Best of Android 2015: Battery

by: Team AADecember 11, 2015
783

What is Best of Android?                

In Best of Android, we take the hottest devices of the moment and compare them in-depth. For this first edition, we picked up the following Android flagships:

  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
  • Nexus 6P
  • Motorola Moto X Force
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 5
  • LG V10
  • BlackBerry Priv

What about the Galaxy S6 or the HTC One M9 or the OnePlus 2, you ask. Those are all great phones. But, to keep this comparison manageable, we selected only the phones we feel are the most representative for the ecosystem right now.

Read more about Best of Android. Thanks for being a part of Android Authority!

Everyone always asks what’s the best phone to buy and we’re taking the guesswork out of that question. For this installment in Best of Android 2015, we’re taking a look at battery: which phone will power you the longest through your daily tasks? Let’s take a look.

As a reminder, the devices we are testing (in no particular order) are the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium, the LG V10, the Nexus 6P, the Moto X Force, the BlackBerry Priv, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 5.

We performed two groups of battery tests on each device. First we tested the battery using battery testing apps, specifically AnTuTu Battery Tester and GeekBench 3 Battery. Then we performed a series of manual tests on each device to see how the battery performs for tasks like video playback or web browsing.

Charging Time

The charge time is the total time needed to charge the handset from less than 5 percent to full. Looking at the numbers you will be able to see which handsets actually charge the fastest and if the advertised quick charging actually makes any difference. All tests were conducted using the charger in the box or an equivalent voltage charger.

Best of Android Battery 1

As you can see the quickest phone to charge is the Moto X Force with a blazing 69 minutes. What makes this even more interesting is that the Moto X Force has the biggest battery in our lineup at 3760 mAh. Next is the LG V10 with its 3000 mAh battery, which took 82 minutes to charge. This is followed closely by the Note 5 which took 89 minutes to charge its 3000 mAh battery. The worst phone in the line up was the BlackBerry Priv which took 159 minutes (2 hours and 39 minutes) to charge up its 3450 mAh unit.

Benchmark Scores

So what do the battery testing apps think of these phones?
Best of Android Battery 2
AnTuTu gives the highest marks to the Moto X Force and the Nexus 6P, while GeekBench favors the Note 5 and the Nexus 6P. The biggest battery hog according to AnTuTu is the LG V10, while GeekBench reckons it is the Moto X Force. So, in a nutshell AnTuTu says the Moto X Force has the best battery but GeekBench says it has the worst! I think it is time for some real world tests!

Standby Time

To test the potential standby time of these devices, each handset was reset to factory settings and the following was added to each one:

  • Gmail accounts: 1 very active (300 emails/day) and 1 less active (50 emails/day).
  • Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, Snapchat & FB Messenger.
  • Other apps: BBC News (with notifications).

Each handset was charged to full and then left to discharge for 24 hours with Wi-Fi on but no SIM card in the phone. After 24 hours, the battery percentage remaining figure was taken and then extrapolated into the total standby time of the handset.
Best of Android Battery 3
The phone which offers the best standby time is the Nexus 6P, followed by the Note 5. The former offers over 200 hours of standby while the latter dips just under 200 hours at 194 hours. Next comes the BlackBerry Priv with 171 hours and then the Z5 Premium with 160 hours. The worse standby time was recorded by the Moto X Force with 133 hours or 5 days and 13 hours.

Use Time (WiFi only)

To test how long you can surf the web over Wi-Fi we used a custom app I wrote which opens six pre-set pages on a loop, with 20 seconds between each load to simulate actual usage. The test is run with the battery at 100% and continued until the battery drops below 5%.
Best of Android Battery 4

The surprising winner of this test is the LG V10. It seems that its hexa-core Snapdragon 808 processor may not be the world’s fastest but it sure has a lot to offer when it comes to power efficiency. We were able to get 9 hours and 49 minutes out of this device, a truly great score. Second and third place are taken by the Note 5 and the Moto X Force, both of which managed around 9.5 hours. The worse performance came from the Nexus 6P which only managed 6 hours and 37 minutes.

Use Time (GeekBench)

One of the outputs from the GeekBench battery tests is a total potential battery runtime expressed in minutes. Here are the results:
Best of Android Battery 5

According to GeekBench, the Note 5 has the best potential battery life at 516 minutes, followed by the Nexus 6P and the Z5 Premium, which both scored around 370 minutes. The lowest score was for the Moto X Force.

