Zero to hero: 5 high-end Android smartphones with quick-charging batteries
Many will surely agree that battery remains one of the most controversial smartphone topics to date. You probably know the reasoning behind the endless heated discussions on battery life: over the past years, smartphones got bigger, crisper displays, faster data connections, more powerful chipsets, more RAM, sharper cameras, and all sorts of bells and whistles, while notable advancements in terms battery life have failed to materialize.
As pointed out last week when we discussed the best 5 affordable smartphones with great battery life, one way that manufacturers can solve our battery life woes is by integrating larger batteries. Unfortunately, the mobile industry is engulfed in a thinness trend that leaves little room (literally) for large batteries on flagship smartphones.
Although it seems like we can't have very large batteries on flagship handsets, not all hope is lost, as an increasing number of modern flagships come with quick-charging capabilities.
Batteries that charge quickly do not solve the bigger problem: we're still wall huggers. However, with the right smartphone, we won't be sticking near the wall plug for too long. It's not an ideal solution, but it's a tradeoff some are willing to live with.
With the Galaxy S6 series, Samsung ditched support for removable batteries, a feat that has been a traditional advantage of the Galaxy S6 line-up. Although swiping a dead battery for a fresh one is no longer possible with the S6 and the S6 edge, at least the two smartphones come with quick-charging capabilities.
In our tests, the standard Galaxy S6 went from dead to fully charged in 76 minutes, while the Galaxy S6 edge took a bit longer, 83 minutes. Out of all flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S6 is the fastest to fully recharge.
For more details on the two handsets, head over to our Galaxy S6 review and our Galaxy S6 edge review.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and its curved-edge sibling were the first Samsung flagships to come with quick-charging capabilities.
In our tests, the Galaxy Note 4 fully recharged its battery in 95 minutes, while the Note Edge went to 0% to 100% charged in 82 minutes. That's about the same time as measured on the Galaxy S6 series, but last year's Note series comes with the added advantage of larger, longer-lasting batteries. Furthermore, the Note 4 and the Note Edge come with user-removable batteries, a feat that power users have learned to love by now.
Head on over to our Galaxy Note 4 review and our Galaxy Note Edge review for a more detailed analysis of the two handsets.
The large-screened Nexus 6 integrates a large 3220mAh battery, but our tests show that due to the size of the display and the power consumption of its internal components, the 6-inch handset only comes with average battery life by 2015 standards.
Fortunately, the Nexus 6 integrates quick-charging, and our battery benchmarks reveal that the handset can fully recharge a dead battery in 98 minutes. Among Nexus devices, the Nexus 6 is the fastest to recharge a depleted battery. Check out our Google Nexus 6 review for a thorough analysis of Google's largest Nexus smartphone to date.
Although the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 edge lead the flagship smartphone pack when it comes to quickly charging their batteries, the battery life of the two handsets leaves much room for improvement. With the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active, Samsung largely solved this issue, with our tests revealing that the rugged S6 Active has an amazing battery life, one that tops the "life expectancy" of any other high-end smartphone out there.
Aside from coming with superb battery life, the S6 Active also has the major advantage of a quick-charging battery. During our tests, the handset was able to fully recharge a dead battery in 103 minutes. That's a helluva lot faster than most smartphones out there. Make sure to read the full Samsung Galaxy S6 Active review to find out just how good the handset is overall.
By now there's no doubt about it: despite being a very good Android smartphone, the HTC One M9 was a financial flop for the iconic but struggling smartphone manufacturer.
For a detailed analysis of the handset, head on over to our full HTC One M9 review. In the context of this article, however, it should be noted that the One M9 comes with an average battery life, but its wireless charging capabilities mean that the One M9 can fully recharge a battery in 106 minutes.