Geoffrey A Fowler, Washington Post:
If you recently bought a new flagship phone, chances are its battery life is actually worse than an older model.
For the last few weeks, I’ve been performing the same battery test over and over again on 13 phones. With a few notable exceptions, this year’s top models underperformed last year’s. The new iPhone XS died 21 minutes earlier than last year’s iPhone X. Google’s Pixel 3 lasted nearly an hour and a half less than its Pixel 2.
Phone makers tout all sorts of tricks to boost battery life, including more-efficient processors, low-power modes and artificial intelligence to manage app drain. Yet my results, and tests by other reviewers I spoke with, reveal an open secret in the industry: the lithium-ion batteries in smartphones are hitting an inflection point where they simply can’t keep up.
In a nutshell, the case being made here is that battery efficiency is growing very slowly, while screen technology (and other) power draw is growing somewhat faster than that.