Checked: a large battery in the smartphone does not guarantee a long offline work

When buying a new smartphone, many buyers are primarily looking for a large battery with confidence that 4000 or even 5000 mAh is just enough for the whole day. We tell why this approach is not true.

To find out the real autonomy of the smartphone, specialized tests are needed. But the usual buyer goes the easiest way: he looks at how much mah is indicated in the technical description and stops on the model with the greatest value. In fact, one by one is the numerical indicator, it is impossible to judge the autonomy of the smartphone. In practice, a smartphone with a battery 4000 mAh can hold out without recharging less than Google Pixel 3a or iPhone SE with tiny batteries. There is nothing surprising in this, because the battery capacity must be considered only with other characteristics.

By itself, the indicator of the MAH, contracted from the characteristics of the smartphone, is an useless number. Autonomy is a complex indicator on which hardware and software variables affect. The Androidauthority site figured out why, when searching for a "long-playing" smartphone, you can not only trust the number of machines.

What is Mach?

Abbreviation MAH, which is present in the description of mobile gadgets, is deciphered by a milliameper hour. This is an electrical charge unit equal to constant current transmission in 1 mA (3.6 pendants) for 1 hour. A battery capacity of 1 mAh provides a current of 1 mA for 1 hour, and a 1000 mach battery gives a current of 1 mA for 1000 hours. Accordingly, the battery per 1000 mAh at a current of 2 mA is enough for 500 hours. Of course, no smartphone in the world is able to work well (even more than a thousand) hours without recharging, as such a device needs a current much higher than 1 mA. And the more energy consumes the smartphone, the more often a socket has to search for it.

With any other characteristics, it will work longer without recharging that the device whose capacity of the battery is larger. However, in the life of finding two such smartphones will be unrealistic - they all differ in internal equipment and, as a result, for energy consumption by 10, 20, or even 30%.

Each smartphone is a unique combination of hardware and software. That is why the accumulation of the battery capacity in Mach does not give any information about the expected duration of work.

Real time of autonomous work and mAh: Why is there no connection between them?

Before answering this question, we propose to look at the results of our research. We tested several smartphones with different battery capacities and recorded how long it takes to fully discharge in each case. Our internal hard stress test Speed ​​Test G was used as a tool. Its results can be regarded as the minimum indicator of expected autonomy. The results are arranged in ascending order of battery capacity.

It is logical to assume that as the battery capacity increases, the actual operating time of the smartphone will steadily increase, but this is not the case. According to our results, there is no clear and obvious trend in this case.

Our stress test confirms that smartphones with huge 5000 and 6000 mAh batteries by today's standards really provide some of the best autonomy. However, the leader of the entire study, oddly enough, was the Google Pixel 3a XL with a 3700 mAh battery. All this thanks to the simplified characteristics. So when looking for a long-playing smartphone, do not ignore smaller batteries.

Another thing to note: the difference of just a few minutes between the Pixel 4 XL (3700 mAh) and the Asus Zenfone 6 ( 5000 mAh ) emphasizes that battery capacity alone does not guarantee longer battery life.

Our stress test does not show a direct relationship between battery capacity in mAh and battery life.

But there is a quite noticeable regularity in our results. In conditions of heavy load on power consumption, many smartphones last from 3.5 to 4 hours. This seems to be the sweet spot that most manufacturers are aiming for, even with lower workloads. The battery life between Google Pixel 4 (2800 mAh), Samsung Galaxy S20 on Exynos (4000 mAh) and OnePlus 8 Pro (4510 mAh) is only a few minutes.

Obviously different hardware puts a different strain on the battery. But what exactly are these differences?

It all depends on where the charge goes

The battery supplies power to all the equipment inside your smartphone - from the processor to the display and all other modules. Different hardware components consume different amounts of power. For example, low-end and mid-range SoCs require far less power than their flagship counterparts. In general, more energy is required to provide higher productivity. That is why affordable class phones usually overtake premium gadgets with any battery capacity in terms of autonomy.