Use Time (Video)

To test how well each handset copes with video playback, we tested each device by looping the same 1080p Full HD 30fps video with brightness set to approximately 50%. Wi-Fi was also turned off and there was no SIM card in the phone. The final reading is the screen on time of the handset after it ran from 100% to less than 5%.

Best of Android Battery 6

The Note 5 is the clear winner with a time of 652 minutes. Second place is claimed jointly by the Moto X Force and the BlackBerry Priv. The worse score comes from the Z5 Premium with its 4K screen!

Wrap-up

So what does this all mean? We have a wide range of screen resolutions on test here, along with a wide range of battery capacities, but at the end of the day it is how long you can use your phone for that really matters. The charging time of the Moto X Force is fantastic and it performs well in several of our tests including the browsing test and the video playback test. However it has the worst overall standby time.

The phone with the best standby time was the Nexus 6P but it didn’t do so well in the browsing and playback tests. The device that seems to offer the best all round battery performance is the Note 5. The charging time is just 89 minutes, its standby time was only bested by the Nexus 6P, plus it came second in the browsing tests and first in the video playback tests.


Best of Android 2015

All the comparisons:

Best of Android: Display

Best of Android: Audio

Best of Android: Performance

Best of Android: Battery

Best of Android: Camera

Best of Android: User Experience

And the winner is…


Credits

Post and Video by: Gary Sims
Series Contributors: Rob TriggsGary Sims, Lanh Nguyen, Joe Hindy, Krystal Lora

Series Editors: Nirave Gondhia, Bogdan Petrovan, Andrew Grush

  • Sayed ahamed

    Sammy does it again.

    • Armaan Modi

      Sammy is awesome.

  • Sulley Alsaeed

    Note 5 is a beast!!

  • Abdulrhman

    Note 5 with stock Android would break the Android world.

    • Gamma M

      Thank god I’m not the only one fantasising about this!

      • Qasim57

        You guys do have Cyanogenmod… It’s almost exactly like stock Android on Note 5!

        • G1andonly

          But the camera always force closes

    • Sergei Garcia

      “2015 Note 4 with stock Android would break the Android world.”

      FTFY. The Note 5 is essentially a huge S6 without the removable battery or Micro SD card slot, and regardless of your needs, there is little a Note 5 can do against a Note 4 with a 10,000mah ZeroLemon battery and a combined 200GB of storage

  • Airyl

    Looks like Sammy fans have something to celebrate.

  • DHRUV GUPTA

    Note 5 seems to be hitting it out of the park every round. As much as I hate Samsung, they do seem to have created a magnificent device.

    • Armaan Modi

      Samsung is awesome.

    • i_say_uuhhh

      Agreed, but I love how flawless my Nexus 6P has been. However if Samsung were able to get dual speakers and have an option to run stock android, I’d change my tune.

    • drifter77

      Indeed. The Note 5 is a top notch device, worth every penny.

  • Abhijeet

    Except Nexus 6P all are running on lollipop and IMHO 6P benefits a lot from doze in MM. I think MM on Moto X Force would improve its standby time a lot.

  • Why didn’t you guys set the same brightness nits? 50% brightness isn’t the same for every phone, did you do 50% brightness for viewing webpages? were all these phones simless? or on airplane mode?

  • Leonardo Loures Quirino

    I think Xperia Z5 compact may have one of the best battery life in the Android Ecosystem.

  • Shuren Inferno-Flames

    note 5 is clearly the best in the test

  • Sam Jasper

    “Come back on December 10 at 11AM EST for Best of Android 2015: Camera!” Did you guys put up a wrong date ? or my Calendar was inaccurate?. To me today’s date is Friday, December 11 2015

  • TheOracle

    Ho hum, here we go again! Screen on Time is the best indicator of “normal” use and on that basis the Note 5 is indeed the champ. But………… why not do a true battery test with some Chinese battery monsters thrown in for comparison such as the Innos D6000, Blackview BV5000, Blu Marathon etc? I AVERAGE 11 hours SOT on my BV5000 and the Innos is close to 13 hours. There are some excellent phones that aren’t well known but should be included just so Western consumers are aware of great alternatives at reasonable prices.

