We all want a battery that lasts days between charges while we use the heck out of it, but common sense tells us that's just never going to happen. Battery tech is slowing getting better, while screens get bigger and brighter, and networks get faster and use more juice. Other internals like chipsets and processors help in the battery life department, but it's pretty much a given that if you use your Android hard, you'll need to charge it at least once a day. In a pinch, some phones may go two days, but for the most part this is true for all smartphones. B = SF2 (my new theory, where battery = screen size times fun factor squared. I call it Jerrytivity. Don't sue me Apple.)

A couple of famous Englishmen once said you can't always get what you want. But you do get what you need. Hopefully, that last part is true for you. It is most of the time for me, and I need about 12 hours out of my Android phone. If I can't get that, I just can't use that particular phone. Usually, it isn't a problem.

What about you guys and gals? How much life do you need from a phone for it to be usable? Vote in the poll, and let it fly in the comments!



Reader comments

Late-night poll: How long do you need your battery to last?


I chose 16, although 12 hours is enough for me.
I'm just using the phone heavily, and 16 hour battery will be dead in 10 :-)

I'm good with 12. If I'm in a pinch and need to stretch it for the sake of having a usable phone on me at the end off the night, I shut off data on my GSII. I wish it were longer so I didn't have to micromanage my juice, but what are ya gonna do?

I need at least 12, so I voted for 16. I can't do it if the phone consistently dies at 12 hours. I need a little wiggle room to keep me from having battery anxiety.

If it can last long enough to get on the charger at night I'm good. Don't see the need for these week long batteries people whine about not having.

Hopefully with my new 3500 mah battery I just won from you guys, my Incredible will last all day. Thanks again.

20hours of intense use, it is not possible yet but that would be the sweet spot. For now I surround myself with chargers in the car, at home, at work and I install ROMs that claim optimized battery performance etc. but I guess my phone is just doing too much all the time, I'm pining for fuel cells to save the day (or maybe Thorium lasers could be scaled down enough for phones or tablets... :) )

I *seriously* need battery to last with regular usage over one day, hopefully two. The point is I almost always can get to charging device (either computer or AC connector) within a day, but I do need some extra juice for phone to last a day if a sudden surge of phone calls or internet activity happens during the day.

Meaning phone which survives for 2 full days on my usual usage habits would be nice, to be sure it would last until evening during one day even in extraordinary circumstances (of course, keeping in mind that everything has its limits).

I use my phone heavily at work playing games and compensating for regular boredom so I need one that will last through my 12 hour shift. Unfortunately charging is the only way to make it through with my Evo 3D

Come on guys, doesn't everyone just need more than 16 hours? Are we really that ok with the manufacturers sucking at batteries!? (except for the droid razr maxx I guess)

For me it happens regularly on a friday or saturday that i unplug my phone at like 7 AM and decide to go out later on the day, which means i will probably not be able to give it a full charge till like 2 AM (19 hours later!) When this happens, I don't want to worry about draining my battery to quick throughout the day.

We should all just expect the battery to last a full day in a breeze, I think only than manufacturers will go do something about it....

So EVERYONE, only buy the droid razr maxx from now on!! Hahaha, no I know that phone has its flaws to. Though I'm seriously having a headache deciding wether to go for a razr maxx (released may here in europe) or the HTC one X with all it's beauty, but soso battery....

^this if I unplug my phone early in the AM, it definitely won't last until the end of the night, so I have to make sure to charge my phone during the day.. kind of sucks!

I need around 12 hours on my SGS2, I charge at work through the day, but also have a spare battery in my wallet at all times. Also, I can't praise juice defender plus enough, that really helps alot.

Hey, 16-20 hours without charging would be great but 12-14 hours of normal (not heavy) use is fine with me. If I need more than that (or real heavy use where I'm streaming Baseball over 3G in marginal coverage areas) I'll go ahead and stick it on the charger. I do wish they would add an extra millimeter (like the Razr Maxx) and put at least 2000-2200 in the newer phones (instead of 1650 in the One S and 1800 in the One X).

Maybe I'm unrealistic but I like a good 48 hours until its dead flat but if it lasts about 40 (2 days 1 night) I'm happy

10 hours but I voted for 8. I need for my battery to be slow to die while it's sitting on my desk at work and be ready for me when I clock out.

I need over 16 hours. I work 13 how night shifts. I'm awake from roughly 3pm till 9am and I use my phone a good bit and the 4.3"screen on the razr uses a lot of juice, even with the brightness at the minimum... I can usually get over a full day with moderate use. But with heavy use, like when I was at a Ravens , I had to plug in my portable power pack before the game was over.. Installed apps have a lot to do with battery life though

8 would be unacceptable for me. That would mean i would have to unplug it right before leaving for work, and it would be dead when i leave home again.

