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How Long Do Phone Batteries Last? Phone Charging Tips

a hand holding a cell phone with a battery charged

Many aspects of our phones have seen significant upgrades over the past decade. Our displays have improved in quality, processing power has increased exponentially, and our cameras can take 4K video. 

However, one aspect of mobile products that has yet to see those innovations is battery life. As our phones get more advanced, they also demand more of their power source, but modern smartphones can only last a fraction of as long as old-school flip phones. 

You may wonder how to stop battery drain and prolong your battery health and lifespan. Should you use a special charger or adapter for the best battery performance? Do particular battery charge cycles impact your cell phone battery capacity? How often should you do a full charge for new phones with new batteries to maximize your battery power and life expectancy?

Luckily, these are questions with answers. There are many things you can do to get the most out of your smartphone battery. 

How Do Phone Batteries Work?

Understanding phone batteries is key to maximizing their lifespan. Essentially, batteries store and transfer chemical energy through a circuit from the negative anode to the positive cathode. Smartphones typically use lithium-ion batteries, favored for their efficiency in size and energy. 

The core principle is simple: A battery’s power capacity depends largely on its size and the energy demands of the phone. The older-style mobile phones (think flip phones) could last days on smaller batteries. 

Today’s smartphones, however, are more like compact computers. Because of this, they’re loaded with advanced features and applications that significantly increase power consumption. Consequently, even with larger batteries, modern smartphones often struggle to last more than a day without a recharge.

How Does the Battery Life for Different Phone Batteries Compare?

First, let’s look at how long your phone battery lasts depending on the model. Most smartphones nowadays land in the vicinity of around a day of charge, so expect to charge up every night. That being said, manufacturers focus on enhancing battery performance in the competitive smartphone market to attract consumers. While some boast rapid charging capabilities, others emphasize extended hours for activities like video streaming.

Modern smartphones generally feature batteries around 5,000mAh, marking the upper limit for high-end models, with more affordable options offering less capacity.

Apple iPhone Battery Life

Apple’s iPhone 15 series showcases modest improvements in the phone’s battery life. The standard iPhone 14 offers about 20 hours of video playback on a 3,279mAh battery, aligning with industry norms.

With the 15 series of iPhones, Apple continues its trend of gradually improving battery capacity. While the performance of these batteries shows no noticeable improvement compared to the 14 series, users can look forward to longer-lasting life and charging benefits.

However, the iPhone 15 Pro Max stands out with up to 29 hours of playback on a 4,422mAh battery, marking a notable 30 percent efficiency boost in battery management. The budget-friendly iPhone SE, with just over 2,000mAh, has a shorter battery life due to its smaller capacity.

Samsung Galaxy Battery Life

Samsung presents a diverse range of Android phones. The premium Galaxy S24 Ultra features a robust 5,000mAh battery, a benchmark in the industry. In contrast, despite its larger size, the pricier Galaxy Z Fold5 offers a 4,400mAh battery.

For budget-conscious consumers, the Galaxy A12 still holds up. Even though it’s more than a year old, it impresses with a 5,000mAh battery. This Android device excels in longevity, often lasting more than a day between charges.

Google Pixel Battery Life

Google’s lineup, including the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, competes well in the battery arena. The Pixel 8 has a 4,575mAh battery, while the Pro version boasts 5,050mAh. While these aren’t astronomical jumps from their Pixel 7 counterparts, it is a notable improvement. 

Both models ensure an above-average battery experience, between 24 and 72 hours of performance, with the Pro variant slightly edging out its counterpart in terms of longevity. The Pixel 8 series phones also feature a Battery Saver Mode that disables certain features, including 5G connectivity to conserve battery life. 

Pixels remain excellent additions to the mobile phone industry, with battery life that is sure to appeal to consumers. If you’re interested in a Pixel 8, let our Phone Deal Finder help you find the right model for your needs.

Other Companies

Various manufacturers like Motorola and OnePlus are also noteworthy for their battery performance. For instance, Motorola’s Moto G Stylus packs a 5,000mAh battery, often lasting up to two days, a testament to its efficiency.

Similarly, OnePlus phones are known for their fast-charging technology and solid battery life, with models like the OnePlus 10 Pro featuring a 5,000mAh battery.

These brands demonstrate that balancing cost with efficient battery performance is a key strategy in the competitive smartphone market.

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How Can I Make My Phone Battery Last Longer?

There are a variety of ways that you can improve your phone battery regardless of which phone you have.

