Best battery life phone 2022: iPhone and Android models



If you cast your mind back to a phone you owned years ago, perhaps you think: “It didn’t look as cool as the latest iPhone, but the battery went on forever.”

Then smartphones arrived with all their versatility, working as a camera, music jukebox and video player as well as a wallet, satnav and social media tool. But all these functions make demands and as a result, phones suddenly had only a day’s power before the battery was flat – sometimes even less.

Thankfully, the so-called feature phones that predated the smartphone are still with us and now have more functions, especially if they feature 4G connectivity. And some smartphones are built with battery life to the fore, lasting more than a day, even if it’s nowhere near as long as the weeks of standby offered by smaller, simpler devices.

Here you’ll find the best smartphones for battery life as well as the coolest feature phones, which last rather longer.

You’ll notice one brand dominates this round-up: Nokia straddles the worlds of smartphones and feature phones, with many of its models offering outstanding battery life.

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How we tested

We tested the phones here for ease of use, range of capabilities, camera quality and, above all, battery life. Companies have stated battery life, but we also tested to see how well they lived up to their claims by playing videos (if possible), making calls, checking social media and so on.

The best battery life phones for 2022 are:

  • best overall – Nokia G21: £149.99, Nokia.com
  • Best iPhone for battery life – Apple iPhone 13 pro max: From £1,049, Apple.com
  • Best for nostalgia – Nokia 6310: £59.99, Nokia.com
  • Best for video playback – Sony xperia 10 III: £399, Argos.co.uk
  • Best for design – Punk. MP02: £299, Punkt.ch
  • Best for photography – Huawei mate 40 pro: £1099.99, Huawei.com
  • Best value smartphone – OnePlus nord CE 2: £299, Oneplus.com
  • Best value feature phone – Nokia 3310: £59.99, Nokia.com
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Nokia G21

Best: Overall

Rating: 9/10

  • Smartphone or feature phone: Smartphone
  • Battery size: 5,050mAh
  • Display size: 6.5in
  • Cameras: 50MP wide, 2MP depth, 2MP macro

Nokia’s latest, the G21, boasts three days of battery life, which is almost unheard of for a smartphone. Mostly, that’s because to make a phone capable of playing video, running GPS, taking advanced photos and so on takes a significant toll on a battery. The more you use it, the faster it’ll empty. Though Android and Apple’s iOS both have efficient performance, it’s still not enough. The G21 includes a special super battery saver mode that lets you choose exactly which features to use and which to shut down to save battery when you’re using it. This is a highly affordable phone but still manages to include three cameras, including one 50MP snapper.

Apple iPhone 13 pro max: From £1,049

Best: iPhone for battery life

Rating: 9/10

  • Smartphone or feature phone: Smartphone
  • Batterysize: 4,352mAh
  • Screen size: 6.7in
  • Cameras: 12MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 12MP telephoto

Apple’s latest phones have great battery life, but none more so than the iPhone 13 pro max which, Apple says, has the longest of any iPhone ever. It really is epic, lasting a full day no matter what you do and edging into the next day easily. The large size means there’s room for a bigger battery, though this does mean it won’t suit smaller hands as comfortably. Apple regularly wins against competitors for the quality of cameras, speed of the processor, excellence of the display and more. There’s also 5G connectivity, a tougher front glass called ceramic display and Apple’s sublimely simple interface.

Nokia 6310

Best: for nostalgia

Rating: 7/10

  • Smartphone or feature phone: Feature phone
  • Battery size: 1,150mAh
  • Screen size: 2.8in
  • Cameras: 0.3MP

The original Nokia 6310 was one of the most successful phones of its time. This revival mimics the shape of the original while replacing the small monochrome screen with a larger color one. Because it’s a feature phone, it lasts a very long time on standby. Nokia claims 21.7 days and that seems about right. It’s a great fit in the hand and the big buttons are easy to use. Features include FM radio and a new version of the popular game Snake. It’s a 2G phone, so though you can look at web pages, it’s pretty slow.