I NEED 12 but I usually dont get it. I usually fall short by a couple of hours with my EVO 3D. Kind of annoying, but not as bad as my EVO 4G, for which I had 3 EXTRA batteries ( for a total of 4 batteries ) and could EASILY burn through two in the course of an 8.5 hour work day. I could sometimes kill three batteries in 9 or 10 hours on that phone. a car charger was a necessity. Two of the extra batteries were mostly for days when I'd be away from home for extended periods of time. The EVO 4G was such a great handset package that I didn't mind it. My EVO 3D is an improved and refined android experience, but not as loveable SD the 4G, so I haven't bothered buying an extra battery for it. The 3D has always felt like a stepping stone or temporary stop on the way to something more interesting. Can't wait to see how frustrating the embeded battery in the EVO 4G LTE is gonna be. I'm lusting for the experience!

"As long as freaking possible" is my answer.

I have a routine through the week in which I can manage my usage + spare charging, but the weekends shoot that whole scenario right to hell because I'm running a small business on the side. Any small business owner can tell you there's no such thing as predictability.

You've lowered the bar considerably. 48 hours is a respectable goal; anything below is just not ambitious enough.

I'm not saying we'll get there in a year, but we should expect that to happen at least withing 3-5 years.

After all chips move to sub-28nm process, we'll have quad core phones with super-retina resolution and lightning internet speed; at that point no further progress will be needed in terms of raw power, and HW producers will be able to focus entirely on durability, lightness, design and battery stamina.

Definitely more than 16 hours. On regular days I can get by with 16 since I'm near a power source, but say I decide to head out on the weekend, I may be back home around 5AM or something. Or if I decide to crash at my mates, I could be back like late in the morning. So at least 24 hours with moderate usage should be an easy target they can achieve with current technology (eg: Razor MAXX). Manufacturers should stop this unhealthy obsession over size 0 phones. I for one wouldn't mind sacrificing 2mm if it means I can go for 24hrs with heavy usage.

BTW people, I realized why the late-night polls weren't working on my Android, in any browser - it's because is blocked in my hosts file! So if you were wondering why the poll won't load, well now you know. @jerry: Do you think you can move the polls to some other source? I think polldaddy is a dodgy site, if it's being blocked by all the hosts file providers out there. Besides, there are many users of adfree/adaway out there..

I'm not going to argue either way about using adblockers. I sure hate ads on sites. However, ads support the site and you're asking them to change the site to accommodate you blocking the ads.

Why do you blindly trust "hosts file providers"? I block offensive hosts manually and I see no problem with polldaddy -- YMMV.

Yes as long as possible. 16hrs is all well and good but this device is our point of contact and these days holds our important information and is a source of external information and reference that is now widely used by all.

Should we change our lives so we are within a charging point every 12-16hrs? No

Should we watch what we do as to conserve battery life? No

These Smartphones are sold to us under the premiss that we can rely on them to complete our media and information heavy life and therefore improve upon our lifestyle.

So that's what we should expect surely.

I agree with caveats. In short you should never have to worry about your phone's battery life. That said, it's really not a big deal to put your phone on a charger while you sleep so 16 hours is adequate. Realistically I'd like a charge to last through 1 day plus 1 work day in case I forget to put my phone on a charger assuming normal use).

16 hours of HEAVY use. Period. I work 12 hour shifts, with a lot of using my phone (graveyard shift is boring).

I voted for 16 hours but I can't even make 12 on my Rezound's extended battery. This Poll might as well be sponsored by Motorola and their RAZR MAXX.

When I carried a BlackBerry, it was used so much that it barely made it through an entire day on one charge. The redeeming factor was the charging points on the outside of the phone, and the desktop cradle I would set it in on my desk (and nightstand). Just by setting my phone in the cradle where I could see and have quick access to it,I could make it through an entire day.

My SGS probably gets more use than my Tour ever did, getting about eight hours from a charge. I'd love to get twice as much. If I could find a high end Android device with external charging contacts and a drop-in cradle, it could do away with needing to worry about battery life. For now, my SGS lives a tethered life with charging cables...

I said 12 hours , but I actually get around 36 Hours in my Atrix & it stock battery (Sometimes 40 Hours)

The only reason I said 12 Hours , because my other phone (Nokia E75) barley reaches 8 hours :(

Big screens, screaming processors or whatever. The phone mfg's should put a battery in that last's 16 hours with heavy use. The One X could have been 2 mm thicker and a little heavier and been able to hold a 2250mah battery. I hope more follow Moto's lead with the Max. We really dont need to make a choice, we just need the OEM's to produce what we want.

