Charging phone

The Best Smartphones With Long Battery Life in 2021

By Dave Dean Phones3 Comments

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Our phones are faster and slimmer than ever before. That’s great in every way except one: battery life. Smaller phones means less room for batteries, while faster processors, high-resolution displays, and 5G cell networks quickly drain the charge you do have.

While plugging in a power bank will help keep your phone running in an emergency, it’s one more thing to charge, carry, and think about. Instead, it’s worth looking specifically at phones with great battery life. The best of them can power through a full day of heavy use, and last two days or more of lighter use on a single charge.

The battery performance of a phone depends on the capacity of the battery (measured in mAh), but also on the phone’s processor, screen size, and how well optimized it is. In other words, a higher capacity doesn’t necessarily mean a longer battery life. 

Of course, long battery life isn’t the only thing you care about. You don’t want a phone that is thoroughly mediocre but runs for days. Instead, you want something that performs well, looks great, and takes excellent pictures — and also has enough juice to at least last all day away from a charger.

With that in mind, these are our picks for the best smartphones with long battery life on the market today.

Sale
Best Android Phone With Long Battery Life: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
  • Screen: 6.8-inch AMOLED
  • Storage: 128-512GB
  • RAM: 12-16GB
  • Battery: 5000mAh
  • Dual SIM?: No (USA) / Yes (International)
  • Runs On: Android

Best iPhone With Long Battery Life: Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • Screen: 6.7-inch OLED
  • Storage: 128GB-1TB
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Battery: 4352mAh
  • Dual SIM?: Yes (nano SIM + eSIM)
  • Runs On: iOS

Best Mid-Range Phone With Long Battery Life: OnePlus 8
  • Screen: 6.55-inch AMOLED
  • Storage: 128 or 256GB
  • RAM: 8-12GB
  • Battery: 4300mAh
  • Dual SIM?: No (USA) / Yes (International)
  • Runs On: Android

Best Budget Smartphone With Long Battery Life: Motorola Moto G Power
  • Screen: 6.4-inch LED
  • Storage: 64GB + micro-SD slot
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Battery: 5000mAh
  • Dual SIM?: No (USA) / Yes (International)
  • Runs On: Android

Sale
Best Value Smartphone With Long Battery Life: SAMSUNG Galaxy S20 FE
  • Screen: 6.5-inch AMOLED
  • Storage:128 or 256GB + microSD slot
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Battery: 4500mAh
  • Dual SIM?: No (USA) / Yes (Europe)
  • Runs On: Android

Best Smartphone With Long Battery Life for Travel: Google Pixel 5a
  • Screen: 6.3-inch OLED
  • Storage: 128 GB
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Battery: 4680mAh
  • Dual SIM?: Yes (nano SIM + eSIM)
  • Runs On: Android

Best Android Phone With Long Battery Life: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G Factory Unlocked Android Cell Phone 128GB US Version Smartphone Pro-Grade Camera 8K Video 108MP High Res, Phantom Silver

Looking for the comfort of buying from a major global brand, but still want a phone with great battery life? Take a look at the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, part of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S range.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is a high-end, premium device, and one of the best long battery life phones on the market. Its 5000mAh battery is paired with a range of intelligent management features to optimize power usage throughout the day. 

You can expect around 16 hours of screen-on time doing basic activities like web browsing. That’s a lot, and makes this a “two-day phone” for most people: you’ll likely get a full two days out of a single charge unless you’re really pushing it hard.

When you do finally manage to drain the battery, you won’t need to wait long for it to charge up: expect as much as 50% charge in half an hour. That’s assuming you have a 25W+ wall charger, mind you: there’s no charger in the box. Wireless charging is also built in, although as usual it’s noticeably slower.

The S21 Ultra looks fantastic, with a big, bright, and rich 6.8″ screen. The 3200 x 1440 display has an adaptive refresh rate that ramps up to 120Hz to make fast action look as good as possible, and back down to 60Hz or lower to save battery the rest of the time.

Inside sits Snapdragon’s fastest 888 chipset, 12-16GB of RAM, and 128-512GB of storage. Unlike earlier versions, though, there’s no microSD slots if you manage to fill that up. 5G connectivity is built in, although just like LTE when it first came out, don’t necessarily expect it to work outside the region you bought your phone in.

