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Phones with the best battery life in 2021

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is among the phones with the best battery life
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

I would be the first to admit that the phone with the best battery life isn't perhaps the most exciting spec, but it's hard to argue with it being one of the most important. That amazing camera or mind-blowing processor won't do you much good if your battery dies in the middle of the day. 

Fortunately, as part of our thorough review process, we conduct real-world and lab testing of the battery life on every phone. Our standardized battery test involves each phone browsing the web continuously over LTE or 5G at 150 nits of brightness until they power down. Anecdotal experience has its value, but the consistent and reproducible nature of this test gives us a better idea of how these phones actually stack up against one another.

We know that most people are not buying a phone based on battery life alone,  so we selected phones that stand out for more than just their battery life. You'll find many of them among our best smartphones and best budget phones. To help you pinpoint the best long-lasting phone for you we’ve broken things down into several categories. First up, we will tackle the two most popular lineups on the market: Apple iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones. Then, we’ll broaden things out with a look at the best alternative flagships and then the best mid-range and budget options.

Regardless of how much you want to spend or what your priorities are, we have the right phone with the best battery life for you.

iPhones with the best battery life

Battery life (hours:minutes)
iPhone 11 Pro Max11:54
iPhone 1111:16
iPhone 12 Pro Max10:53
iPhone 11 Pro10:24
iPhone SE (2020)9:18
iPhone 12 Pro9:06 (5G), 11:24 (4G)
iPhone 128:25 (5G), 10:23 (4G)
iPhone 12 mini7:28

While they don’t feature the largest batteries, iPhones manage to be among the phones with the best battery life most years. Unfortunately, that trend took a bit of a hit this year; the iPhone 12’s move to 5G was a bumpy one with all but the iPhone 12 Pro Max showing a massive drop off in battery life compared to their predecessors. 

However, before you go snapping up an iPhone 11 Pro Max, there is an easy way to turn off 5G on an iPhone 12, and, as you can see on our chart, this simple change nearly brings us back to parity with the iPhone 11 series. While it’s annoying to lose 5G, users in most areas won't see a significant speed boost from 5G coverage yet and the extra battery life should make for an easy tradeoff.

It probably goes without saying, but with the iPhone, you aren’t just getting one of the phones with the best battery life, but one of the best smartphones overall. The unmatched performance and software support coupled with the excellent cameras make an iPhone an easy recommendation for anyone looking for more than just all-day endurance.

iPhone 12 Pro Max review

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Samsung Galaxy phones with the best battery life

Battery life (hours:minutes)
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra11:58
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra11:25
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus10:31
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra10:26
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 210:10
Samsung Galaxy S219:53
Samsung Galaxy S209:30
Samsung Galaxy Note 209:38
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE8:58
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G8:16

Samsung may not match Apple’s software-based battery optimization, but it makes up for it by jamming absolutely massive batteries in its phones — and that works too. In fact, among the current generation, Samsung phones on average come out ahead of their iPhone counterparts unless you disable 5G on Apple’s phones.

Galaxy phones can’t quite match the performance of the iPhone, but they have quite a few other tricks up their sleeve beyond just battery life. Sticking to the Galaxy S line, you have massive zoom capabilities on the Galaxy S21 Ultra camera, gorgeous 120Hz AMOLED displays and incredible integration with Windows 10.

Samsung also produces some of the more unique smartphone offerings available today with foldables like the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Galaxy Z Flip 5G, which offer considerably better battery life than their direct rivals. Finally, for stylus fans, there’s the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, one of our favorite phones of 2020. 

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Other flagship phones with the best battery life

With Google exiting the flagship phone market, for this generation at least, and LG exiting the phone business entirely, there are few true flagships to recommend beyond those from Samsung and Apple, however, there are a few standouts. 

While we are looking specifically at phones with the best battery life here, another factor to consider are new fast-charging methods that support up to 65W charging. You get that from both the options found here, which when compared to the 20-25W fast-charging charging supported by the likes of Apple and Samsung this can mean getting yourself a half-day of battery life in just 15 minutes on the charger.

Battery life (hours:minutes)
Asus ROG Phone 513:38 (60Hz); 10:59 (120Hz); 11:17 (144Hz)
OnePlus 9 Pro10:29 (60Hz); 11:44 (120Hz)

Asus ROG Phone 5 resting on Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 with Xbox Series X controller

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

1. Asus ROG Phone 5

13 hours and 38 minutes

If you paid any attention to the Asus ROG Phone 5 you won't be surprised to find it among the phones with the best battery life considering the 6,000mAh battery that Asus stuffed inside. As previously mentioned it also offers 65W fast charging which means it doesn't take all day to get that battery topped back up again with 30 minutes on the included charger getting you all the way back to 70% in our testing.

