has a balanced, long-lasting performance no matter if you use it lightly, watch videos, or play games.

Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro


Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro
8.3

Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro


The Good

  • Beautiful display
  • Loud and clear sounding speakers
  • 256GB base storage
  • Extremely fast charging

The Bad

  • 108MP camera is good, but doesn't live up to the hype
  • Camera app is sub-par
  • Unreliable notifications
  • No IP68 rating
  • Limited availability
  • Slippery body can lead to accidental drops

Web Browsing test score: 14 hours 12 minutes
Video test streaming score: 11 hours 30 minutes
3D Gaming test score: 10 hours

The longest lasting flagship phone of last year according to our tests is the Xiaomi Mi 10 ProXiaomi has expanded its global presence in a huge way in the past few years, and while phones of the brand are still not sold in the United States, but might start soon, global customers can get a taste of truly amazing battery life with the Mi 10 Pro.

Part of the magic behind is the phone's big 4,500mAh battery, while another part is the efficient Snapdragon 865 chip. Last but not least you have the aggressive power management of the MIUI interface, and all of this comes together for impressive battery performance.

For anyone who's curious, this phone's successor, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra did not perform as well in the battery performance department.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

*Exynos models tested.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
9.1

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra


The Good

  • The longest, cleanest zoom on a phone, and most versatile camera set
  • The best battery life in its class
  • Brightest display with the most granular adaptive refresh rate
  • Stylish Contour Cut design and richer variety of colors
  • Unique 12-bit color RAW capture at 108MP
  • S Pen stylus support
  • Next-gen Wi-fi 6E standard support

The Bad

  • Still big and bulky to carry and use, especially with an S Pen case on
  • $1200 gets you just 128GB, no charger, earbuds, or memory card slot
  • The new ultrasonic finger scanner is still comparatively slow
  • Softness in the main camera sample edges

Web Browsing test score: 16 hours 6 minutes
Video streaming test score: 8 hours 52 minutes
3D Gaming test score: 8 hours 40 minutes

The Galaxy S21 Ultra is the phone with the one of the biggest batteries in mainstream flagships right now at 5,000 mAh capacity. And you can tell, as it scores excellent all across and especially for browsing, where it outperforms almost every phone out there.

Unfortunately, this excellent score comes with a very important disclaimer: the results you are seeing only apply if you are using the phones at 60Hz refresh rate. Opting for the smoother 120Hz option brings a decline in battery life, but due to the unique S21 Ultra display technology, the difference is now lesser than on the S20 series.

Budget Phones with Best Battery Life


Google Pixel 5a


Google Pixel 5a
8.9

Google Pixel 5a


The Good

  • Big battery can last you 2 days between charges
  • Clean software
  • 3 years of software updates (updates arrive right after release too)
  • Excellent camera
  • Affordable price

The Bad

  • Annoying camera bugs
  • 60Hz screen, no fast refresh rate
  • Same Snapdragon 765G chip as last year, slower than some rivals
  • Boring design
  • No expandable storage, No wireless charging (if you care)
  • Only available in US and Japan, in the US you cannot purchase it at a carrier

Web Browsing test score: 15 hours 6 minutes
Video streaming test score: 10 hours 46 minutes
3D Gaming test score: 10 hours 46 minutes

As we concluded in our Google Pixel 5a review, this "budget" offering by Google is definitely a 2-day phone on average, if not more on light usage. In addition, it supports 18W charging speeds and you actually get an 18W charger out the box, unlike other alternatives where the faster charger is either sold separately or no charger at all is even included.

Even when pushed hard and used for consistent 3D gaming, the Pixel 5a should hold a charge up for nearly 11 hours, which is pretty impressive. Additional positives about this phone are its promised 3 years of software support from Google and its excellent camera.

Motorola One Fusion+


Motorola One Fusion+
8.0

Motorola One Fusion+


The Good

  • Smooth performance
  • Quality speaker
  • Great battery life
  • Impressive video stabilization
  • Soft and pleasant haptic feedback

The Bad

  • Plastic, thick build
  • Noticeably heavy

Web Browsing test score: 14 hours 51 minutes
Video streaming test score: 10 hours 47 minutes
3D Gaming test score: 12 hours 39 minutes

In the realm of budget phones, the Motorola One Fusion+ is definitely one 2020 budget phone that's worth checking out, as it still holds up in 2021. On top of its great battery life, in part thanks to its huge 5000 mAh battery, it also offers smooth performance, a popup selfie camera and four whole camera sensors on the back, along with solid video recording stabilization.

Samsung Galaxy A21s


Samsung Galaxy A21s
7.5

Samsung Galaxy A21s


The Good

  • Excellent battery life
  • Modern, simple design
  • Main, ultra-wide and selfie cameras are great in good lighting conditions
  • 3.5mm headphone jack

The Bad

  • Disappointing display resolution and color accuracy
  • Weak loudspeaker, no stereo sound
  • Weak processor and slow loading of games and demanding apps
  • Plastic back, not very solid build

Web Browsing test score: 15 hours 35 minutes
Video streaming test score: 11 hours 9 minutes
3D Gaming test score: 7 hours 48 minutes

This budget option from Samsung excels in battery life and features a modern, simple design. The selfie camera of the Samsung Galaxy A21s, along with the main and ultra-wide one on the back produce impressive photos in good lighting conditions.

Moto G Power (2021)


Motorola Moto G Power (2021)
7.4

Motorola Moto G Power (2021)


The Good

  • Good value
  • Excellent battery life
  • Solid build

The Bad

  • Middling performance
  • No NFC
  • Only one year of software updates

Web Browsing test score: 15 hours 54 minutes
Video streaming test score: 8 hours 55 minutes
3D Gaming test score: 11 hours 34 minutes

And the winner in our budget phone battery life rankings is the Moto G Power (2021). Just like its predecessor, the G8 Power, whose endurance scores are listed here, it has a 5,000 mAh battery and a power-efficient Snapdragon chip inside. That combination allows the Moto G Power to rule when it comes to battery life.

How much can you get out of it? Well, depends on your usage, but if you stick with modest use, you can get up to 3 days on a single charge, while under heavy usage one can still expect as much as 2 days between charges.

Which phone would you pick up for your busy workdays and weekends?


There we have them, the best modern phones with the strongest battery life you can buy in 2021. Whether you simply want a phone that could last you through more than a day, or you need, there are still some great options from Apple, Samsung, Motorola, OnePlus and Xiaomi.

Still not done looking for the perfect phone for your needs?

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