Battery life is one of the biggest concerns for any smartphone user out there and more so for the ones who travel a lot. There is no replacement for a good battery life out of a handset no matter how prepared a person is with the power banks and all.
This aspect of owning a smartphone doesn’t have any alternatives – consider this – if you have a flagship-grade phone then you want a good battery life because you want to enjoy all the good stuff uninterrupted. And if you have anything cheaper, then also you want a good battery life because any device which is not high-end already compromises on various aspects of performance, camera quality and display.
And so, we are bringing you the battery comparison of three lower mid-range devices, namely – Redmi Note 5, Honor 7X and Xiaomi Mi A1. The usual suspects in this trio are the Honor 7X and the Xiaomi Mi A1 while the Redmi Note 5 (also known as the Redmi 5 Plus in China) is the latest addition in this segment with a starting price of Rs 9,999. Also, we have previously compared the three devices for their camera prowess as well as their gaming and performance capabilities.
Let’s see how much battery each of these smartphones carry to have an idea of what to expect out of them:
Redmi Note 5
Display: IPS LCD 5.99 inches, 1080p x 2160p resolution (Full HD+), 403 ppi
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, Adreno 506
Display: IPS LCD 5.99 inches, 1080p x 2160p resolution (Full HD+), 407 ppi
Processor: HiSilicon Kirin 659, Mali-T830 MP2
Xiaomi Mi A1
Display: LTPS IPS LCD 5.5 inches, 1080p x 1920p resolution (Full HD), 403 ppi
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, Adreno 506
BATTERY by the NUMBERS
By the numbers, it would be hard to argue against the Redmi Note 5 which comes with a generous 4,000mAh battery. The Honor 7X with the 3,340mAh unit is at 2nd while the Xiaomi Mi A1 has the least powerful battery at 3,080mAh going purely by the spec sheet. Do the phones finish in the same order as their respective battery ratings suggest?
Not entirely, as we found out. The Honor 7X went out of juice quicker than both the other devices in various scenarios even when it is not the one with the smallest battery. When putting all three handsets through specific tasks for 30 minutes each, we found out that the Honor 7X consumed the most amount of juice out of its 3,340mAh battery. The Xiaomi Mi A1, on the other hand, performed better than the 7X even with a smaller battery. Lastly, the Redmi Note 5 consumed the least amount of battery in each activity. Let’s take a look the numbers consumed.
REDMI NOTE 5
Gaming – 8% consumption
Video Recording – 8% consumption
Video Playback – 4% consumption
Songs – 2% consumption
Gaming – 14% consumption
Video Recording – 13% consumption
Video Playback – 8% consumption
Songs – 6% consumption
XIAOMI MI A1
Gaming – 12% consumption
Video Recording – 11% consumption
Video Playback – 6% consumption
Songs – 5% consumption
From the numbers above, it is clear that the Honor 7X is the hungriest smartphone in this trio followed by the Xiaomi Mi A1 while the Redmi Note 5 goes the longest distance. This behaviour continues in the normal usage as well which means performing regular day-to-day tasks without much heavy usage as well as including the standby time (the preferable situation for this is when the phone is unused at night when we sleep).
BATTERY CONSUMPTION under NORMAL USAGE and the CHARGING TIME
All three phones have a Full HD display and almost the same screen size (the Mi A1 being around half inch smaller at 5.5 inches compared to the 5.9 inches of the Honor 7X and the Redmi Note 5). Also, the Redmi Note 5 and the Mi A1 have the exact same Snapdragon 625 processor (which comes bundled with the Adreno 506 GPU) and the 4GB RAM (this is same across all three devices).
When it comes to charging, none of the three phones gets fast charging and the adapter rating for all three phones is at 5V-2A. The difference between the charging times between the three handsets is fairly small. However, the Honor 7X took the longest from 0% to 100% with 2 hours and 30 minutes flat. The Redmi Note 5 took 10 minutes less to arrive at 100% with 2 hours and 20 minutes and the Xiaomi Mi A1 took about the same time as well.
Under normal usage which includes making a few small calls, sending messages, spending time over the internet (including social media) and making a light use of the camera (while avoiding the video recording completely), the Redmi Note 5 and the Xiaomi Mi A1 would advance to the second day with more life left in them compared to the Honor 7X. Especially the Redmi Note 5 would go on until 1 and a half days before it will have to be connected to a charge. In comparison, the Xiaomi Mi A1 would last at least a couple of hours less while the Honor 7X will have to be connected to its charger by the end of the day.
Please understand that the battery life for any handset will vary from person to person depending on the usage. However, we can confidently say that the Redmi Note 5 upholds its largest battery spec in this group of handsets and lasts the longest while the Xiaomi Mi A1, with the smallest battery, trumps the Honor 7X.
WHY DOES THE XIAOMI MI A1 LAST LONGER THAN THE HONOR 7X?
So, the Redmi Note 5 has the best battery backup in this trio of lower mid-range devices. But why does the Xiaomi Mi A1 goes on longer than the Honor 7X even with the smallest battery?
The reason seems to be the more efficient battery management by the Snapdragon processor and the pure Android OS in the Xiaomi Mi A1. Snapdragon processors usually have a better reputation in battery management compared to their Kirin counterparts especially when we are talking about the mid-range processors like the Snapdragon 625. In comparison, the HiSilicon Kirin processor appears to be more power hungry and the EMUI custom user interface, although quite light, is not as light as the pure Android.
This comparison is a proof that having a big battery does not always translate to longer battery life, not for all handsets at least. Lastly, let’s not also forget an individual’s usage style.
BUT THE WINNER IS….
The Redmi Note 5, in this trio, does get the biggest battery, but it is also possible that the handset’s hardware and the software are comparatively better optimized. And in this case, at least, the 4,000mAh tag on the battery is well justified.