Every night, I check my battery usage stats just for the sake of knowing, and most days I need to go about 12-14 hours with between 1-1.5 hours of "screen on" time. In order to get this on my Droid X, I had to buy an extended battery

I'm not asking for a device that will last a fortnight, I just wish I could have one that I honestly could forget about the battery life, even if that means charging it every night before I go to bed. I don't like thumbing around the internet in the middle of the day while thinking in the back of my head, "you shouldn't be using your phone right now, you might need it later tonight."

This is precisely why I opted for the RAZR MAXX instead of waiting for something better. I dumped my Droid X when I grew tired of having to manage battery instead of just use the damned thing the way I wanted. With the MAXX, I leave autosync and LTE on all day, screen brightness at auto, and use it whenever I want and never have to worry about missing calls while shepherding my kids to their various evening activities. And I typically have 75-80% charge remaining when I plug it in at night, after a minimum of 14 hours unplugged. It's the first Android-powered handset I've used that's been able to keep up with my lifestyle, and perhaps the first smartphone I'll keep for a full two-year upgrade cycle.

Comfort zone: At least 24 hours on medium usage, more than 48 hours on light usage...
Don't want to worry that my battery is empty during the day when I leave home in the morning and come back home late at night...

You can thank Jobs and company for putting "magically thin" into everyone's minds so that other phone maker's focus on this versus real usability. It's the same old battle of form winning over function. Motorola was the only one to realize their mistake and fix it. I think 7.1mm is the low bar to beat and that means 1650mah batteries will be too big to fit equalling even smaller batteries and less life.

/smh @ form over function

I need at least 12 hrs.i have a droid bioinic with the extended bsttery and wirh the data saver turned on and moderate use i last 7 hrs then plug in. But i would love a bigger battery and give up a thinness on the phone.

Mon - Fri I work at a job that doesnt let us take phones in the office. So most of the day its on Airplane mode in a lil locker.

12 hours is enough, the minimum I will accept.

Even when I had a job that I could take it in the took up most of my time.

The weekends in the streets...12 might be on the low side. So for me it depends on the situation. At home...I have too many other things to occupy my time with, and I have chargers.

Including my commute, I'm out of the house 12 per working day. I do have a LOT that happens in the background (and I'm not in an LTE market) so 12 hours would be great. I do keep a charger at work, though, and a charger in my car, just in case. Lately, with AOKP build 31 and a stock batter in my GNex, I'm usually able to hit that point with 2-2.5 hours of screen-on time. I came from a Thunderbolt, so I have absolutely no complaints whatsoever on that front.

My average daily usage pattern: 2 hours of phone calls, data syncing apps running all day (Twitter, Facebook, BeWeather, Whatsapp), moderate messaging, light browsing and 4 hours of music playback through Bluetooth headphones.

I'm getting sick of Android phones not being able to keep up with that kind of usage without requiring two charges per day. When I had a BlackBerry, I was able to do all that (and with WiFi on all the time) and still have time to spare at the end of the day! I only had to charge my phone while I was sleeping and that was enough to get me through the whole day. The stupid Samsung Captivate Glide won't even last seven hours away from a charger (with WiFi off) under the same usage pattern! Seriously, if RIM decides to cut the BIS middle man, or at least offer regular data as a backup for when BIS goes out, I'm so going back.

CDMA phones suck the life out of batteries. Add a 4G LTE network into the mix and you'll be recharging after half a day's use.

I expect at least 12 hours of light use (i.e. a few calls, apps syncing in the background, light texting and email), but usually I'm a pretty heavy user (i.e. streaming music and video while working at my desk, heavy surfing and gaming during breaks, GPS nav while in the car) and sometimes I burn through my battery in less than 4 hours. Because of that I keep chargers at home, at my cubicle, and in the car. I usually plug in 3 or 4 times during the day whether my battery is low or not. I know everyone can't do that but it works for me. (Evo 3D)

I work a 12 hour shift in an area with only one cell tower to cover a 20 mile area. Its about 20 miles from town. So reception is not very good and the phone is working hard to keep a signal lock. I would just like my phone to make it through my day.

I put 12, though 16 I guess would be nice.

If I'm at a place I will be using my phone a ton, I'll have a place to charge it, easily.

If I'm in a place where I won't have access to a charger for a loonnnng period of time, I'll be doing PLENTY of other things where I don't even need to use or should not be using my phone.

For everything else, a 1A (not 500ma USB) car charger does wonders on the way to/from anywhere. 20 minutes in the car, 15-20% bump in battery charge. All's good.