But as we can see, in terms of power consumption, even flagships can differ greatly from each other. Compare the results of two Samsung Galaxy S20 models based on Exynos and Snapdragon processors. Manufacturers can underestimate or overclock hardware, or even adjust core fluxes to achieve the desired power level.

Here are some more examples of how extra equipment increases battery consumption. Google Pixel 4 with Soli radar consumes more power than other smartphones of similar characteristics, but without Soli. Using the camera's time-of-flight focusing system, powerful stereo speakers or 4K resolution, you dramatically increase the load on the battery. Even something as small as recharging the S Pen on the latest Galaxy Note models matters too. Soli radar, S Pen and other unique features set smartphones apart from the crowd, but also lead to compromises.

Manufacturers try to find a balance between powerful hardware with high performance, battery, battery life and the price of the entire device.

The trend towards higher display refresh rates also plays a role in why modern smartphones have such poor battery life. Obviously, this is why the Samsung Galaxy S20 series runs at 60Hz out of the box, even though it technically supports 120Hz. The Pixel 4's 90Hz mode is also designed to save power. The reason here is that the faster the display image is updated, the more energy is spent on the work of the matrix and processor.

Need more examples? OK. Have you noticed that the OnePlus 8 (4300mAh) with 90Hz display has better battery life than the OnePlus 8 Pro (4510mAh) with 120Hz? Both models have minimal differences in performance, and this fact underlines how big an impact the refresh rate of the display has on battery life.

Autonomy depends not only on the hardware component. Smartphone software can also affect this indicator. For example, disabling background applications reduces the load on the processor and reduces the number of smartphone transitions to the active mode. In this regard, EMUI from Huawei is more aggressive than Samsung One UI.

5G is another energy intensive feature

and actual operating time: this is the launch of 5G networks. 5G radio components require more power than previous generation communication modules. This means that when switching to 5G, the autonomy of your smartphone will fall sharply. But it should be noted that the modem and 5G chipsets from different manufacturers have different nutrition requirements.

Medium-level chipsets with embedded 5G modem, such as Exynos 980 and Snapdragon 765G, a little more energy efficient premium modem for flagship devices. Partly for this reason, the developers of models LG Velvet and Google Pixel 5 abandoned the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 865. But again, in terms of overall performance, said secondary SOs have lower peak indicators. This again puts buyers before choosing between the power of the smartphone and the time of work without recharging.

The introduction of 5G is out of any doubt forced producers to put in smartphones of an increased capacity battery. But without taking into account the scripts of using phones, the battery cannot be a decisive factor when buying. If you still hold 4G networks, then the flow rate will be relatively low (again, do not forget what other components have the requirements for nutrition). According to the general director Redmi, Lu Webiga, the transition from 4G to 5G increased energy consumption by about 20%. Therefore, the smartphone with 5G worked as much as the device with 4G, you need to look for a model with a battery capacity of about 20% more.

in search of better autonomy

The conclusion from all of the above is that to create a smartphone with a battery for a whole day - The task is not simple. Manufacturers have to take into account many factors - equipment, its cost, an affordable space inside the case. The more functions are implemented in the phone, the more difficult to achieve a balance between all the indicators. It is good that most companies really try to make the smartphone have enough charge for a full day at an average load, and this is not always achieved only at the expense of a huge battery.

Our stress test does not reveal the direct relationship between the battery capacity and the duration of autonomous work for one simple reason: it is not. A large container contains a lot of current, but hardware has also strongly affected by the actual period of work without recharging.

Puzzle autonomy is made up of many pieces, not only mach.

Middle-level smartphones with less energy-consuming technologies, such as Pixel 3A, usually get small batteries, but at the same time they cost without recharging throughout the day. The premium segment uses greater capacity batteries (and the phone numbers themselves are more) for nutrition of demanding technologies like 5G, displays with high Refresh Rate and game features.

Do not forget another thing: a subjective factor is present in disputes about autonomy, namely, for which you personally need a smartphone: lovers to have a lot more than the charge in Facebook than the end of the day. Mobile gamers.