We put every smartphone to the test to find out which has the longest-lasting and best phone battery life in 2023
Deciding on which smartphone to buy is no easy task. We all need a phone with top-notch performance and a capable camera for our Instagram snaps, but a smartphone’s battery life is an increasingly important factor. No matter how excellent your brand-new phone is, it’s not much use to anyone if you’re always having to charge it.
READ NEXT: The best smartphones you can buy
When making your decision, it’s best to look at battery size (measured in mAh) to give you an indication of how long-lasting the phone should be. But other factors such as display size and resolution and power efficiency still play a massive part, too. But there’s no need to simply guess – we’ve got you covered when it comes to the phones with the best battery life.
Every single phone that passes through our doors is faced with our in-house battery-life test. As such, we know exactly which phones you need to consider if battery life is at the top of your agenda. Below, we’ve ranked the top 20 best phone battery lives of 2023, including those pricey flagships and forgotten-about budget alternatives.
Best phone battery life 2023: How we test
To find out how well your phone performs against its rivals, we’ve combined all the battery scores from the countless smartphone tests we conduct every year into one easy-to-use graph, so you can see which phones are the best battery performers.
To measure a smartphone’s battery life, we run a continuous video-playback test. The video file includes a handful of scenes from Spider-Man 2, encoded to H.264 and looped to a 20-hour length. We use the VLC video player app on either Google Play or the Apple App Store to play the file and record the length of time played on reboot. We also set the phone to aeroplane mode, turn off any automatic brightness and sleep settings, and set the screen brightness to a standardised 170cd/m2.
Aeroplane mode switches off all of the phone’s wireless features – naturally, extending battery life – which means that our tests are repeatable and consistent. The big problem with wireless is that signal strength can come and go, which forces the phone to adjust the amount of power that it uses constantly, causing variable results.
Best phone battery life 2023: Results
As you can see from the graph below, smartphone battery life, despite stagnating a little in recent years, has rapidly improved. All 20 phones in our hierarchy reached well over 23 hours in our battery benchmark before needing to recharge, and a significant chunk of the most recent headsets (which make up a lot of the list) seriously outdo their predecessors as well.
READ NEXT: The best power banks
That includes the Samsung Galaxy M31, which pushed the previous winner, the Lenovo P2, from the top of the podium. Lasting over 30 hours in our battery test, the Galaxy M31 beat the Lenovo P2 by more than 90 minutes under the same conditions, making it the first phone we could recommend with a proper two-day battery life, and then some.
This is the benchmark for all upcoming smartphones to aspire to. In second place, we have the Sony Xperia 10 IV, which just about edged in front of its predecessor (now in third), coming in at 29hrs 36mins. The Realme 9 4G makes its first appearance in fourth place, too, lasting for 28hrs 17mins.
OnePlus absolutely dominates the top 20 list, with a total of six phones (and even more narrowly missing out). Realme, Samsung and Motorola follow behind with three handsets each.
Best phone battery life 2023: iPhone results
As I mentioned earlier, only one iPhone manages to make an appearance in our overall battery life chart, so I’ve decided to make a separate section for fans of Apple who might be curious to find out which iPhone reaches the top of the iOS podium.
Historically speaking, few iPhones have managed to compete with the likes of Android, but things have dramatically improved since the launch of the iPhone 11. As the below chart proves, every single new iPhone 14 squeezed out enough juice to last over 20 hours, with only last year’s iPhone SE (2022) failing to make the cut. The iPhone 14 Pro Max, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Plus and regular iPhone 14 narrowly miss out on appearing on our top 20 list above.
I’ve ordered this graph in a slightly different way, instead listing them in release order. As you can see, despite a few stumbles along the way, iPhone battery life is generally improving (aside from the mini and SE versions). Note: we began our standardised battery testing in 2013, so there isn’t any data before the iPhone 5C, and neither is there any data for the iPhone 7 Plus, because our battery test failed to run.