/ Technology

Do you get stressed out by battery-sapping smartphones?

Smartphone battery

Nine in 10 people would feel stressed if their phone’s battery ran out. And yet most smartphones can’t last a day without charge. Should the next smartphone marketing battle be about battery life?

Ready for your random stat of the day? Seven in 10 smartphone users would give up puddings for a month in exchange for a fully charged smartphone, according to a survey by Mophie. I presume they’re talking about Apple and Blackberry pudding (*boom, boom!*)

And running out of juice doesn’t just cause stress – six in 10 get frustrated and one in four even feel panicked.

Part of this panic comes from not being able to make or receive calls. But our reliance on smartphones has another downfall – nearly half of Brits can only remember three phone numbers. I think it might just be two for me – my own, and my mum’s.

My Google Nexus 4 won’t get through a day without needing a charge, so if I forget to plug him in at night, I’ll suffer a day of carefully limiting my phone usage to save the last dregs of juice.

House parties have a new tradition too – iPhone users share time with a charger to pump their phone back up to full strength. The only reason I pick out iPhone users is because no-one ever asks to use my mini-USB cable for my Android phone (woe is me!).

Protection from bad batteries

So what are we doing to protect ourselves from dead phones? Our Twitter follower Amraze carries portable chargers:

And Which? Convo regular Wavechange told us last week that he keeps two phones handy. One reason is to give him a better chance of good coverage by having them on different networks. And the other is to protect himself from a flat phone.

With so many of us being frustrated with bad battery life, it raises the question of when smartphone makers will start competing on it, rather than just on speed or pixels. Of course, some smartphones are better than others for longevity – as you can find out on our sister site Which? Tech Daily – but are they breaking any new ground?

Our Tech team has tested the ‘ultra’ and ‘extreme’ power saving modes on the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the HTC One M8 respectively. See how they perform.

Are you peeved by poor smartphone battery life? Has running out of juice ever messed up your day? Or did you feel slightly liberated?

James says:
17 June 2014

Unfortunately the battery innovation is at slow pace but portable chargers seems to be a “life saver” in the meantime. Also, a new portable battery rental service which can be likened to Boris bike was recently launched in London. Smartphone users can grab a battery pack use it then drop off in specific points across the city. To find this points, Smartphone users are invited to download the app that’s free for Android and iOS. The company is called Savesquared. Could be useful to those suffering from low battery life whilst on the move. News article from Techworld: http://news.techworld.com/security/3517051/smartphone-battery-dead-uk-startup-launches-worlds-first-charge-rental-service/

Portable chargers are a great fall-back gadget. However, having read the recent Which? reviews, there is one thing that is very important to me and which is not taken into account. I want a charger that will live in my car without losing the charge it is carrying. If I don’t re-charge it, how long will it retain the capacity to charge my phone?

Power banks chargers use lithium rechargeable batteries which should keep their charge for months. If you are a Which? subscriber, here are the latest reviews: https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/portable-power-bank-chargers

I strongly advise that you stick to a known brand because Which? has found dangerous ones on sale on online marketplaces.