sony xperia 10 III

Best: For video playback

Rating: 8/10

  • Smartphone or feature phone: Smartphone
  • Batterysize: 4,500mAh
  • Screen size: 6in
  • Cameras: 12MP wide, 8MP telephoto, 8MP ultrawide

Sony’s phone is impressive because it offers 5G connectivity as well as exceptionally long battery life – enough to last well over a day and a good part of the next. It means you can watch video on the 6in display (which looks good because of the 21:9 aspect ratio that’s properly widescreen) for ages and still have plenty of juice left. It also has decent cameras – though you can find better on other phones, it’ll usually come with shorter battery life.

Punkt. MP02

Best: For design

Rating: 8/10

  • Smartphone or feature phone: Feature phone
  • Batterysize: 1,280mAh
  • Screen size: 2in
  • Cameras: None

Punkt. (which spells its name with a full stop in it) is a brilliant design house from Switzerland. The MP02 is a stunning phone that feels great in the hand and has a pleasing nostalgic-meets-modern feel. It’s a phone that encourages you to stick to calls and texts, while the screen is color but shows up as monochrome in almost all situations. It has 4G connectivity, but doesn’t run social apps, instead suggesting that getting online should be done on a tablet or laptop, though you can share the phone’s 4G connection with your bigger device. Because of its small display, the battery life is excellent (the brand promises 180 hours on standby).

huawei mate 40 pro

Best: For photography

Rating: 8/10

  • Smartphone or feature phone: Smartphone
  • Batterysize: 4,400mAh
  • Screen size: 6.76in
  • Cameras: 50MP wide, 20MP ultrawide, 12MP telephoto

Huawei’s phones consistently boast strong cameras and battery life. This phone lasts well over a day, even if you use it heavily. It’s a 5G handset, too. But it really shines for the photographs and video you can shoot, delivering tremendous results even in low (or practically no) light. There’s something to note, though: the latest Huawei phones, including this one, don’t have full Google Mobile Services such as Gmail, Google Maps or the Google Play Store – Huawei uses a more basic version of Android and tops it up with its own apps such as the capable Petal Maps and App Gallery.

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OnePlus nord CE 2

Best: value-smartphone

Rating: 9/10

  • Smartphone or feature phone: Smartphone
  • Batterysize: 4,500mAh
  • Screen size: 6.43in
  • Cameras: 64MP wide, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro

OnePlus has had great success with its budget nord range and this newly announced update continues its tradition of strong battery life. You’ll get almost two days between charges and it has another specialty: fast charging. The supplied plug means it recharges from flat to almost full in just half an hour. The battery life and fast charge together mean this phone is rarely short of juice. It’s also a very slick handset with a gorgeous design and fingerprint sensor built into the display. This has an OLED screen, by the way, with a fast refresh rate, so it looks great. Add these features together, and the fact that it’s a 5G phone, and it performs like a much pricier smartphone.

Nokia 3310

Best: Value feature phone

Rating: 7/10

  • Smartphone or feature phone: Feature phone
  • Batterysize: 1,200mAh
  • Screen size: 2.4in
  • Cameras: 2MP

When HMD Global started licensing the Nokia brand, it re-issued some of the brand’s classics, like the 6310 above (£59.99, Nokia.com). But the first, and arguably the most striking, was the refresh of the 3310. It perfectly evokes the original while offering a fun, attractive new design. The camera is basic, the display is small and there are relatively few apps available. But the standby time is 31 days. Like the Nokia 6310 above, this is a 2G phone, something which contributes to the remarkable battery life.

The verdict: Long battery life phones

One day, every phone will have outstanding battery life, let’s hope. In the meantime, smartphones like the Nokia G21 and iPhone 13 pro max will more than do. And if you want a phone that goes on and on, and don’t mind missing out on advanced features, the Nokia 3310 is highly affordable and lasts so long that you’ll forget to charge it.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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