While smartphones keep getting better, one aspect that can sometimes seem forgotten about is battery life, with many handsets prioritising slimmer builds over big batteries.
But there are some phones that have great battery life, and we’ve come up with a list of five of the very best ones that are widely available in the UK.
The good news is, you don’t even have to buy a flagship to get a long-lasting handset – some budget phones have some of the biggest batteries, so you’ll find handsets at a range of prices here, covering everything from the top-end iPhone 15 Pro Max to the more affordable Sony Xperia 10 V, among others.
Capacity: 4,323mAh | Official life: up to 29 hours of video playback | Charging power: 20W wired / 15W wireless
The iPhone 13 Pro Max was a surprising previous entry on this list, since prior to its launch, Apple’s phones didn’t tend to have great battery life. But the company finally broke that pattern with this phone, and has only improved since, with the iPhone 14 Pro Max lasting even longer.
Apple claims it can last for up to 29 hours of video playback, and while your own mileage may vary, we can confidently say that this is both one of the longest-lasting iPhones ever, and a very long-lasting phone in general.
Charging is slightly less impressive at 20W (or just 15W for wireless charging), but most other aspects of the iPhone 14 Pro Max impress, from its brilliant triple-lens camera to its great 120Hz screen and its enormously powerful A16 Bionic chipset.
Capacity: 5,000mAh | Official life: up to 26 hours of video playback | Charging power: 45W wired / 15W wireless
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is arguably the best Android phone available at the time of writing, and while it’s not quite the best for battery life, it comes close.
It has a 5,000mAh battery, and Samsung claims it offers the longest ever battery life on a Galaxy S smartphone. Specifically, it promises up to 26 hours of video playback, which is an impressive number.
Charging speeds are more middling at 45W, but that’s not bad, and just about everything else about the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, including its massive 6.8-inch screen, its quad-lens camera (with 10x optical zoom), and its extraordinarily powerful chipset, impresses.
Note that at the time of writing we’re expecting the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra to land soon, so that might beat this phone for battery, though leaks suggest it has the same battery capacity.
Capacity: 5,000mAh | Official life: not stated | Charging power: USB PD fast wired charging
The Sony Xperia 10 V has a mid-range price but a massive battery life from its 5,000mAh juice pack. While plenty of other phones sport batteries of that capacity, few keep them going as long as this.
It’s realistic to get a couple of days of life from this phone, which is double what some handsets offer, and at just 159g it’s surprisingly lightweight for having such a big battery.
Other highlights of the Sony Xperia 10 V include its capable triple-lens camera, its 21:9 display that’s ideal for watching movies on, and its high-quality audio.
Capacity: 4,441mAh | Official life: 29 hours of video playback | Charging power: 20W wired / 15W wireless
In the last few years, Apple’s phones have gone from being disappointing for battery life to in some cases being among the very best, and the iPhone 15 Pro Max is its best one yet.
This has a 4,441mAh battery, which despite being one of the smallest on this list, goes on and on, outlasting just about every other mainstream phone.
With middling use you’re likely to only have to charge this every couple of days, which is great news, especially as charging speeds aren't super high.
Beyond the battery, highlights of the iPhone 15 Pro Max include a handy new Action button, a new 5x telephoto camera, and more power than you’ll find in just about any other phone.
Capacity: 6,000mAh | Official life: not stated | Charging power: 65W wired
If you care about battery life above all else then the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate is the phone for you, as it packs a gigantic 6,000mAh battery. That’s enough to deliver days of life, and it’s backed up by fast 65W charging, which can get it from 0% to 100% in just 42 minutes.
This isn’t the best all-rounder though, because the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate is built with gaming in mind. That’s why it has such a big battery – for marathon gaming sessions.
As a result it also has things like a 165Hz screen, dedicated gaming triggers, and a clip-on cooling system. These features will be great for some buyers, but not for everyone. So for most people we’d recommend one of the phones above instead.
So there you have it, five of the longest lasting phones around. In fifth place we have the still-excellent iPhone 14 Pro Max, followed by the super-premium Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra in fourth.
The mid-range Sony Xperia 10 V and flagship iPhone 15 Pro Max take third and second place respectively, and then in first place it’s the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate, with its absolutely mammoth battery.
So there should be something for almost everyone here, but any of these phones will last you a long time between charges.