Beyond its impressive battery life the Asus ROG Phone 5 is among the fastest Android phones that we've tested, second only to the OnePlus 9 Pro. It also offers a vast array of customization options for gamers including the capacitive shoulder buttons and a variety of accessories like the Aero Active Cooler fan, a gaming controller and dock to easily hook it up to a monitor and more. 

OnePlus 9 Pro review

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

2. OnePlus 9 Pro

10 hours and 29 minutes

The OnePlus 9 Pro is the most powerful Android phone on the market right now according to our testing and one of the only Android phones to surpass any of the iPhone 12 models. And while it comes up shy of the ROG Phone 5 when it comes to max battery life at 60Hz, it actually pulls into the lead when pitting them against one another at 120Hz. That's all the more impressive considering the 4,500mAh battery in the OnePlus 9 Pro versus the 6,000mAh of the ROG Phone 5. 

The OnePlus 9 Pro is also a much more well-rounded device than the ROG Phone 5 with cameras that are at least competitive with the best from Samsung and Apple, even if still slightly behind in some regards. If you are looking for a flagship phone with the best battery life from a company other than Samsung and gaming isn't your only focus the OnePlus 9 Pro is easily your best choice.

Mid-range phones with the best battery life 

Battery life (hours:minutes)
Asus ZenFone 615:01
Motorola Edge12:12
LG 8X ThinQ11:46
OnePlus 910:53 (60Hz); 11:24 (120Hz)
OnePlus 8T10:49
LG Velvet10:29

Asus ZenFone 6 on a black background

(Image credit: Asus)

1. Asus ZenFone 6

15 hours and 1 minute

While the Asus ZenFone 6 earned its place here by making it over 15 hours on our battery test, there’s more to this phone than just its 5,000mAh battery. Take a look at its display and you’ll notice something missing: there’s no notch and no hole-punch front-facing camera. This phone uses a clever flip mechanism at the top to bring the rear cameras around to the front so you can use the best camera for your selfies too. Starting at less than $500, it’s a great option for those that want extra-long battery life without giving up too much else.

Motorola Edge front and back on a gradient background

(Image credit: Motorola)

2. Motorola Edge

12 hours and 12 minutes

If there’s one feature Motorola has been hitting out of the park consistently over the past few years, it’s battery life. While this is mostly in the budget realm as you’ll see later on this page, the Motorola Edge falls firmly into mid-range territory while still delivering over 12 hours of battery life in our tests. At $699, the Edge is in a competitive price range, but even with its display set to 90Hz, it managed 11 hours and 35 minutes in our testing, which is considerably above most high refresh rate phones we’ve tested. As is commonly the case with Motorola, the cameras are its downfall, but this is still a solid choice if that’s not important to you.

LG G8X ThinQ in Dual Screen case

(Image credit: LG)

3. LG G8X ThinQ

11 hours and 46 minutes

Its nearly 12 hours of battery life is attention-grabbing by itself, but probably not more so than the fact that the LG G8X ThinQ is a mid-range dual-screen folding phone. Yes, there are a few caveats as this is foldable in the same way as the Microsoft Surface Duo, which has two displays rather than a folding screen. But you get a lot of the same benefits. And while it’s a bit bulky in its folding form, the second screen is actually a case that attaches to the phone itself, so when you want to travel light, you can just pop the phone out of the case. 

When you have both screens going, the battery life does take a significant hit, dropping all the way to 4 hours and 56 minutes. It’s not going to be for everyone, and you should definitely consider long-term support to be questionable with LG exiting the phone business, this accepting that this is a solid smartphone and the most affordable foldable around. 

4. OnePlus 9

10 hours and 53 minutes

OnePlus 9 in Winter Mist in hand

(Image credit: OnePlus)

The OnePlus 9 comes in at $729, making it more of an upper-midrange phone than a flagship, but it comes quite close with its specs considering it features the same 4,500mAh battery and Snapdragon 888 processor as the $969 OnePlus 9 Pro. The OnePlus 9 actually lasted 31 minutes longer with its 120Hz mode enabled, a serious departure from the OnePlus 8T that took a significant hint with the faster refresh rate. Like the OnePlus 8T and OnePlus 9 Pro it offers 65W fast charging with the charger in the box and unlike the OnePlus 8T it also supports wireless charging.

