Peak Battery: Why Smartphone Battery Life Still Stinks, and Will for Years


In the five years since Apple released its first iPhone, touch-screen smartphones have become thinner, lighter, faster and more capable. But through it all, battery life has mostly stayed the same.

You can probably make it through the day on a single charge, but not without a degree of caution. You’ll want to keep Bluetooth turned off when it’s not in use, and avoid long stretches of data use over 4G. High-end games and streaming video are guaranteed to melt away battery life, and if you’re spending a few hours in a dead zone, you’re better off powering down instead of wasting precious juice searching for a signal.

Because battery capacity hasn’t improved much over the years, the batteries themselves have gotten bigger, limiting how thin and light phones can be. Meanwhile, technologies like 1080p screens and wireless screen mirroring have been hamstrung by batteries that can’t keep up. Bad…

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