Which Smartphone has the best battery life?
The smartphone with the longest battery life used to be the Doogee BL12000, which featured the Guinness World Record breaking 12000mAh battery.
Fast forward to 2019 and the Energizer Power Max P18K blows it out of the water with a ridiculous 18000mAh battery. All-while featuring flagship credentials such as a popup selfie camera and tiny bezels.
Phone with the best battery life = Energizer Power Max P18K
What is ‘Fast Charge’, ‘Fast Charging’ & ‘Quick Charge’ on Smartphones?
One of the biggest problems with smartphones has been their slow charging times. Some clever folks, in their dark underground labs, came up with the idea of pumping more energy into smartphones batteries to make them charge faster.
There’s a fundamental problem with this though. Charging a battery also causes waste energy in the form of heat, so the faster you try to charge a battery the hotter it gets.
So the clever boffins needed to think of a way to charge smartphones faster but without them overheating.
To do this, they needed to come up with a set of new charging standards and then apply these to the voltage regulators inside the smartphones. I’ll talk about the different standards below.
Sorry folks, if your phone wasn’t labelled fast charge when you bought it, plugging it into a fast charger won’t make any difference.
What are the different types of mobile phone Fast Charge & Quick Charge?
The leading fast charge standard is made by Qualcomm and the latest version is called Quick Charge 4+ (QC4+). Quick Charge works by being more power efficient with the current from the plug socket, this allows it to push more amps into the phone while generating the same amount of heat.
4 efficient Amps = 3 regular Amps.
And Quick Charge ready devices have special power regulators built in that allow them to receive the higher Amps without overheating.
We also see ‘Dash Charging’ from the team at OnePlus and a few other standards from other device manufacturers as well.
Another method of fast charging is to alternate between low and high amps. This method is slower than Quick Charge but helps to lower the heat produced whilst still speeding up charging times overall.
What does my smartphone battery life get worse over time?
There used to be a time when all smartphone batteries were removable. The shops were stacked with replacement batteries and it wasn’t uncommon to carry a spare, swapping out the dead battery when needed.
If you understand how batteries work, then you’ll know that they come with a limited lifetime, also called cycle count, before they start deteriorating. After around 100-200 cycles you’ll be losing anywhere between 10 & 25% of your battery life depending on the quality of the battery.
The reason for this battery life decline is down to chemistry. Lithium-ion batteries use a cathode and anode to move the charged ions. Eventually, charging begins to wear out the cathode which gives you less overall charge capacity.
Now that a lot of batteries are sealed inside phones, you’ll want to do everything you can prolong the life of your battery. There’s actually an easy way to do this on any phone using an app called AccuBattery.
The most damaging part of any charge cycle is when the battery drops below 20% and above 80%. These two extremes are where most of the battery-life wear is caused.
This app helps by automatically setting up alerts to remind you to unplug your phone when it hits 80% and not letting the charge drop below 20%. By doing this you can effectively double the usable lifespan of your device.