A major selling point of the device is its camera (or more accurately, all four of the cameras.) The S21 Ultra has some of the longest, clearest zoom of any phone ever released, with 10x optical zoom and a ridiculous 100x digital “Space Zoom.” It shoots high-quality images and extremely impressive video, with recording in up to 8K.

There’s no headphone jack, but the payoff for that is IP68 water and dust resistance. With wireless earbuds and headphones commonplace these days, having a phone that can handle being in five feet of water for half an hour is a tradeoff that people are increasingly happy to make.

Overall, this is a well-rounded everyday smartphone with exceptional battery life and a great camera. It’s available in six different colors, and there’s a huge range of third-party cases and accessories available. The only real downsides are its price and its size, especially once you add a protective case. 

Pros
  • 5000mAh battery with intelligent power management
  • Incredible 10x optical/100x digital zoom
  • Proper water and dust resistance
  • Large, bright display
  • One of the best cameras in its class
Cons
  • Bulky, especially with a case
  • Expensive
Buy on Amazon

Best iPhone With Long Battery Life: Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max (128GB, Graphite) [Locked] + Carrier Subscription

The latest iPhones are here, and they pack a heck of a punch in terms of battery life. The iPhone 13 Pro Max is the most impressive, lasting up to 28 hours of continuous use. Yes, you read that correctly.

This is, by a huge measure, the best battery life ever offered in an iPhone. The 13 Pro Max’s 4352mAh battery is nearly 20% larger than the one in the 12 Pro Max, and it shows in real-world performance. When it does go flat, half an hour on a 20W+ wall charger will get it back up to 50%. Magsafe and Qi wireless charging is also available.

Other highlights of this model include up to a terabyte of storage capacity (it’s also available in 128, 256, and 512GB versions,) a new cinematic mode that shifts focus automatically in videos, and an improved camera system that takes even better photos than the already highly-impressive iPhone 12 Pro range.

The Pro Max is powered by Apple’s new A15 chip, which offers lightning-fast performance even by flagship smartphone standards. The 120Hz “ProMotion” screen refresh rate is a welcome upgrade from the previous model, visibly improving everything from scrolling and swiping to fast-action gaming.

Durability has had an upgrade as well, with a new type of screen glass dubbed “Ceramic Shield” that offers 4x more drop resistance than earlier models. There’s also IP68 dust and water resistance, with the phone is certified to handle submersion in up to 19 feet of water for half an hour.

As you’d expect from Apple’s latest flagship, the downside is cost: this phone is anything but cheap. Despite the high price, it also doesn’t come with any accessories other than a USB-C to Lightning cable for charging. Still, if you’re looking for the iPhone with the longest battery life, the 13 Pro Max is the one to go for.

That said, while the Pro Max has the best battery life of the current models, other versions of the iPhone 13 still last an impressively long time between charges if your budget doesn’t stretch quite that far.

Pros
  • 4352mAh battery (estimate)
  • Incredible battery life, up to 28 hours of video playback
  • New cinematic filming features
  • A15 Bionic chip is extremely fast
  • Durable construction, including IP68 water and dust resistance
  • Up to 1TB of storage
Cons
  • Expensive
Buy on Amazon

Best Mid-Range Phone With Long Battery Life: OnePlus 8

OnePlus 8 Glacial Green,​ 5G Unlocked Android Smartphone U.S Version, 8GB RAM+128GB Storage, 90Hz Fluid Display,Triple Camera, with Alexa Built-in,

We often tend to think of smartphones in two categories: flagship and budget. In reality, mid-range phones offer the best value for most people, bringing a useful mix of specs and features without costing four figures to buy.

Right now, the OnePlus 8 5G is one of the highest-spec phones you’ll find in this price range. It’s last year’s model (replaced by the OnePlus 9), so the price has been slashed. The OP8 now costs barely half what it did earlier in the year, but while it’s still available, you get one heck of a phone for the money.

The 4300mAh battery in the OnePlus 8 can power you through a day or two of regular use with ease, and you’ll get up to 12 hours of screen-on time for activities like web browsing. Given the large, bright 6.6″ 90Hz display, this is impressive performance, particularly for the price.

