HomeGadget Bridge AceExplained: Why do smartphones with big batteries offer average battery life?

Explained: Why do smartphones with big batteries offer average battery life?

Does a massive battery translate to a higher screen on time? Read more to find out.

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If you’re in the market for a new smartphone, you’re probably looking for a device that can easily last you a day. When looking for phones with a long(er)-lasting battery life, it is easy to get caught up in battery capacity specs. After all, a big battery would mean a greater backup, right? Well, the answer isn’t so straightforward. While battery capacity plays a huge role in how long your phone lasts on a single charge, it is not the only determining factor.

Samsung’s Galaxy M Series, known for its superior battery backup, offers smartphones with up to 6000mAh battery capacity. On the other hand, its flagship smartphone, Samsung Galaxy S23+, offers a similar (if not better) battery performance with a 4,700mAh unit. So, which factors determine the battery performance of a smartphone and why do phones with big batteries often offer average battery life? Let’s find out.

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Processors and internal hardware matter more than you think

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A good processor is one of the big reasons why flagship smartphones offer a better battery life with a smaller battery unit. Every new crop of chipsets offers more efficiency and the ability to make better choices in order to increase the battery life of the device. Even small updates to the SoC can significantly increase the battery performance. Last year, Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 was 30% more power efficient than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC. 2023’s flagship SoC, Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is already an improvement from the previous generation.

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The internal cooling system of a smartphone is another piece of hardware that plays a pivotal role in extending its battery life. Internal heating leads to a greater loss of energy, which means a lower battery backup. Smartphones like OnePlus 10T and Asus ROG Phone are able to maximize battery backup with their superior cooling systems.

Power-hungry displays lead to a greater battery drain

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Your smartphone’s display is one of the biggest consumers of power on the device. Larger displays consume more power, which is generally balanced out by a bigger battery. A smartphone’s battery life is typically gauged by its ‘screen on time’ due to this very reason. The choice of a display panel can affect the battery life of a smartphone by a significant margin. Midrange and budget smartphones generally come with LCD displays, which are extremely power-hungry. In comparison, OLED displays consume less battery while producing better results. 

The display’s refresh rate is also a big factor in how quickly the battery gets drained. If you use your phone on the maximum refresh rate setting, you will notice that it runs out of power fairly quickly. A 120Hz refresh rate display will not last as long as a 90Hz or 60Hz display with the same screen-on time.

Is your phone’s software making smart choices?

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The OS running on your device can boost the battery backup by killing off background apps and tasks, which would otherwise slowly drain the battery. A well-optimised software is able to make these smart choices. It is also a good idea to keep a check on your phone’s background tasks and record which apps use the most power.

5G connectivity can demand more from your phone

Users who have just made the switch to 5G can attest that high-speed connectivity comes at a price. While using a 5G network, your smartphone is capable of consuming up to 20% more power. Newer processors are able to tackle this issue, to the point that it is not an immediate concern. But if you’re looking to extend the battery life of your device, switching back to 4G will certainly help.

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If a great battery life is one of your biggest priorities while buying a smartphone, you should look beyond the battery capacity numbers. The processor, display, and cooling system of a device is just as important as the battery unit. Want to improve your smartphone’s battery life? This article may help.

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