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 a long-life battery tops your list of smartphone needs, check out these top-scorers in CNET's continuous video (or talk time) tests.
Editors' Note:This post updates frequently. It was originally published October 31, 2011.
The Samsung 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. Not everyone may like an embedded battery, but the 3,500mAh ticker did its job. 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.
If you can stomach this budget phablet's minor drawbacks, you'll appreciate its 16-and-a-half 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.
"Turbo" says it all. The handset packs a 3,900mAh battery that includes quick-charge technology, and video playback can also last up to 14 hours and 43 minutes. Feel free to talk your head off, too -- the phone lived for 34 hours straight of continuous talk time.
With its 720p display and Snapdragon 400 processor, the G Vista doesn't have the most powerful hardware internals around. But for a competitively priced phablet, its battery life is ace. Between two US carrier models, the phone played continuous video anywhere from 14 to 17 hours straight. That should give you an idea of how it'll run in your area.
Despite its unusual square design, the Passport is a powerful handset that'll keep you productive with its comfortable touch-sensitive physical keyboard. And with its impressive battery life, you can afford to keep working -- it was able to last over 26 hours during our lab test for talk time.
Sporting a 5.7-inch display, 8-megapixel camera and 3,400mAh battery, the ZMax from ZTE is another midrange phablet that scored well on our battery-drain test. It played an impressive 16 hours and 43 minutes of video without a problem. Read the full review.
Wonder why those smartphone batteries never seem to last as long as you'd like? Learn why here: Why is my battery stuck in the '90s?