When the phone does eventually go flat, it won’t be for long. OnePlus has long had some of the fastest charging in the business, and while a few rivals are now starting to catch up, the company’s 30W Warp charger is still extremely quick. Expect to go from 0-50% in just 22 minutes. There’s no wireless charging.

As usual with OnePlus’s premium phones, the internals are impressive and the phone performs extremely well. You’ll get a fast Snapdragon 865 processor, 8 or 12GB of RAM, and 128 or 256GB of storage. We’d have liked to see a microSD slot, but even so, these specs are more than enough for most phone users.

Also as usual for OnePlus, though, while the model’s 48MP camera seems impressive, the resulting image quality is only average, especially in low light. Likewise, the phone’s built-in speakers don’t sound great, and there’s no official water resistance.

If you can live with the camera and speaker limitations, though, and the lack of official water resistance rating isn’t a deal breaker, this is a fantastic phone with great battery life for not a lot of money.

Pros
  • 4300mAh battery
  • Attractive phone
  • Excellent display
  • Low to mid-range pricing
  • Impressive performance for the money
Cons
  • Camera quality isn’t great in low light despite the specifications
  • No wireless charging
  • No official water resistance
Buy on Amazon

Best Budget Smartphone With Long Battery Life: Motorola Moto G Power

Moto G Power | 3-Day Battery1 | Unlocked | Made for US by Motorola | 4/64GB | 16MP Camera | 2020 | Black

When it comes to features, the Motorola Moto G Stylus is our top pick in the budget smartphone category, but in terms of battery life, it’s the even-cheaper Moto G Power that takes the crown.

Known as the G8 Power outside the United States, its 5000mAh battery is as large as you’ll find in any mainstream smartphone in 2021. You should get at least two full days of use out of this device, sometimes more. That’s better than anything else worth owning at this price.

The phone’s Snapdragon 665 chipset is a solid mid-range performer. Paired with the phone’s 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, you’ve got an impressive, inexpensive device that’s well-suited to the demands of travel.

There’s a headphone jack, and a micro-SD slot that lets you add up to 512GB of additional storage. Reasonably-fast USB-C charging is also available via the included 10W charger, and there’s a fingerprint scanner on the back of the phone.

There’s no official water resistance rating, though, although a special coating does at least provide some protection against rain and splashes. The phone is also a bit on the heavy and chunky side, although the design is noticeably improved from previous models.

The camera is also a big improvement over earlier versions of the Power, producing shots you’ll be happy with most of the time in good lighting conditions. Low-light photos aren’t great, though, not helped by the lack of a dedicated night mode.

Overall, this is a surprisingly good phone for the money, even if you weren’t getting 2+ days use out of each charge. Add that to the mix, and you’ve got our top budget phone with long battery life in 2021.

Pros
  • Low price
  • Good mid-range performance
  • Headphone jack
  • Fast charging
  • Good photos in daylight
Cons
  • Camera struggles in low light
  • No official water resistance
  • A bit heavy
Buy on Amazon

Best Value Smartphone With Long Battery Life: SAMSUNG Galaxy S20 FE

SAMSUNG Galaxy S20 FE 5G Factory Unlocked Android Cell Phone 128GB US Version Smartphone Pro-Grade Camera 30X Space Zoom Night Mode, Cloud Navy

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is a well-balanced smartphone that combines impressive performance with a moderate price. It’s one of the best value devices from a major brand, particularly so if you’re after a phone with good battery life. 

With its 4500mAh battery, the Galaxy S20 FE can power through around 12 hours of continual basic use like web browsing. It’s also one of the longest lasting phones when it comes to video streaming, able to keep going for up to nine house. For most users, this will be a two-day phone.

Specifications are in line with many current mid to high-end smartphones. You’ll get a speedy Snapdragon 865 chipset, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. A microSD slot lets you add up to 1TB more. As the name suggests, 5G connectivity is also included if that’s important to you.

There’s IP68 dust and water resistance, a headphone jack, and a big 6.5″ display. This is a major selling point of the device, with its high brightness, impressive color accuracy, and 120Hz refresh rate.

