While most articles focus on smartphone features and functionality, we thought we'd put together a list of the battery capacity and Wireless Charging capability of the leading smartphones on the market today.
|Phone Model||Capacity in mAh||Wireless Charging|
|iPhone6 Plus||2,915 mAh||Aftermarket|
|iPhone6S Plus||2,750 mAh||Aftermarket|
|Samsung Galaxy S4||2,600 mAh (removable)||Qi Optional|
|Samsung Galaxy S5||2,800 mAh (removable)||Qi Optional|
|Samsung Galaxy S6||2,550 mAh||Qi+PMA built-in|
|Samsung Galaxy S6 Plus||3,000 mAh||Fast Qi built-in (no PMA)|
|Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge||2,600 mAh||Qi+PMA built-in|
|Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus||3,000 mAh||Fast Qi built-in (no PMA)|
|Samsung Galaxy S6 Active||3,550 mAh||Qi+PMA built-in|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 3||3.200 mAh (removable)||Qi Optional (cover)|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 4||3,220 mAh (removable)||Qi Optional|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 5||3,000 mAh||Fast Qi Built-In|
|HTC One||2,300 mAh||Aftermarket|
|HTC One M8||2,600 mAh||Aftermarket|
|HTC One M9||2,840 mAh||Aftermarket|
|LG G2||3,000 mAh (US)||Verizon Qi + Aftermarket|
|LG G3||3,000 mAh (removable)||Optional. AT&T PMA, others Qi|
|LG G4||3,000 mAh (removable)||Qi Optional|
|LG V10||3,000 mAh (removable)||Qi Optional|
|Lumia 950||3,000 mAh (removable)||Fast Qi Built-In|
|Lumia 950XL||3,340 mAh (removable)||Fast Qi Built-In|
|Nexus 4||2,100 mAh||Qi Built-In|
|Nexus 5||2,300 mAh||Qi Built-In|
|Nexus 6||3,220 mAh||Qi Built-In|
|Sony Xperia Z3||3,100 mAh||sku Z3v Qi Built-in.|
|Sony Xperia Z3+/Z4||2,930 mAh||Qi Optional|
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all smartphones but probably covers over 90% of the market. It is interesting to us to see the capacity across brands as well as how capacity has evolved with each generation. However, this can be somewhat misleading. For instance, if you look at iPhone 5S 1,560 mAh jumps to 1,810 mAh in iPhone 6. This is a decent 16% increase in battery capacity. However, that capacity was all used up with the larger screen and faster processor so no noticeable real world battery life increase. The jump from 5S to iPhone 6+ of nearly 87% was astounding. But again, all that extra capacity was used up by the much larger screen and processor. Even the latest iPhone 6S and 6S plus, reduced battery capacity. More efficient battery management software helped keep usage flat but still feels like a missed opportunity to actually increase battery life. So from a real world perspective, the 5S, 6/6S and 6 Plus/6S Plus all seem to last about a day and a half with moderate usage.
Even more surprising was that some companies seemed to even care about battery capacity at all. LG for instance has not change the capacity of their battery for the G2, G3 or G4. Samsung actually decreased the S6 capacity from S5. We are not sure what the number one complaint of smartphones are but we would be willing to bet that short battery life is at least in the top 3. Crazy how companies are not truly addressing this issue.
So it appears that battery capacity is simply "keeping pace" with other developments. It is just a matter of time where manufacturers turn their attention towards battery life. Manufacturers are starting to adopt wireless charging either built in or with cases. We're surprised that not a single phone manufacturer to date has added an option for a larger battery case. There are many after market battery cases but these require plugging into the port and increase the size of the phone substantially. An OEM solution would be much smaller and not have the appearance of an aftermarket solution. Rather than trying to shave a half mm of the next generation of phone, what if they added 1mm but incorporated ~5,000 mAh of battery. Then add Qualcomm Quick Charge to double the re-charge speed.
Another interesting trend we are seeing is with wireless charging. For instance Samsung slowly evolved from having an optional case to building it in directly. Sony split their model Z3 and Z3v. The Z3 used a magnetic port connector without wireless charging. The Z3v used wireless charging. It is telling that the Z4 dropped the magnetic port in favor of wireless. It is also interesting to note the success of Qi being adopted. A strong channel relationship between PMA and AT&T led LG to create a PMA version specifically for AT&T which was then dropped the next generation. Qi is definitely leading. Recently, Samsung phones used a hybrid chip that works on both Qi and PMA charging pads/stations with their S6/S6 Edge. This seems ideal but those hybrid chipsets add to costs. The recent iterations Samsung dropped PMA with the latest S6 Plus/S6 Edge Plus in favor of faster charging Qi (spec 1.2). We'll see if others switch to this hybrid model. It will likely depend on what Apple decides to do. It's likely the and we've confirmed that they used the WPC protocol for the iWatch with proprietary handshake. Wireless charging will a very interesting space to watch in the next year.