    • Noah Cohen

      The title says “Best of Android”. which implies that premium devices with decent specs would be reviewed. the BV5000 has a 720p Screen, and a 4780 mAh battery, the Innos D6000 is basically built around a battery and Blu Marathon is seriously short in the specs category. Excellent phones? Maybe.. but not enough to make this article.

      • TheOracle

        And the S6 Active which smokes them all including the Note 5? I stated it should be done for comparative purposes as in “these are NOT the best battery phones” and specs don’t tell the whole story. Don’t get suckered by specs. Android is now about optimization as Crapple have taught everyone.

        • Bob Marley

          This is an ATT exclusive that the majority of people can’t buy and use.

          • TheOracle

            Buy and AT&T are obliged to unlock by law if you pay full price as opposed to the scam “contracts” you guys accept. The S6 Active is well worth it above all others. What’s your next point?

  • Preston Scheuneman

    I know the Priv doesn’t come with a fast charger in the box, so that explains that one particular result.

  • Joshua Suits

    The note 5 has won or been close to it in all the best of android 2015 they have so far.

    • Steve Brain

      Haha, clearly didn’t see the camera one then.

      • Joshua Suits

        Still came in second, so my assessment still stands.

  • flye

    can someone explain to me why nexus 6P on stock android’s performance is so meh?

    what did samsung did right?

    • TheOracle

      Exynos vs Kirin soc probably accounts for most of the difference.

      • Steve Brain

        Um, the Nexus 6P uses a Snapdragon 810.

        • TheOracle

          Ah ok. Then it’s definitely the difference in soc.

  • Ahmet F

    What’s wrong with you nexus? I paid money to use my phone, not let it stand by. It has great specs but runs out of battery before you hit 5 hrs SoT. I should’ve gone with 6S+

  • Syrup

    There are diferentes between note 5 and 6P, of course, but it’s not that much. For almost $200 less, you can grab nexus 6P, get the last Android updates and it’s worth your money! I really don’t care about 1 or 2 milisecs in speed, benchmarks scores (I dont know if the companys have some “ways” to do some “tricks” to interfere in the results… Cause you know: business, man! Just see how Volkswagen did stuffs like these some days ago) and some minutes of battery life. But: it’s me and you can make whatever you want with your money.

  • RG

    V10 wins because you carry around 6000mah, in total, with the spare battery in your wallet.

    • Steve Brain

      Or go ahead and carry a portable charger with 10,400mAh capacity with any other phone and hey.. All of them win over carrying a spare battery. Or go ahead and wheel a petrol fuelled power generator connected to a power socket and hey.. They all win.
      My point is, your point is ridiculous and maybe 1 out of every 500,000 people would actually carry one around.

      • RG

        The spare battery is tiny and slim, it fits in your wallet as if it wasn’t there. A ‘free’ 3000mah, thank you very much. Then I tried lugging around the power bank petrol generator as you helpfully suggested, but the weight on one side caused me to walk in circles for three hours until my boss called me up and fired my ass for being late for work.

        Sometimes I wonder if I should have been smarter than the other 500,000 people that the man with the ironic surname suggested. Maybe I’d still have my job.

        Your crap idea loses, Steve.

        I’ll keep my 6000mah.

        V10 wins.

  • Osakwe tochukwu

    I think google should allow samsung to make the nexus of 2016…with similar specs as s7 it will be a monster of all android flagship. Im really impressed with sammy on the note5

  • TinleyTime

    Another awesome addition to the best of, though I do agree with someone below who mentioned setting the displays to the same nits in terms of brightness, also, it seemed odd to not mention the fact that one of the phones in the group (V10) has a swappable battery.

    • Oobiewan

      In about 4 years I haven’t seen anyone swapping their batteries.

      • Shadi

        I do

        • Oobiewan

          I didn’t say that no one does. I’m saying that the number of people wanting to do that is insignificant.

  • Oobiewan

    “It’s time for some real-world tests” – real world tests without a SIM card, without mobile data usage. You have statistics that most people use their phones without SIM cards? And use only wifi? I don’t think so.

  • Hari

    Surprised S6 ACTIVE was not considered for this!!

    • drifter77

      Maybe because of its limited availability.

  • Sergei Garcia

    Where is the Moto X Play? It consistently gave me the best battery life of any smartphone I’ve ever used (far above even the Note 4)

  • André On

    My LG V10 is the best when comes to battery life. I just need to change the battery and I am good to go.