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

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94 Comments

94. milkboy54

Posts: 39; Member since: Oct 04, 2014

I have Z1 by SONY now, whose battery lasts LONG also. That's why i love SONY things.

93. Limbopope

Posts: 63; Member since: Aug 12, 2014

I HAD TO MANUALLY INSERT (INVITE XD) THE ONEPLUS ONE into the rank table and it's in the top 5 XP

88. CrossVXM

Posts: 12; Member since: Sep 24, 2014

Very inaccurate. Running a webscript will never compare to actual use. As an Android collector/hobbyist, I can denote the false fact that the Galaxy S5 lasts longer than the G2. I can play heavy games on my G2 for 2 hours straight and go from 100% battery to somewhere around 80% or high 70's. The S5 on the other hand will reach 70% to 60% guaranteed. In other regular use, there has not been an instance where the S5 lasts me longer than the G2. Sure we must look at the brightness level and so on, but even on that matter the G2 will last longer. Since Samsung is known for being sneaky (as they cheated with benchmarks notblong ago), I don't doubt that they have set this one up as well in order to look better than Apple's iPhone line-up. Remember, they did create a serious point out over the fact that iPhone users where "wall huggers" always hogging public charge stations at airports...

92. iushnt

Posts: 3182; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

So u a Sammy hater..that explains everything..

87. uncskeet

Posts: 30; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

P.A., I hope you guys review the Passport. That would be appreciated.

82. dimas

Posts: 3461; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

What happened to Lumia 930? I thought Nokia phones are the best in terms of batteries.

81. alhydroid

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 24, 2014

IT'S THE REASON WHY SONY JUST USING FULL HD 1080p FOR DISPLAY...BECAUSE 2K RESOLUTION FOR 5" IS FAKE AND USELESS

83. dimas

Posts: 3461; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

It's all marketing crap. QHD hogs a lot of battery life no matter how LG defend it. Manufacturers should continue improving the battery and not creating more gimmicks. They should realize that the technology hype already died 2 years ago. Smartphones are now considered as ordinary gadgets in most parts of the world.

77. Totse2k15

Posts: 479; Member since: Feb 11, 2014

Man, I want a Z3. Lolz!

63. Bondurant

Posts: 787; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

If Z3 runs featureless than i wonder if its a fair competition. No other way Z3 can beat the Mate 7s 4100mAh battery except that Mate 7 has lots of features that uses background battery while Z3 is pretty much empty.

70. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Screen size matters a lot. The Mate 7 has a huge 6" screen. Apps/"features" running in the background can make a difference too. Disabling in whatever way (Greenify, uninstall, turning off, whatever) could improve battery life, of course, but websites do their tests with factory settings.

55. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Sony doubled the battery life of their flagship within a year's span. I don't know how or what the hell they did, but I'm impressed.

91. Venkatramanan

Posts: 327; Member since: Aug 15, 2014

I thing their strategy to use IPS display is working out for them. The TN display was the culprit for Pre Z2 models.

54. uncskeet

Posts: 30; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

I trust Phonearena's test, because for how constant & maximum heavy usage I use my phone on the job (all day), they're the most reliable than about dead matches my drainage. I do wish Phonearena would post all relevant smartphones/ phablets on charge time list, & add more to other list, like when I was trying to find out about the Moto Droid Maxx from last year. I come here now to read my daily mobile tech news. They ARE not bias. I've seen it for year, quietly from the sideline (All smartphone fanboy here, so none my way please)

51. uncskeet

Posts: 30; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

I trust Phonearena's test, because for how constant & maximum heavy usage I use my phone on the job (all day), they're the most reliable and about dead matches my drainage. I do wish Phonearena would post all relevant smartphones/ phablets on charge time list, & add more to other list, like when I was trying to find out about the Moto Droid Maxx from last year. I come here now to read my daily mobile tech news. They ARE none bias. I've seen it for years, quietly from the sideline (All smartphone fanboy here, so none my way please).

53. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

GSMArena also got almost unbelievable results in their battery test too.

86. uncskeet

Posts: 30; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

I'd have to check them out more, but they seem to me to be like other typical sights for the average working consumer in results, Luke other sites' test, but PA , from my years of phone swap & heavy usage, is right on the money for all you'll get with extreme usage.

45. FoxDavis

Posts: 60; Member since: Jul 12, 2012

Yeah, phonearena where is the oneplus? The battery has been tested to last a long time. I think you need to add it in.

48. FoxDavis

Posts: 60; Member since: Jul 12, 2012

You tested the oneplus one and it had a score rating at 8 hours 5 minutes.

67. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

the oneplus is still in the production lines (if more than a handful of items have ever actually been produced...)

40. bataxstar unregistered

OnePlus One should have been in the rank. It's the flagship killer :) It would come in at number 5.

38. JonathanAlexander7

Posts: 71; Member since: Jun 20, 2014

i'm waiting sony to make 1080p 4,7 Inch,but this Z3 Compact really get my attention,specially the Red one :)

26. Amir1 unregistered

Z3 and Z3c best flags on the market. hands down.

21. justsayit

Posts: 256; Member since: May 09, 2013

seriously?no oneplus one or the lg g flex on the charts?these two gas awesome batterylife

24. justsayit

Posts: 256; Member since: May 09, 2013

just saying,my phone can get over 10hour SOT with single charges i tweet a screenshot on twitter before here the link https://twitter.com/itsmikecheng/status/510304948345520128

50. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

G Flex, like the Lumia 1520, is a 2013 phone.

17. Daytonadave17

Posts: 54; Member since: Oct 26, 2013

Pretty SAD!! ONCE AGAIN THE BEST PHONE BATTERY LIFE ISNT ON HERE!! NOKIA 1520 NOKIA 1520!! NOKIA 1520!! ILL HELP REMIND YOU!!!

20. NokiaFTW

Posts: 2072; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

How can they include a phone that beat's out ALL of the competition? Wouldn't that be against what Samsung and Apple pay PA to do?

35. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

Samsung and Apple pay out phone that isn't threat to their own models, just to get 5th and 9th places? Right...

29. Amir1 unregistered

nobody cares about windows phone. silly microsoft. rip nokia.

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

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