The more we want our devices to do, the more the batteries take a battering (pun-ish intended). It makes sense, imagine a 3000mAh battery in a device 3 or 4 years ago... battery life would likely have been measured in weeks rather than days. 2015 flagships however often struggled to see a full day of use because of a combination of factors - svelte bodies, power hungry chips and lacklustre power optimisations. It doesn't have to be this way however and one company in particularly is showing us the way forward... Xiaomi!
I recently took delivery of the Redmi 3 and the Redmi Note 3 Pro. Both of these devices from the Chinese manufacturer are notable because they pack Qualcomm processors (Snapdragon 616 and Snapdragon 650 respectively), rather than the more common Mediatek CPUs. More importantly though, they both pack huge batteries (4100mAh and 4000mAh) in relatively thin bodies (less than 8.7mm thick).
The result? Epic battery life. Historically, MIUI - the Xiaomi Android fork - isn't the most battery efficient, but both of these devices are blowing away anything else I've ever owned. This is backed by early battery tests around the Internet too. They are no slouches either, by virtue of their modern chips. Everyone's battery life experiences are unique, because we all use our phones very differently. I'm particularly hard on battery - I have everything turned on, stay hooked up to a Wear device and a Fitbit all day - which means I struggle to hit 3 hours of screen on time, even on devices with good size batteries like the S6 edge +. On the Note 3 Pro? 5 hours screen on time is no problem, even with MIUI's background process management completely disabled.
Xiaomi aren't the only company taking battery life seriously, Huawei / Honor deserve a mention too. I've found battery life on the Honor 7 to be very good (it has a 3100mAh mAh battery), and the new Honor 5X looks to be a good performer too.
With the imminent arrival of a raft of Snapdragon 820 devices at MWC later this month, I hope manufacturers build on the improved efficiency over the Snapdragon 810 by adding larger capacity batteries too and in 2016 devices, battery anxiety might become a thing of the past.
For now... I'll stick with my Xiaomi and Honor phones I think...