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In addition to the 'standard' version, should OEMs offer larger battery variants of their flagships?

While we continue to see OEMs attempt to improve CPU, display and other specs, battery often gets ignored in favor of slick, thin designs. Would you like to see a larger battery variant for all your favorite flagships, even if it came at the cost of a bulkier design? Vote in our poll and sound off in the comments!
September 25, 2014
samsung galaxy s5 vs htc one m8 aa (15 of 19)

Recently we put together an infographic based on information we had collected from previous AA polls. The theme was whether or not the “spec war” was still as important as it once was. The vast majority said no, which falls in line with Motorola’s Rick Osterloh’s prediction that high-end, high-priced smartphones could eventually go the way of the dinosaur.

So if raw specs aren’t as important, what would we like to see improve instead? In our poll-based infographic an overwhelming 58% said battery life. We’ve also seen this sentiment expressed in various comment threads on our site, in our forums and across the web. In fact, whenever we report on a new handset attempting to claim the “thinnest ever” title, we usually see a number of comments saying that being thin isn’t as important as a good battery.

Of course, not everyone feels this way. Some folks are in their cars or homes a lot were they can constantly charge, others simply are willing to sacrifice battery life for thinness and perceived greater beauty. So how can OEMs appeal to both sides? The answer seems simple enough: create at least two different models for each major phone release, one that focuses on design and being thin, with another focusing on battery life even at the cost of a thicker body.

Honestly, this isn’t a novel concept, as we’ve seen Motorola offer up a “Maxx” version of its Droid family more than once, offering the same specs but with a much beefier battery. So what’s the downside here, and why aren’t more OEMs doing this? Other than potential added development and marketing costs (though probably minor), we can’t see too many downsides, though we admit we aren’t handset manufacturers so perhaps there is a bigger factor that we just don’t realize.

What do you think, would you like to see OEMs offer up a “Maxx” (or Plus, or BFB or whatever they want to call it…) variant for all major flagships, and even on some of their mid-rangers as well? How much of a premium would you be willing to pay over the standard ‘skinner’ model, if any?

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