The camera is always one of the best parts of a Galaxy S phone, and that’s true here as well. Both the main rear camera and the wide angle sensor are 12MP, and there’s also an 8MP telephoto with a 3x optical zoom/30x digital zoom. Expect great food, landscape, macro, and low light shots from the S20 FE.

Fast charging is available, especially if you use a 25W+ charger rather than the 15W version that comes in the box. Samsung sells one, but any other USB C PD charger should do the job as well. Wireless charging is also built in, and you can even wirelessly charge other Qi devices by putting them on the back of the S20 FE.

Pros
  • 4500mAh battery
  • Excellent value for money
  • Bright display with 120Hz refresh rate
  • IP68 water and dust resistance
  • Excellent camera
Cons
  • No headphone jack
  • Only a 15W charger in the box
Buy on Amazon

Best Long-Battery Smartphone for Travel: Google Pixel 5a

HP 2021 Flagship Envy x360 13 2-in-1 Laptop 13.3' FHD OLED Touchscreen 11th Gen Intel 4-Core i7-1165G7 8GB RAM 512GB SSD Intel Iris Xe Graphic Backlit Fingerprint Thunderbolt WIFI6 Win10 + Pen

The Google Pixel range has long been our smartphone pick for travelers, and the latest 5a model is no exception. With the addition of a noticeably larger battery this time around, it also becomes our long battery life recommendation for travel as well. This phone packs a lot of features and performance into a comfortable mid-range price point.

Inside, you’re getting a lot for your money. It comes with 6GB of memory, 128GB of storage (there’s no SD card), and a mid-level Snapdragon 765G chipset. It’s not the fastest in terms of raw performance, but Google has optimized the phone well and you’ll rarely notice slowdowns in daily use.

The battery in the Pixel 5a is dramatically larger than the one in its predecessor, and it shows. In earlier models, you’d get a day of moderate use, but not much more. This time around, you can push the phone as hard as you like and it’ll still keep going, rated to last over 15 hours of continual web browsing.

Lighter use should see anything up to two days between charges, and there’s an 18W USB C fast charger in the box for when you run low. That’s not the fastest charger you’ll find these days, but it’s on par with many of the others on this list.

The most exciting part for travelers, though, is the camera. The Pixel 5a takes the best photos of any mid-range smartphone, and betters many others that cost significantly more. You’ll get highly-impressive shots from this device regardless of overhead conditions, and Night Sight mode ensures great low-light images as well.

eSIM support is also built-in, alongside the standard nano SIM slot. This time around, Google’s ditched the headphone jack in favor of water resistance (it’s rated to IP67). We’ve dinged phones for this in the past, but with customers increasingly moving to Bluetooth headphones and earbuds these days, it makes sense.

On the software side, a pure Android experience and consistent updates have long been one of the best reasons to buy a Google device. That’s no different here, with Android updates promised for at least three years. That’s extremely rare in a mid-range phone.

The downsides of this model are a lack of expandable storage or wireless charging capabilities. If you can overlook these drawbacks, the Pixel 5a is a well-rounded, budget-friendly option for travel that’ll keep going even during the longest, toughest days on the road.

Pros
  • 4680mAh battery
  • IP67 water resistance
  • Excellent camera
  • Dual SIM (eSIM + nano)
  • Affordable price
Cons
  • No wireless charging
  • No expandable storage

Main image via rawpixel, product images via Amazon, except Pixel 5a image via Google

About the Author
Dave Dean

Dave Dean

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Founder and editor of Too Many Adapters, Dave has been a traveler for 25 years, and a geek for even longer. When he's not playing with the latest tech toy or working out how to keep his phone charged for just a few more minutes, he can probably be found sitting in a broken-down bus in some obscure corner of the planet.

Comments

  1. Avatar

    Ulefone Power 5 has the biggest battery of them all 13,000 mAh to last a week between charges !

    1. Dave Dean Author

      Where is it indeed? Lack of widespread availability is the reason we don’t discuss it here yet. That model has only been released in India and a few European countries, and it’s out of stock in some of the latter. When and if Samsung makes it more widely available, we’ll include it.

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