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How to Select a Smartphone with A Decently Long Battery Life (That is not an Apple or Samsung Flagship Phone).

I would like to get your thoughts on something.

I am sure most of you use some smartphone daily. And some of you use different phones not so dedicated to an Apple iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy.

Do you notice the pattern between the batteries that last versus those that don’t?

What Does Lasting Battery Mean to Me?

In short, after a couple of years of use, the battery on the phone or tablet is still respectable.

I don’t mean the phone battery last throughout a day or last two days.

I think that is a function of:

  1. How the operating system of the phone is packaged.
  2. The capacity of the battery.
  3. Your usage pattern.

What I mean is whether the battery degrade over time.

I have used a few Xiaomi Redmi phones. The Redmi are entry phones and so I am aware that there should be some downside to make up for the low cost.

What I am more interested is to figure out WHY some phone or tablet last a longer time while others will just start dying pretty fast.

I don’t think it is just about cost.

In November 2021 or 2 years 3 months ago, I bought this Lenovo Tab P11 for SG$257 bucks. This tablet still retails at SG$174 and sometimes, you can get it for SG$150. It is one of the little great discovery I found.

Tab P11 sports a battery that is 7700 mAh, much bigger than the smartphones.

But 2 years on, I would say the battery life is pretty respectable.

It is cheaper than most of my entry phones.

So what is happening here?

Is it Due to the Difference Between Lithium Polymer and Lithium Ion Battery?

My novice research seems to say that this is down to a difference in whether the phone manufacturer uses Li-Po or Li-on.

Li-on is heavier and more likely to become bloated. Li-ion also uses chemical electrolytes, while Li-Po batteries are not liquid.

But Li-ion has a higher power density, lack memory effect (when batteries become harder to charge over time) and the cost is lower.

New manufacturers like Li-po because it is lighter and smaller.

But is the battery life of phones with Li-ion batteries better than that of phones with LI-PO?

Why Do I Need to Get This Right

In two months time, my existing Redmi Note 10 Pro will be two years old and I will be shopping for a new phone.

This time, I would likely get a mid-range instead of an entry-level phone. I am not too fussy over many things but I am curious about the step up that I can get with the battery.

And for the folks who keep talking about Apple iPhones, no I don’t want to spend like $1,500 to $2,000 on a mobile phone.

Currently, I am leaning towards trying the Samsung A55 and A35 when they come out.

If you have used an entry or a mid-range phone with good battery life and decent performance in other areas, I am happy to hear your thoughts.

Thank you.

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Thursday 29th of February 2024

Forget to add: Samsung phones have the option to charge their phones to 85% level, helps to prevent to charge till full. Over time it reduces the battery "getting old" quickly. At times when I may not be able to reach a wall charger then I will charge it to 100% at the beginning of the day. I am not so sure whether fast or normal charging speeds can deteriorate the battery life or not. Hope my comments are able to guide your decision better.


Thursday 29th of February 2024

I used to only own Android flagship phones (Sony, Nokia, Samsung). Over the years the prices soar so much that I want to change my "lifestyle inflation".

Now I use mid-range Samsung phones. First one is Samsung A51 but it gets hot easily. Batt life is not as good. Hence I actually passed A51 to my wifw as her work whatsapp phone. (Gosh I never knew it is still working fine, reaching 3 year mark). I am using Samsung A52s for 2 years now. Good spec, meets my budget. Short story battery is doing fine. Hope to use this phone for another year or two. I don't carry a power bank since the batt life is relatively good. One good thing about Samsung phones are their regular software updates, this feature help me make a clearer decision on what phone to get next.


Friday 1st of March 2024

Hi YW thanks for the valuable feedback on the Samsung A series.


Wednesday 28th of February 2024

I am using a Redmi Note 11 Pro Plus.. While they can advertise how large the battery capacity is, how long it can last etc. etc. My life changing moment is knowing that my phone can be fully charged in 15-20 mins with the 120W fast charge.. All phone batteries degrade over time, just before leaving the office, or just before leaving home even if you forget to charge it.. You can do a quick charge and it can last you decently for 12-16 hours if you are not heavily using the phone.. Dont waste your money on flagship products, it will be a never ending rat race..


Friday 1st of March 2024

Hi Jacward. I am on Note 10 pro. That is an interesting perspective.


Wednesday 28th of February 2024


Dxomark on battery ranking may be a reference:

An idea is buying flagship phone released last year. The prices will be cheaper for older phone, the reviews are there and software update is less of issue now with Samsung giving 7 yrs of security update, Oneplus giving 5. Flagship phones tend to be of higher quality. I bought Oneplus 7 pro (released in 2019) in mid-2020 and I am still using it now with little issue (charging it once a day).


Friday 1st of March 2024

Hi Thinknotleft, thank you for the valuable review. Wow the honor rates so highly. That is a good tip of buying last year's phone this year.


Wednesday 28th of February 2024

I use iPhone XR that was released in Sept 2018, it's an entry level iphone. Apple firmware supposedly monitor the battery health and will indicates if your phone is still performing at its peak performance power. Mine, at 5.5 years old, is at 75%. This percentage is measured relative to when it was new. Apple recommended to maintain it at 80% otherwise your phone will performs below peak power. So for me, at 75%, on normal usage, I am actually rather happy with the phone. Certain thing is running slower, like when I am updating the firmware or installing new version of apps. To me it is ok, just set the phone aside and let it do its work.

Apple also stated how many charge-cycle their product will be able to support before the battery deteriorate; for mine, it is 500. I charge my phone every night, in fact, I don't really care how much battery I have left on the phone, I just plug it in and wake up with a fully charged phone. After 5.5 years, I am certain I have used up all of the 500 cycles.

So if you are buying a new phone, besides the capacity, perhaps check how many charge-cycle it will be able to support. In today's contact, it should be at least 1,000; from my simple minded point of view, that number suggests how long your phone will stay in its peak performance power relative to battery health.


Saturday 2nd of March 2024

@Kyith, if Apple stops providing firmware upgrade to my model I'd probably then get another entry level iPhone. Until then, the 5.5 years old XR works fine. The reason I am sticking to iPhone is that I have been using them since the very first model, it has always been very reliable. I know it's not cheap but if you average it out (for my case 5.5 years and counting) it's not too bad.


Friday 1st of March 2024

Hi Katie, thanks for the advise. It is a good thing there is a synchronized battery degration metric so that the user can figure out how things are.I suppose you are fine with the current phone and find no reason to change it.

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