It loses a few key features of the OnePlus 9 Pro such as the brand new Sony IMX789 sensor main wide-angle sensor, the 3.3x telephoto lens and the adaptive 120Hz display. However, it has the identical 50MP ultra-wide sensor along with the same new Hasselblad color science applied to its cameras that have impressed us so far. If photography and videography are less crucial to you the OnePlus 9 delivers an otherwise nearly identical experience to its pricier sibling.

OnePlus 8T with a pond in the background

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

5. OnePlus 8T

10 hours and 49 minutes

It comes in near the top of what we consider to be mid-range pricing at around $749, but the OnePlus 8T is an impressive all-around package that also delivers excellent battery life at just shy of 11 hours. Even with the 120Hz panel enabled, it manages 9 hours and 58 minutes, which is one of the better scores we’ve seen from a 120Hz phone. While its cameras still aren’t up to the standards of Google, Apple or Samsung, there have been a number of improvements via software updates since I originally reviewed the phone. At this point, I’d venture that most people will be satisfied with the photo and video results. One other notable advantage with the OnePlus 8T versus the other Android options on this list is the company’s stellar update track record; expect two years of major OS updates and you should be among the first to get them. 

LG Velvet

(Image credit: LG)

6. LG Velvet

10 hours and 29 minutes

LG’s Velvet is definitely one of the coolest looking phones with the best battery life, and it can even offer that same second-screen experience as the LG G8X ThinQ with the optional Dual Screen case. While it doesn’t come with a stylus, the phone does offer support for Active Electrostatic (AES) pens for those that want a Note-like experience without the Note pricing. Just again remember that long-term support is going to be non-existent as LG exits the smartphone business.

Budget phones with the best battery life 

Battery life (hours:minutes)
Moto G Power (2020) 16:10
Moto G Power (2021) 14:04
Moto G Stylus 12:13
OnePlus Nord N10 5G 11:48
TCL 10 5G UW 11:07

Moto G Power 2020 front and back

(Image credit: Motorola)

1. Moto G Power (2020)

16 hours and 10 minutes

Last year’s Moto G Power was an absolute battery beast with the best results we’ve seen on our battery test at over 16 hours. Oh, and it is available for less than $250. At that price point, you aren’t getting flagship-level specs, other than the 5,000 mAh battery, but the G Power offers solid performance and much better photos than most of its competitors in this price range. As long as your expectations are in the right place, there is no better budget option.

Moto G Power (2021) front and back

(Image credit: Motorola)

2. Moto G Power (2021)

14 hours and 4 minutes

The updated version of the Moto G Power actually takes a step back in a couple of regards from its predecessor with a weaker processor. And depending on the model, you get less RAM and storage. It still packs in a 5,000mAh battery, but oddly came up two hours shy of last year’s model in our tests. I’d tell most users to stick to the 2020 model, but one reason to consider the 2021 version is to slightly extend your somewhat limited software support of one major OS update and two years of security updates.

Moto G Stylus with stylus leaning up against it

(Image credit: Motorola)

3. Moto G Stylus

12 hours and 13 minutes

As previously mentioned, Motorola is the king of budget smartphone battery life and here’s yet another entry from the company. The Moto G Stylus definitely can’t hold a candle to the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra in most regards, but when it comes to battery life and pricing, it shines. For less than $300, you get a solid handset with a handy stylus.

OnePlus Nord N10 5G

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

4. OnePlus Nord N10 5G

11 hours and 48 minutes

One of the best budget phones on the market, the OnePlus Nord N10 5G also offers outstanding battery life at just shy of 12 hours. Getting a 5G phone for less than $300 is pretty astounding and the rest of the package is not bad at all considering the price. It features a large 6.5-inch, 90Hz display, a quad-camera array and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 processor. It may not have the best battery life, but in every other regard, the OnePlus Nord N10 5G will run circles around other budget battery life phones.

TCL 10 5G UW review photos

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

5. TCL 10 5G UW

11 hours and 7 minutes

Another of our best smartphones, the TCL 10 5G UW definitely punches above its weight for less than $400. It has a beautiful HDR 10+ certified display, full 5G support on Verizon, and solid performance with its Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor. Software support is my biggest concern with this one as TCL won’t commit to more than a single major OS update, but at this price, that might be a worthwhile trade-off.