Ask most smartphone users to name one feature they’d like to see improved on their phone and you’ll likely hear a common reply: better battery life. Indeed, as much as battery capacities and charging technology have improved over the decade, we’re always looking for more.
Today we routinely see devices announced with 2500mAh or more, with most flagships topping 3000mAh of power. Further, Android has vastly improved and become a much more streamlined and mobile processors have gotten exponentially better.
If battery life is your chief concern, you are in luck. At last check there were nearly one dozen models with batteries hitting 4000mAh or higher available from the major US wireless carriers.
What we’ve collected here are the best phones you can buy today — with the biggest batteries. What follows are devices that pair both massive power sources with modern versions of Android.
Motorola Moto E5 Plus
You’re simply not going to get more battery in a phone from a reputable brand. Forget about external power supplies and portable chargers — you’ve got two days of juice, plus some.
One of the best all-around mid-range experiences you’ll get out of a handset, the Moto E5 Plus is built for those of us who can’t get our face out of our phone. It runs a very current version of Android at 8.0 Oreo and there’s no bloatware or extra junk wasting space. Moreover, it will likely pick up a software update as quickly as others.
The hardware is no slouch with the octa-core processor, 3GB RAM, and 32GB of storage space. Need more for your photos, games, and music? Throw in a microSD card up to 128GB and you’re good to go.
You know what else is cool about this phone? It’s got a 3.5mm headphone jack and water repellent coating, two features we’re only too happy to find in a device.
- Motorola E5 Plus at Sprint – $280
- Motorola E5 Plus at T-Mobile – $225
- Motorola E5 Plus at Boost Mobile – $150
- Motorola E5 Plus at Metro – $210
- Motorola E5 Supra at Cricket – $180
Motorola E4 Plus
If you are a Boost Mobile subscriber, you can save yourself a few bucks and pick up last year’s model at $80. With an equally impressive 5,000mAh power source, the specs are still good enough for first-time users or those who don’t need much from their phone.
LG X Charge
With a generous 4,500mAh battery under the hood, the LG X Charge provides a 5.5-inch display and a solid mid-range experience.
It runs an older version of Android at 7.0 Nougat, but it’s still current enough to merit placement on this list. There’s 2GB memory to go with the octa-core processor and 16GB worth of space. That’s not enough storage for most folks, but the microSD expansion card slot offers up to 2TB of potential.
There’s nothing overly fancy about this phone, but we appreciate that it’s priced accordingly. Available at Sprint for about $270 as of today, it’s much cheaper if you go the prepaid route. Both Boost and Cricket carry it for $80 and $100, respectively.
LG X Venture
A similar approach the aforementioned X Power, this one’s available through AT&T and US Cellular. The 4100mAh battery is more than good enough for casual users to get through two days of usage.
The 5.2-inch display borders on the smaller side of what today’s phones offer so, if you don’t need a big screen to go with the battery, you’re in luck. The octa-core processor, 2GB RAM, and 32GB of storage round out the mid-ranger.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
The Note 9 is that big-screen, stylus-packing experience that we’ve long appreciated. With a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display, Snapdragon 845 processor, and 6GB or 8GB of memory, you can purchase it with a whopping 128GB or 512GB of internal storage. Moreover, it offers up the same dual-camera setup introduced in the Galaxy S9 Plus.
Samsung has ratcheted up the battery from 3,300mAh in the Note 8 to 4,000mAh for 2018. What’s more, the S Pen now supports Bluetooth, meaning you can control your camera and music with the stylus’s button.
Although the dual-camera setup is essentially the same as the S9 Plus, it can now recognize what’s in a photo, automatically adjusting settings for you on the fly.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9 at Verizon – $1,000
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9 at AT&T – $1,000
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9 at T-Mobile – $1,000
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9 at Sprint – $1,000
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9 at US Cellular – $1,000
Motorola Moto G6 Play
A fraction of the cost of what other phone makers command for a 2018 mid-range phone, the Moto G6 Play is one of our favorites — for a number of reasons.
Let’s start with the recent version of Android in the 8.0 Oreo release. Not only is that among the most current you can buy on the market, it’s pretty much unaltered. You get what Google envisions for the platform, plus a few opt-in goodies.
The 5.7-inch display is easy on the eyes, and the internals are enough to satisfy the needs of many. We also appreciate that there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack and a protective water-repellent coating.
You want a battery that lasts all day, right? Why not get a phone that goes everywhere you do, too. There’s no use in a massive power source if you’re leaving the handset behind while you head off on a hike or trip to the beach.
The Sonim XP8 not only houses a gigantic 4900mAh battery, but its protected by a rugged, rough and tumble exterior. Indeed, it’s military grade stuff that’s tested against water, drops, shock, dust, and anything else you’ll get into.
We might prefer a newer version of Android, but the 7.0 Nougat is still suitable and up to the challenge. In terms of hardware, however, we’re big fans of the octa-core processor and the 4GB RAM.
Samsung S8 Active
A variation on the 2017 flagship smartphone, the S8 Active is designed to handle all elements. We’ve long adored the Active line and are glad to see it expanding to other service providers.
You’ll still pay a pretty penny for this one but you’re getting some of the best hardware around — even one year later (Read our Galaxy S8 Active review). The octa-core processor, 4GB RAM, and 64GB storage capacity run with the best of 2018.
Until Samsung releases a ruggedized version of its Galaxy S9 we are happy to keep this one in the corner of our mind. And, should the phone maker decide to release something new in this line, we see the price dropping and making the S8 Active even more of a bargain.