16 hours of heavy use for me would be fantastic, would make me hold on to a phone a lot longer then just because of it's features.

I'm not even a heavy user and can't get more than 6 or 7 hours out of my Photon. Not happy about the battery life at all! I don't tweet during the day, don't spend but half an hour at most on the phone itself. Not on the internet, I can't. I'm at work. My biggest problem is, I can't use wifi at work, but the little I'm on the phone for me makes me wonder what else is going on. I have almost everything turned off and I still can't get much longer than 6 hours.

I could buy a Seidio, but I don't want a clunky phone. So...I'm like the thousands of others who wait and hope for a battery in a phone, on our carrier, that will last.

Am I the only person on here that has a micro USB cord at home, work, car & a spare in my bag? You can probably find an OEM cord from your phone's manufacturer for about $1 + s/h.

If I put my phone (unrooted Evo 3D) on power saver mode, I can get 12-16 hours on the stock battery with light to moderate usage between charges.

I have them, and when I need to I use them, but I find it a hassle to be constantly checking my phone battery and charging over the course of my average day, my phone is a tool that I want to just be their when I need it, not something to take care of, note I used to always plug my phone in when driving and that wasn't a hassle, but stopped because for some reason I get feedback or noise when charging and streaming music to my radio's aux port at the same time.

I think one day's usage is fair to expect from your smart phone.

I choose 16 hours, basically as long as I can get from the time I take it off the charger at about 8am to the time i put it on the charger about midnight, I am fine, I've never seen a need for a phone to last longer than a day. 16 hours is what I want as an average , the vast majority of the time I don't have to plug my htc thunderbolt in during the day and it makes it to the charger at night, if I have a day where I use it very heavily and have to charge it after work that's fine, but I don't want to worry about the battery on an average day.

Note, yes I have tweaked my thunderbolt to get 16+ hours out of it :)
Rezound battery
Desensed Rom
GPS,Bluetooth,Wifi off
Enable always-on mobile data off

I find 4G LTE with always-on mobile data off much more battery efficient than wifi, the only real trade off is that it only checks my mail every 15 minutes or so, which is close enough to real time for me.
I get about 4 - 5 hours of active usage with these settings, a mix of lte audio streaming,calls and interactive screen use.

A lot of the problems with Android phones is the manufacturer bloated skins and how they are setup and configured as well as how every app sets itself to update constantly, when constant updates are rarely required for most services.
If i can tweak possibly the worst phone battery life wise to 16+ hours of usage just by installing a custom rom and working with my system and app settings the default setup is obviously horribly inefficient.

I've found that battery life is a non-issue 90% of the time. My normal daily patterns keep me close to charging opportunities throughout the day.

But when I need the battery to last, I *really* need it to last. If I'm spending all day at a theme park with my family, or on vacation in an unfamiliar city, I'm likely to use the phone a good bit but won't be able to charge for many hours.

While I'd love longer battery life, the reality is that I can do without it most of the time. And when I do need it, I can carry a spare battery. (So I'd actually say that a removable battery is much more important to me than long battery life.)

Anything less than a day will never be acceptable I understand phones now do a whole lot more than a dumb phone buf if those can last a week i think one day is reasonable

16 sounds great, the One X gets about that much according to you guys :) thats enough to go out and come back home etc.

I am awake about 18 hours a day and prefer not to charge in the middle. Fortunately, with the 45 minutes of use I normall put in per day, even my Galaxy Nexus with stock battery can do that.

Been getting up to 48 on the Note, but a reasonable amount for normal life I believe is between 14-16. Ultra heavy use on the Note can bring it down to 18.

I work 12 hour shifts and use my phone a lot while at work...battery life was crucial when I was phone hunting.

I voted 16 hours a day and I can achieve that with plenty to spare with heavy usage (on 3G, no 4G here) on my Razr Maxx. Now if I run Wi-Fi Hotspot, that runs it down faster and I'd be in the 8-10 hour range. Still acceptable in my book.

For most people: 1hr commute on transit + 8 hrs work + 1 hr commute home. That would suggest a basic requirement of at least 10 hours. Though with many people having longer commutes and the odd diversion required, I would think 12 hours is probably the base requirement.

I voted for 16. 16 hours ensures that you have battery life pretty much whenever you are not sleeping.

I want my battery to last longer than 8 hours. 12 would be great. So instead of wishing, praying, hoping for it... I purchased a back up battery charger that's portable and I make sure I have at least 2 USB connections and cords too in everything - car, work truck, lappy, etc.

What kinda worries me is this new NON removable battery option that's in phones now, particularly the HTC One X which I THINK I want. I'm not sure which one bothers me more - the battery issue or no SD card support. Something tells me it's the latter though.