With their zippy quad-core processors and big screens, smartphones have never been more powerful — or more power hungry. Yes, specs and apps matter, but what good are they if you’re hunting for an outlet by lunchtime? If you want a smartphone that endures, check out the handsets that made our list.
These devices lasted at least 9 hours on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves continuous Web surfing over 4G LTE. We set each phone’s display to 150 nits to normalize for brightness and make sure each handset is receiving at least 3 bars of service. See for yourself which smartphones keep going and going.
A $299 unlocked Android phone that blows away the competition in terms of battery life, the Huawei Ascend Mate 2 truly makes the most of its huge 3,900 mAh battery. This 6.1-inch phablet lasted a very, very long 14 hours and 43 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test. In fact, the Ascend Mate 2 can charge other gadgets (with an optional cable). The 720p screen is quite bright, and the mid-range Snapdragon 400 processor provides good performance for the price.
If you haven't heard of the OnePlus One, you should put it on your smartphone shortlist. Available for just $299 unlocked, this device lasted a fantastic 13 hours and 16 minutes on our battery test. There are plenty of other reasons to scoop up the One, including the very flexible Cyanogen Mod software that runs on top of Android and generous 5.5-inch, full HD display. We also like the gritty texture on the back, so you're less likely to drop this long-distance runner.
The Xperia Z3 is a fantastic choice for T-Mobile subscribers. It boasts a sharp 20.7-MP camera and a dedicated shutter button that lets you snap pictures even while submerged. We also like the bright display and loud front-facing speakers. To top it off, Sony's flagship lasted a very long 12 hours and 9 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, making it one of the longest-lasting phones available.
The Galaxy S5 improves on its predecessor in multiple ways, including a water-resistant design, fingerprint reader and even a heart rate monitor. But this powerhouse can also get you through the day. The T-Mobile version of the S5 lasted a whopping 10 hours and 57 minutes on our battery test. The AT&T (9:28) and Sprint (8:34) models also delivered great endurance. The Verizon S5 lasted 7:30, which is still above average.
The HTC One M8's gorgeous metal design, powerful performance and booming speakers make it one of the best Android phones yet. Another big reason this device earned a 4.5-star rating from us? Its 2,600 mAh battery lasted 9 hours and 52 minutes on our battery test over Verizon's network. We saw an even longer 10:50 on T-Mobile and a still-excellent 9:26 on Sprint. The AT&T version lasted 8:42.
Made with fitness fans in mind, the Samsung Galaxy S5 Sport for Sprint features the same Super AMOLED display and 16-megapixel camera that we loved on the base model Galaxy S5. It's also got the same powerful Snapdragon 801 CPU. What's new is the Electric Blue or Cherry Red exteriors with reinforced edges. Samsung also opted for physical buttons instead of touchscreen ones on this model. Runners and such will appreciate the ruggedness and resistance to dust and water.
Simply stunning is the first description that comes to mind when you first behold the HTC One M8 for Windows. It's the same metal construction you'll find on the Android version of this $99 brushed-aluminum beauty. This Verizon smartphone sports a Snapdragon 801 processor and a 5-inch 1920 x 1080-pixel display. What sets it apart is the Windows 8.1 tile-based interface with Cortana as a virtual assistant.
The "Plus" in iPhone 6 Plus goes way beyond mere size. Apple's biggest-ever iPhone is also one of its longest lasting, touting a 2,915-mAh battery that lasted an impressive 10 hours on our battery test. It's a good thing the Plus lasts this long; with its gorgeous 5.5-inch 1080p display, zippy A8 processor and improved 8-MP camera with optical image stabilization, this is a phone you're going to want to use all day.
The Galaxy S5 Active is a long-lasting smartphone in more ways than one. The device is rated to withstand multiple drops from 4 feet, and it can be submerged in up to 3 feet of water for 30 minutes. It's also dust-proof and can easily survive sever temperatures. This AT&T exclusive phone can also go the distance when it comes to battery life, as the handset lasted an excellent 9 hours and 37 minutes on our Web surfing test.
With a 3,900 mAh pack, the Droid Turbo has one of the largest batteries every inside a smartphone. And it definitely pays off. This Android handset lasted an impressive 9 hours and 30 minutes on the Laptop Mag battery test. It gets better. An included Turbo Charger can get you back over 15 percent capacity in just minutes. The Droid Turbo is also one of the fastest phones yet, thanks to its Snapdragon 805 processor.