5 smartphones with great battery life

If a long-life battery tops your list of smartphone needs, you can't do better than these.


The last thing you want is for your phone to run out of juice when you need it most.

Usually, a handset lasts a full work day with moderate use. But if you use them heavily, you'll find you need to recharge it more often. Batteries also lose steam over time, running down faster the longer you've owned it. The specter of losing battery -- and therefore losing your communication hub -- is frightening and real.

If you feel your smartphone battery seems to be stuck in the '90s and doesn't last as long as you'd like, you're not alone. So if long-life battery tops your list of smartphone needs, check out these top-scorers in CNET's continuous video tests.

Editors' note: This post updates frequently. It was originally published October 31, 2011.

The Moto X Play is also water resistant, so don't worry if you spill some water on it. Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Motorola Moto X Play

The Moto X Play features a customizeable waterproof design, a sharp 5.5-inch screen and a nimble 21-megapixel camera. But the real icing on top is that its 3,630mAh battery lasted about 15.75 hours in our lab tests -- an impressive feat for any device. (Unfortunately, however, US customers won't be able to purchase the Moto X Play. Moto offers the Moto X Pure Edition instead, which doesn't have as much of a stellar battery life as the X Play.) Read the full review.

Designed for the power user, the Note 5 won't quit on you prematurely. Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

As the reigning top-of-the-line Android phablet (or big-screen smartphone), the stylus-wielding Note 5 is expensive. But it has premium hardware, including a 1,440p display, an octa-core processor and a 16-megapixel camera. Its battery also lasted 15 hours during our tests, which should appease some users who aren't too fond of the fact that it's nonremovable as well. Read the full review.

The removable battery averages over 16 hours of continious video playback. Nate Ralph/CNET

LG Volt

Not all long-lasting devices are big-screen phones. The Volt, which has a 4.7-inch display, is a compact and inexpensive prepaid handset that lasted an impressive 16.35 hours during our battery tests. And while its screen and its hardware is entry-level, its battery is at least swappable (though we don't think you'll need to do switch it out so much). Read the full review.

The device's battery is as enduring on the inside as the handset is on the outside. James Martin/CNET

Samsung Galaxy S6 Active

The Galaxy S6 Active isn't just tougher on the outside than your average bear. Its 16.8-hour average performance in three video loop tests caused a couple of double-takes. In addition, built-in wireless charging and several battery-saving modes give phone owners other options for either topping-up or conserving previous power. Read the full review.

This budget phone will keep going all day long. Josh Miller/CNET

ZTE Grand X Max+

If you can stomach this budget phablet's minor drawbacks, you'll appreciate its 16.61 hours' worth of video playback time, according to CNET's lab-run tests. That embedded 3,200mAh battery helps power up the 6-inch display, a notorious slayer of battery life. Still, we'd keep that screen auto-dimmed if we were you. Read the full review.

Featured Video

Yuneec's Typhoon Q500 4K quietly captures high-res video from the sky and ground

It might be big, but the Typhoon Q500 is a smooth operator with a gimbal-stabilized camera that can shoot photos from your hand or while soaring in the air.

by Joshua Goldman