Rock steady: here is the 2014 flagship phone rank for best battery life

Rock steady: here is the 2014 flagship phone rank for best battery life
This year is arguably the first when smartphone battery life got a more serious focus from manufacturers, and received a significant boost on average as a result. Shaking your head in disbelief? Just look at the graphs below, where we rank flagship smartphones by battery life, according to our own benchmarks. Notice the overarching trend? Yep, we are getting about 25-100% longer battery life from this year's flagships, compared to their 2013 editions. 

Not too shabby, and we also have to add the proliferation of actually useful battery saving modes to this pleasant trend. Samsung started it off with its Ultra Power Saving in the Galaxy S5 that goes as far as switching to a black&white mode for the display when the battery falls under a certain threshold, but all major makers are following suit now - HTC calls it Extreme Power Saving, with LG we have Battery Saver, Sony titled it Ultra STAMINA, while Huawei echoes Samsung with an Ultra Power Saving regime, for instance.

Furthermore, this remarkable battery life boost this year can't be attributed to some huge leaps in battery capacities from one year to the next. As you can see in the first slide below, Sony managed to double the battery life of its flagship Z-series with a negligible increase in battery capacity, and is currently topping the charts. Samsung also achieved a sizeable endurance increase with a modest battery bump, meaning that manufacturers are now taking a more comprehensive approach, placing more frugal components, especially screens, and optimising power consumption on the whole. 

A notable exception is LG, which kept the battery capacity from the G2 to the G3, but outfitted its flagship with a ultra high-res Quad HD display, which takes a significant a toll on the battery life. Thus, the G3 remains the only flagship this year, whose battery life didn't improve over its predecessor. Apple's new iPhone editions are also bucking the trend, marking only a modest improvement, due to their larger, higher-resolution displays. In any case, we have evidently moved from one-day smartphone battery life, and are now bordering on the 48-hour mark with average use on some flagships, which bodes well for all weekend warriors. Hopefully, next year we are going to witness three days of stamina, or even more, so we can finally cut the umbilical cord of our chargers.

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

hours Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6
5h 22 min (Poor)
Apple iPhone 5s
5h 2 min (Poor)
Huawei Ascend P7
6h 35 min (Average)
HTC One
5h 45 min (Average)
Samsung Galaxy S4
4h 59 min (Poor)
LG G2
6h 48 min (Average)
Huawei Ascend Mate7
9h 3 min (Excellent)
Sony Xperia Z2
8h 10 min (Excellent)
Sony Xperia Z3
9h 29 min (Excellent)
LG G3
6h 14 min (Average)
Nokia Lumia 930
4h 30 min (Poor)
HTC One (M8)
7h 12 min (Good)
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
6h 8 min (Average)
Sony Xperia Z1
4h 43 min (Poor)
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
6h 32 min (Average)
Motorola Moto X (2014)
5h 45 min (Average)
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
10h 2 min (Excellent)
Samsung Galaxy S5
7h 38 min (Good)

FEATURED VIDEO

94 Comments

1. irbaaz

Posts: 175; Member since: Mar 27, 2014

I will buy z3 compact if it fits in budget ;)

10. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

I really am liking the Sony Xperia Z3. That phone to me might be what I get next!!! Still waiting on the Nexus 6 or Nexus X, & the Moto S... Once those come out I will make my choice. So far the Sony Xperia Z3 is the front runner!!!

12. JC557

Posts: 1918; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

I'm considering the Z3 or Z3 Compact and hoping either one of them will make it to Verizon.

43. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

Z3 possibly, Z3 compact (the one I want) I would not hold my breath if I were you

75. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

I hear that Verizon is getting the Sony Xperia Z3. It's the Xperia Z3v is what they are calling it.

22. CyberFalcon

Posts: 223; Member since: Apr 17, 2014

Where is Note 4????

25. darkkjedii

Posts: 30964; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Hasn't even been released yet dude. Why would it be on this list?

27. android_hitman unregistered

I would also buy one but it has 720p screen and I am a tech addict!! big dilema here :)

46. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Gives it better battery life and smoother performance. 316ppi is plenty clear.

33. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

Sony improving a lot of things one by one.......way to go Sony....

60. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

Okay now I'm finally starting to consider Sony a valid option. Now they just have to become available on all four major carriers in the USA. If not, they're still not a REAL player.

71. Spedez

Posts: 542; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

I'm not even considering it at any price. Moto X seem not to be so bad after all compared to few other flagships. Sure, Its battery is not very good but Lumia 930 battery life just sucks ballz compared to it.

2. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Great... Sony, Huawei well done. Z3 Compact is becoming new champ in overall depts. A very perfect phone.

3. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Keep it up, Sony! Hope you can break the 3 days battery life or 15 hours on PA's battery life test mark on the Z4. Same goes to Huawei on their next year flagship. And wow, the Lumia 930 has only 4 hours 30 minutes battery life? WTF? I'm glad I didn't fall for that.

15. phantom_six_man

Posts: 82; Member since: Feb 12, 2014

good job Sony,the problem of Sony in there first Sony flagship as SONY alone is battery life(Xperia Z and ZL) but now Sony is doing a great job and blow away all the other smart phone maker and also @xperiaDROID the only Lumia that has good battery life is the Lumia720 and i have one,sadly not as good as the other androidphones out there but Lumia720 has the best battery life in the Lumia line up except for those LUmia Phablets :)

89. Venkatramanan

Posts: 327; Member since: Aug 15, 2014

I heard that Lumia 1520 too has great battery life

32. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

After Cyan update.... 930 has better battery life.

68. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Wait...L930 comes with Cyan so wtf?

76. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

no it's not, when it released........now it's coming with Cyan.(Mid-August)

4. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

My mom preordered a green Z3 Compact. We're getting 150 euro headphones (Sony MDR-10RC) for free with them and of course I'll take those! Can't wait :)

5. HeyitsKate

Posts: 17; Member since: Sep 20, 2014

27 straight hours to 5% on my iPhone 6 :D Love it!! 5 hours my butt xD :) :)

8. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Sweetie, they are talking battery life when used. Not standby ;)

16. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

:) Well I took a screen cap of mine this morning before charging at 50% - 5h25m usage (mainly Safari and What'sApp) and 21h18m standby. It's a lot better than this report says and I'd be inclined to go along with Anandtech's summary instead based on my experience... I can't post the screen cap because I'm too new apparently... :p

34. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

In the end benchmarks and statistics don't mean a thing, it's about what your own experience is. In the battery department the Nexus 5 doesn't do too well, despite that I do have a good experience with it. Although I am running a different kernel and custom rom.

78. Neo_Huang

Posts: 1067; Member since: Dec 06, 2013

Their video test is more accurate to battery usage when watching videos.

18. HeyitsKate

Posts: 17; Member since: Sep 20, 2014

Yes, using :) All I do is text and listen to music :) And visit you silly people here now! haha. Like I said, 27 hours of use without a charge. No one uses their phone for 5-7 hours non stop silly! :)

19. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

How much screen on time?

30. irbaaz

Posts: 175; Member since: Mar 27, 2014

Why dont you try iBend

31. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Lol at least you can laugh about the joke, chapeau :-)

72. Spedez

Posts: 542; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

You just don't get it how its being tested. If yours is 27 hours then Z3 is double that amount. Think about that.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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