Consumer Reports: Making the most of your phone battery

WPVI logo
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Making the most of your phone battery
Lori Stokes takes a look at some help from Consumer Reports on how to keep your phone going.

NEW YORK -- One of the biggest complaints people have with about their smart phone is short battery life. Consumer Reports has some help to keep your phone going.

It's happened to all of us at some point: You're nowhere near an electrical outlet or you don't have a charger, and you get a low-battery warning on your phone. Now, Consumer Reports has tested dozens of smartphones and their batteries and can help you avoid a dead phone.

In one of their battery-life tests, Consumer Reports used a base-station emulator to simulate continuous use, like voice calls and Web browsing.

"The battery life for the phones in our ratings ranges from less than 8 hours to more than 24 hours," Consumer Reports' Smartphone Editor Mike Gikas said.

The Motorola Droid Turbo did the best in Consumer Reports' battery tests, followed by the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, then the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the Droid Turbo 2.

They all have rapid charging, which can bring a dying battery to 30 to 60 percent in 30 minutes.

But what if your phone isn't on the list?

"Even if you don't have one of these phones, there are lots of ways for you to get more juice out of the phone you already have," Gikas said.

Set your screen brightness to "auto" so it can adjust to indoor and outdoor lighting, or lower it when you can. You can also set the screen to go to sleep after 15 or 30 seconds of inactivity.

"Another tip: If you find yourself in an area where there's no signal, put your phone in airplane mode," Gikas said. "That disables all wireless connections, calls, texts, emails."

Many newer phones also offer a power-saving or low power mode if you're running really low.

Not on Consumer Reports' best battery life list is any of the iPhones. Consumer Reports says that although the latest iPhones do well in their battery tests, several other phones last longer.

To see where your cell phone stacks up, visit