Mobility

Here's why new phone batteries die faster than old ones, and how to keep yours alive

After repeatedly performing battery tests of 13 top model phones, the majority performed worse than their predecessors.

This year's top smartphone models seem to have a shorter battery than their previous models, according to the Washington Post. When undergoing performance tests, the new iPhone XS died 21 minutes earlier than the regular iPhone X, and the Google Pixel 3 lasted an hour and a half less than the Pixel 2, the Post reported.

The batteries used in most smartphones are lithium-ion. These batteries have reached an "inflection point," said the Post, wherein they are simply unable to keep up with the high functionality of current smartphones.

SEE: Mobile device computing policy (Tech Pro Research)

"Batteries improve at a very slow pace, about 5 percent per year," Nadim Maluf, the CEO of Qnovo, told the Post. "But phone power consumption is growing up faster than 5 percent." However, larger phones tend to last longer because they have larger batteries, said the Post.

What drains the battery most are the screens, especially ones with high-resolution or OLED, because those require more power to produce light, said the Post. So users with high-resolution screens should keep their phone brightness down if they want their phones to last longer.

Additionally, cellular connection takes a large toll on the battery, said the Post. When phones use LTE, their batteries drain way faster than when using Wi-Fi. The Post recommended using Wi-Fi when possible, or turning the phone to Airplane Mode when you don't need to be reached.

Here are the five smartphones that lasted the longest, and how many hours their batteries lasted for, when tested:

  1. iPhone XR (12:25)
  2. Samsung Note9 (12:00)
  3. iPhone 8 Plus (10:10)
  4. Pixel 3 XL (10:07)
  5. iPhone XS Max (10:06)

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • The battery life of recent smartphones don't last as long as their previous editions, according to research from the Washington Post
  • The factors that drain smartphone batteries the most are cellular connection and high-resolution screens, according to the Washington Post.

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/oatawa

About Macy Bayern

Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.

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