Apple and Samsung are the two largest names in the cell phone field, but can newcomer Google stand toe-to-toe with the mobile gods? Google is a gigantic company with gigantic resources, and they have a track record of releasing high-quality products. The Google Pixel is their most recent foray into the high-end phone market, and we wanted to take a look at one of the most important features of a phone: battery life. Can the Google Pixel keep up with, or even surpass the iPhone 7 when it comes to keeping you connected from the start of your day to end? Let’s take a look.
The Google Pixel
For those that don’t want to read an in-depth description, the basic idea is that the Google Pixel will last you into the mid to late evening with moderate usage. That said, it requires a mid-evening top up to make it to bed. The Pixel features a non-removable 2,770mAh power pack, which is larger than the iPhone’s 1,960mAh offering. The fact that you have to recharge the phone before bed isn’t too concerning, if Google is to be believed, as a 15 minute-or-so charge will supposedly give you an additional 7 hours of battery life. An important caveat to mention is that for this quick charging you need to use the included cable. A regular USB-C cable and plug block won’t get you the same rapid recharge action.
It’s honestly unlikely that you’d be able to get an additional 7 hours out of a 14% charge. You’d have to turn off wi-fi, data, dim your screen a ton, and limit your use to basic applications. While you might technically be getting 7 hours, you’re not really going to enjoy your phone during that time. Good for when you need to make a quick call…not so great when you’re a heavy data user and video watcher like me.
Techradar did a test of the Pixel where they watched an HD 90 minute video on their phone. The Pixel only lost 15% which is a pretty respectable result. If you’re playing music or video throughout the day it might require a charge, but if you’re not constantly consuming media there’s a good chance the Pixel will last you till it’s time for bed.
The iPhone 7
According to Apple, they’ve improved the battery life in the iPhone 7 over the battery included in the 6. It’s a little convoluted, however, when it comes time to try to decide whether these claims are true. The iPhone is designed to split into two different “task machines” with its four cores splitting into two different “teams”. Two cores run the hardcore battery draining stuff like video, music, and photo manipulation, while the other two make sure you can do everyday stuff like check Facebook or your email. In theory, if you’re just using your phone for basic tasks rather than those that are major battery hogs, your phone should last a good while.
That’s not always the case. In Techradar’s testing, the iPhone 7 seemed to kick in the heavy duty cores for things as simple as viewing the home and lock screen, with those basic tasks draining the battery way quicker than expected.
The ability to make it through the day on a single charge seems a little random. In testing, there were days that the iPhone would make it to bedtime and others where it would need a charge by 3pm even with only moderately increased usage. The randomness of the battery and inability to accurately discern how long your phone is going to last loses Apple major points in this category. Whatever battery increases they added were obscured by this unfortunate unreliability.
At the end of the day, The Google Pixel pulls ahead when it comes to battery life. There are many features to consider when looking for a new phone, but if a phone keeping its charge as long as possible is important to you, the Pixel is the clear winner. Check back with GeekReply often for more technology comparisons and reviews.