Phones with the best battery life in 2021

It may not make for the flashiest marketing material, but phones with the best battery life will irrefutably help you get more done. And it will keep you from having to hunt down a charger in the middle of the day.

We put every phone through the same rigorous battery testing which involves surfing the web continuously over LTE or 5G at 150 nits of brightness until they power down. This allows us to give you a thorough breakdown of the phones with the best battery life based not only on battery capacity or company claims, both of which can let you down.

We understand that most people are not buying a phone based on battery life alone,  so we have 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 mid-range and budget options.

Regardless of how much you want to spend or what your biggest 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 Max11:54iPhone 1111:16iPhone 12 Pro Max10:53iPhone 11 Pro10:24iPhone SE (2020)9:18iPhone 12 Pro9:06 (5G), 11:24 (4G)iPhone 128:25 (5G), 10:23 (4G)iPhone 12 mini7:28

Today’s best iPhone 11 Pro Max deals

While they don’t feature the largest batteries, iPhones manage to offer some of the best battery life of any phones on the market. 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 some of 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.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)Samsung Galaxy phones with the best battery life

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

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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 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. 

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)What about other flagship phones? 

With Google exiting the flagship phone market, for this generation at least, and LG potentially exiting the phone business entirely, there are few true flagships to recommend beyond those from Samsung and Apple. The LG V60 ThinQ 5G is the one standout option in terms of battery life with 12 hours and 46 minutes in our testing, but the comparatively worse cameras, poor software support and uncertain future of the LG smartphone division make it impossible to recommend at its nearly $1,000 price.

Mid-range phones with the best battery life 

Battery life (hours:minutes)Asus ZenFone 615:01Motorola Edge12:12LG 8X ThinQ11:46OnePlus 8T10:49LG Velvet10:29

(Image credit: Asus)1. Asus ZenFone 6

Today’s best Asus Zenfone 6 deals

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.

(Image credit: Motorola)2. Motorola Edge

Today’s best Motorola Edge deals

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.

(Image credit: LG)3. LG G8X ThinQ

Today’s best LG G8X ThinQ deals

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, but for less than $600, this is a solid smartphone and the most affordable foldable around.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)4. OnePlus 8T

Today’s best OnePlus 8T deals

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. 

(Image credit: LG)5. LG Velvet

Today’s best LG Velvet deals

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.

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

(Image credit: Motorola)1. Moto G Power (2020)

Today’s best Moto G Power deals

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.

(Image credit: Motorola)2. Moto G Power (2021)

Today’s best Motorola Moto G Power (2021) deals

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.

(Image credit: Motorola)3. Moto G Stylus

Today’s best Motorola Moto G Stylus deals

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.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)4. OnePlus Nord N10 5G

Today’s best OnePlus Nord N10 5G deals

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.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)5. TCL 10 5G UW

Today’s best TCL 10 5G UW deals

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.


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