5G phones with the best battery life

20 August 2021

We’ve reached a point where no self-respecting smartphone manufacturer dares release a flagship phone without 5G capability. Indeed, few will even launch a mid-range phone without 5G support, and low-end handsets are starting to get it too.

This is good news for consumers, who can benefit from 5G’s increased download speeds and lower latency at a range of price points. But there’s one crucial specification that can get overlooked in all the 5G hype: battery life.

The price you pay for next-generation mobile network connectivity, at least at this point in history, is increased battery drain. This makes it imperative that anyone intending to make regular and intensive use of 5G choose a phone with better-than-average battery life.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of five 5G phones with the best battery life.

5. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is a superb phone that would rank higher than this in most lists, but for battery life while it’s among the best, it’s not quite the best.

It has a 5,000mAh battery, which is a good size, but it also needs to drive a massive 6.8-inch 1440 x 3200 screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, so it’s pushed harder than the batteries on many phones.

Still, it performs well, comfortably lasting over a day of moderate use. And there’s the option to apply battery saving features or turn the resolution down to make it last even longer.

Its 25W charging isn’t as fast as we like to see at this end of the market, but it’s still reasonably speedy, and at least this isn’t a phone you’ll need to charge too often. There’s also 15W wireless charging and 4.5W reverse wireless charging, the latter of which lets you use some of that big battery to charge up other devices.

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4. Oppo A54 5G

The Oppo A54 5G has a 5,000mAh battery, but with its 6.5-inch 1080 x 2400 screen it’s not as power-hungry as high-end phones tend to be.

Indeed, this is a fairly low-end phone, but one with a lot going for it, including a quad-lens camera, and a 90Hz refresh rate, and of course 5G. As with most 5G phones this is unlikely to last you two days unless you’re a very light user, but even with heavy use you should get beyond a day, and more frugal users may often see a day and a half of life from the Oppo A54 5G.

Charging is slow at 10W and there’s no wireless charging, but you almost always get slow charging on affordable phones, and wireless charging is rare on them too. But with its big battery and decent assortment of specs, it’s hard to be too annoyed.

3. Motorola Edge 20 Lite

Motorola has a habit of making phones with excellent battery life, and the Motorola Edge 20 Lite is a great example of this. It – like so many others on this list – has a 5,000mAh battery, and it also supports fairly speedy 30W charging, meaning you can juice it back up faster than most of these phones.

The specs are fairly high-end, which holds the life back slightly, but this can still offer a day and a half of life.

You get a 6.7-inch 1080 x 2400 OLED screen with a 90Hz refresh rate, a triple-lens camera led by a 108MP sensor, and a solid MediaTek Dimensity 720 5G chipset, combining to make this a capable mid-ranger with well above average battery life.

2. Samsung Galaxy A32 5G

Yet another phone with a 5,000mAh battery here, but the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G is lower end, and when it comes to life, less power tends to mean greater longevity.

The screen is usually a major factor, and here you’re looking at a 6.5-inch 720 x 1600 one, so it’s a decent size, and crisp enough to comfortably use, but not packed full of millions of additional pixels.

Charging is a – respectable for the price – 15W, and you can just about get two days of life between charges if you’re careful, so you shouldn’t have to juice it up too often. The Galaxy A32 5G also gives you a quad-lens camera and a solid MediaTek Dimensity 720 5G chipset to play with.

1. Moto G50

The Moto G50 has – you guessed it – a 5,000mAh battery. That’s not quite the biggest Motorola has ever packed in a phone, with some having 6,000mAh batteries, but those ones don’t support 5G.

Still, the Moto G50 can last a long time on a single charge, stretching to two days of life if you’re not too heavy a user.

Charging speeds are 15W, which is low but not as bad as some on this list, and you also get a 6.5-inch 720 x 1600 90Hz screen, a triple-lens camera, and a Snapdragon 480 5G chipset. This is a fairly low-end phone then, but one that will last you a long, long time, and thanks to slick software it should be a pleasure to use as well.

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There isn’t a huge gap in battery performance between these five phones. All will last you well on your 5G roamings.

This means that while we’ve arranged these phones into a loose ranking, you can really take your pick according to other factors. Take a closer look at which design, price, and camera set-up appeals to you.

For example, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is a top all-round performer, with a price to match, the Motorola Edge 20 Lite and Oppo A54 5G fill out the mid-range, and the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G and Moto G50 are lower end.

But for raw battery performance under 5G load, you’ll struggle to do better than the Moto G50 right now.

James Rogerson
About James Rogerson

Editorial Manager

James has been writing for us for over 10 years. Currently, he is Editorial Manager for our group of companies ( 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk) and sub-editor at TechRadar. He specialises in smartphones, mobile networks/ technology, tablets, and wearables.

In the past, James has also written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media, Smart TV Radar, and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV. He has a film studies degree from the University of Kent, Canterbury, and has over a decade’s worth of professional writing experience.

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