Why do the best phones have the worst battery life?

Sahil Mohan Gupta
Sahil Mohan GuptaJun 01, 2016 | 08:16

Why do the best phones have the worst battery life?

Here's a crazy fact about smartphones. The best ones, the so-called flagship phones, often suffer from poor battery life. In other words, if you need a phone with an outstanding battery life, it is not prudent to buy iPhones, Samsung Galaxy S7s and the like.

The best of the top-of-the-line phones are tailored to deliver the very best performance - that almost always results in all kinds of battery drain. So let me explain this paradox in five simple, yet logical reasons.


 1. The best smartphones come with the fastest processors. While fast means the good performance and multi-tasking capability, it also means the device guzzles more battery.

This happens due to a number of reasons - it could be the number of cores, overheating issues or the general clock speed at which the processor runs.

Sometimes, even having more than adequate RAM is detrimental to the battery life of a phone.

 2. If the smartphone is a delight to use and you the power user, chances are you will use it more because of the sheer pleasure of the device and that will most certainly drain the battery faster.

Be it gaming, multi-tasking, watching movies or photography.

In a market like India, where connectivity is a big issue, this problem is amplified. Chances are your phone is always hunting for a good network as you want to consume or share content on the web. In the quest for sound connectivity, that is the strongest signal - the phone loses a fair share of battery life.

 3. The best phones come with the best cameras. If you look at shooting videos, some of the phones that cost in excess of Rs 25,000 now support 4K video.


Shooting 4K video guzzles battery like little else does. It also heats up the phone, which too isn't good for the battery life. Anyway, if the phone has a great camera, chances are you will use it more often, which will drain its battery faster.

 4. Ultra high-resolution displays are common with phones that cost in excess of Rs 30,000. The Galaxy S6, Galaxy S7, the LG G5 and the HTC 10 - all come with quadHD screens. The size of the screen is also bigger for premium smartphones.

The combination of both often means the battery life of the phone will see a reduction. Screen technologies like LCD and AMOLED also have a lasting effect on the way the phone's battery is used.

 5. Last but not the least is the limitation of design. Phones that are expensive are expected to be slim and sleek. They can't get away with being boring in any way.

The end result is that in order to have a sleek design, the smartphone manufacturer ends up compromising on the size of the battery that it puts inside the phone.


The Galaxy S7 and the iPhone 6S both have batteries of less than 3,200mAh.

On the other hand, a rather affordable phone like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 has a monstrous 4,000mAh battery as it doesn't need to be in the rat race for being the slimmest or the sleekest smartphone in the market.   At the end of the day, if you really care about the battery life of your phone, it is best to opt for one that isn't heavy on specifications or functionality.

Remember, that's why our older Nokia phones were masters of battery life.

Last updated: June 01, 2016 | 10:01
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