Screen Brightness

For starters, the display is a significant energy sink on many phones. Utilizing the option to turn down the screen brightness and entirely shut down the display when the phone is not in use is one way to avoid losing battery when you aren’t using the phone.

Airplane Mode

You can also put the phone in airplane mode when you are not using any network features. Your phone is constantly connecting to different cellular and WiFi networks, so shutting that down means it is doing significantly less work while in your pocket. This will mean you no longer get updates or notifications on internet-enabled apps, however. 

Energy Saver Mode

Most phones also have an energy saver mode. These are usually meant to keep your battery going longer when running low, but nothing stops you from using it when you have plenty of charge. 

Battery Strains

The biggest thing you can do is avoid overly intensive processes. If you watch videos all day, you will need to charge often. 

If you only need to check your emails and scroll through photos, you are going to get more time between charges. When deciding on a phone for yourself, understanding what kind of strain you intend to put on your battery will be integral to making a final decision. 

How Often Should I Charge My Phone?

Understanding phone battery management often leads to one question: How often should I charge my phone? Charging your smartphone too often can affect the health and lifespan of its battery.

It’s important to find a sweet spot. You want to ensure your phone has enough power for daily activities while also taking care not to harm the battery’s overall capacity in the long run.

How Can You Charge Your Phone Too Much?

The short answer is that overcharging can harm your phone’s battery. Modern smartphones are equipped with lithium-ion batteries. These batteries have a finite number of charge cycles, which refers to the process of charging a battery from 0 percent to 100 percent.

Continuously keeping your phone plugged in even after it reaches 100 percent can contribute to a phenomenon known as “voltage stress,” which can diminish the battery’s overall lifespan.

However, the good news is that most contemporary phones have built-in mechanisms to mitigate the risks of overcharging. They are designed to stop charging once the battery reaches full capacity.

This means the harm caused by leaving your phone plugged in overnight, for instance, is much less severe than it would have been with older battery technologies. That said, your battery needs proper care, just like the rest of your phone. Let’s take a moment to talk about the best ways to charge it.

What Are Some Phone Charging Tips?

Understanding how to charge your phone properly is just as important as any other aspect of smartphone maintenance. Here are a few key tips to keep in mind to help prolong your battery’s health and lifespan:

Don’t Leave Your Phone Charging Overnight

It’s common to plug in your phone before bed and leave it charging overnight. However, this can be detrimental to the battery’s longevity. Modern smartphones are smart enough to stop charging when they reach 100 percent, but repeatedly charging to full capacity can strain the battery over time.

One strategy to prolong battery lifespan is to charge your phone periodically throughout the day, aiming to maintain a battery level between 20% and 80%.

Don’t Let Your Phone’s Battery Die Repeatedly

Allowing your phone’s battery to drain completely before recharging can wear it out faster. Lithium-ion batteries, found in most smartphones, have limited charge cycles. Draining the battery completely and then charging it to 100 percent uses up these cycles more quickly. To preserve the battery’s lifespan, try to recharge it before it falls below 20 percent.

Be Mindful of Your Phone Temperature

If you notice your phone getting hot while charging, it’s wise to unplug it. This could be a sign of overcharging or a faulty charger, both of which are harmful to the battery. Avoid leaving your phone in direct sunlight or a hot car, and consider removing the phone’s case while charging to help dissipate heat more effectively.

Sparingly Use Fast and Wireless Charging

Fast charging and wireless charging are modern conveniences, but it’s wise to use them in moderation. These methods can generate heat, which, as we mentioned above, may impact the battery’s health over time. Only use these technologies when your device isn’t exposed to additional heat sources so you can ensure a cooler and safer charging process.

Avoid Intensive Use During Charging

Using your phone for high-demand activities like gaming or streaming videos is tempting while it charges. However, these activities can lead to overheating and put extra stress on the battery. For a healthier battery, try to let your phone charge uninterrupted by these power-intensive tasks.

Taking care of your phone’s battery requires a bit of attention and adjustment of habits. But you also don’t want to have to buy a phone battery replacement if you can avoid it. By tweaking how you charge your device, you can significantly extend the life and efficacy of your phone’s battery.

The Bottom Line

Battery life evolves more slowly than other modern smartphones, but some devices still stand above others. Apple and Google have some impressive phones regarding battery life, while Samsung has the most comprehensive array of options. 

Batteries are limited in terms of how much they can improve with existing technology, but there are multiple ways to keep them lasting longer. You can use less intensive apps, keep it in airplane mode or power-saving mode, and keep the brightness as low as possible.

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