Sony Xperia Z1 battery life test: a large battery does not help

Sony Xperia Z1 battery life test: a large battery does not help
We came away impressed with the Sony Xperia Z1's 20-megapixel camera, but can it show off in equal measure with great battery life? The Xperia Z1 has gone through our extensive battery test and the score is in.

You would think that the massive 3000mAh battery on the Xperia Z1 would make it last longer than any other 5-inch smartphone out there, but - surprisingly - it does not. 

Quite shockingly, the Xperia Z1 ranks last among top smartphones in its class scoring just 4 hours and 43 minutes of battery life on our test.

What does this number mean? We put devices to a use similar to that of the average user with one difference - we don’t put the tested gadget down for even a second. What this means is that you can expect to have your Xperia Z1 lasting exactly 4 hours and 43 minutes, if you use your phone non-stop. In real-life, however, we do put our phones to rest on even the busiest day. Your real-life mileage will be indeed higher, but not much - at such a low score, the Z1 might not even last through a full workday. Only with milder use, you should be able to have your phone last a full day. That’s a frustrating situation, and we hope Sony gets to work to fix this soon.

How exactly does the Xperia Z1 compare versus today’s most popular smartphones? We said it ranks last, but it’s the difference in longevity we find particularly striking. The newest devices like the Galaxy Note 3 and LG G2 have nearly 50% higher scores.

What is the reason for such a poor showing for the Xperia Z1? We honestly do not know, but we’d assume two reasons - lack of proper software optimization and higher than average brightness. 

With the Xperia Z1, Sony brings a 30% increase in battery size over the preceding Xperia Z, but somehow the actual Z1 battery life goes down. Here is a quick technical breakdown of the battery in recent Sony Xperia devices:

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All in all, the Sony Xperia Z1 is a bit of a disappointment, as you can see how it gobbles through your battery, especially when you use it for media or browsing. We hope that newer phones like the T-Mobile Z1 version known as the Sony Xperia Z1s or the Z1 Compact will bring some big improvements.

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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.
hoursHigher is better
Google Nexus 5
4h 50 min(Poor)
5h 45 min(Poor)
Samsung Galaxy S4
4h 59 min(Poor)
Samsung Galaxy Note3
6h 8 min(Poor)
6h 48 min(Average)
Sony Xperia Z1
4h 43 min(Poor)
Sony Xperia Z
4h 48 min(Poor)

Testing method:
As for our battery test, we use a simulation of real-life usage. A smartphone nowadays is used for much more than calling and texting, so we had to take this into account. The average smartphone user actually spends most of the time on the web and social media, and you might be surprised that this average Joe of a user actually listens to music and plays games more than he talks! To get a better understanding of that average use, feel free to take a look at the top activities we do on our smartphones. We replicate this test very strictly with every phone paying attention to minute detail and even keeping the same distance between devices and the wireless router during testing to keep signal strength the same.

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