Battery life can be a huge, sometimes even deciding, factor in buying a phone these days, with music- and video-streaming usage at an all-time high.
Unfortunately for us, neither the wizards at Cupertino or Mountain View, or Shenzhen, China, have stumbled upon a magical battery breakthrough to end our woes and turn the industry around. But we’re getting there, fast. For now, we have all sorts of phones with big batteries to bridge the gap between today and whenever the real innovation may come.
Here’s a list of the ones you may want to pay close attention to, in no particular order.
YAAO 6000 Plus (10,900mAh)
Oukitel K10000 may have taken the crown last year as the phone with the most capacious battery pack — and, quite possibly, the longest charging time ever for a mobile device — but 2016 belongs to the awkwardly named YAAO 6000 Plus and its “are you kidding me?” 10,900mAh cell. Which is the highest capacity battery we can think of crammed into a handset. As a bonus, it looks like a phone from the apocalypse, albeit one that doesn’t seem very resilient to weather extremes. Regardless, if for some reason, you’re after something rugged — and with enough juice to power a small planet, er, tablet, look no further. It goes for around $220 in its native China, though we wouldn’t hold our breath for a wider release in the near future.
Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro (5,000mAh)
Okay, okay — we get it: Dealing with a massive phone on a daily basis comes with its share of challenges. But Sammy’s Galaxy A9 Pro is one of the best out there, especially with the Galaxy Note 7 out of the picture. It ticks most of the same boxes and has a meaty, 6-inch AMOLED display that will entertain you till the second day. Think of it as the Note’s younger teen brother — only it has the energy of a six-year-old boy.
Cherry Mobile Flare S5 Power (6,050mAh)
When it comes to phones with oodles of staying power, this not-so-tiny number from the leading phone brand in the Philippines fits a 6,050mAh battery pack into a unibody enclosure that’s just about as heavy as it looks. It’s fortunate, then, that the Flare S5 Power has more to offer than just days of productivity, packing an octa-core processor with 3GB of RAM; a serviceable fingerprint sensor; and a generous, full-resolution display — all while keeping the price just a speck over $160.
ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra (4,600mAh)
At $660, the Ultra is the most expensive item on this list, but it has the unique advantage of being the biggest of the bunch. Don’t let the high price tag necessarily put you off it; it’s well-crafted, has a gargantuan, 6.8-inch screen pegged at 1080p, and offers fast performance and even longer battery life than most other phones in its class. It’s good stuff, if you can afford it, and are willing to deal with its size.
Xiaomi Mi Max (4,850mAh)
We’ve already put the Mi Max through some pretty rigorous testing, alongside the Galaxy A9 Pro and other big-screened Androids. And while it didn’t come out on top in most areas, we can’t gush enough about its epic battery life and very accommodating price point. $220 won’t get you a lot in an Apple store — it certainly won’t snag you a brand-new iPhone — but Xiaomi will happily take that cash and hand you a metal phone with power for days.
Gionee Marathon M6 Plus (6,020mAh)
A phablet-sized successor to Gionee’s M5 series phones, the M6 Plus packs a whole lotta good for under $500, including a 6,020mAh cell and a dedicated security chip with 10 layers of protection that you don’t know you need but probably do. It’s rare to see a security-focused smartphone that’s got a lot of junk in the trunk, and if this is what you’re looking for, the M6 Plus could be your best bet.
Lenovo P2 (5,100mAh)
There are a lot of phones with big batteries, more so now than ever. But there aren’t a lot that are as capable as they are affordable. Cue Lenovo’s P2. In addition to a 5.5-inch OLED panel and a 5,100mAh unit that supports fast charging, this road warrior from China comes with a speedy Snapdragon 625 system-on-a-chip and up to 4GB of RAM. The kicker, however, is its $260 street price that should make for a quick sale.
ZTE Nubia N1 (5,000mAh)
We can’t vouch for this particular ZTE model, but the Nubia N1 should offer extra-long usage times courtesy of its 5,000mAh unit and modest horsepower. It is already available on Amazon India for 11,999 rupees, or roughly $175.