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Running on empty: Aussies longing for better battery life

  • Longer battery life is the most desired smartphone feature
  • Aussies aren’t keen on digital assistants, virtual reality or stereo speakers
  • Tips on getting more bang out of your battery

7 March 2017, Sydney, Australia -- While many new phone features dazzled consumers last week at Mobile World Congress (MWC), the world’s largest mobile exhibition, Aussies aren’t fazed by the bells and whistles, reveals new research by Australia’s most visited comparison site1,

Ahead of Siri-like digital assistants and better cameras, the study found longer battery life is what Aussies really want in new phones.

The survey of 2,004 shows better battery life is the most desired smartphone feature for 89% of Australians when it comes to picking their next device.

Full waterproofing came second, sought after by 62% of users, while wireless charging rounded out the top three at 52%.’s telco expert, Alex Kidman, says while longer battery life is in demand, it’s a difficult promise to make.

“It’s impressive when a manufacturer can shave a millimetre here or there from phone bodies, but it often comes at the cost of space to pack more battery capacity within phones” he says.

The excitement surrounding the reboot of the Nokia 3310 at MWC last week reflects the survey findings and shows just how much value Australians place on longer battery life.

“It’s not reasonable to expect that kind of battery life, because today’s smartphones do so much more than the phones of the past, but it’s a struggle that hits consumers each and every day,” says Kidman.

“We’ve seen a number of flagship phones with water resistance features unveiled at MWC, and that’s a pleasing inclusion that is fast becoming an expected standard. Any phone manufacturer wanting to make inroads to the Australian market would clearly be wise to look at water resistance,” Kidman says.

“It’s interesting to note that the features Australians have highlighted, battery life aside, are all being rumoured for the next generation iPhone as well” he says.

It’s no surprise that Baby Boomers, who lived through the age of the everlasting phone battery, were the most keen on longer battery life (95%), followed by Gen X (88%) and Gen Y (82%).

Gen X was the biggest fan of wireless charging with 56% desiring the feature (Baby Boomers 49% and Gen Y 51%), while Gen Y was most interested in a better camera.

South Australians care the most about longer battery life with 94% selecting it as their top feature, and Tasmanians cared the least at 82%

Top features Aussies want in their next smartphone

RankMost requested mobile phone featuresPer cent*
1Better battery life89%
2Fully waterproof62%
3Wireless charging52%
4Better camera51%
5With a headphone jack16%
6Stereo speakers13%
7More sophisticated digital assistant11%
8VR capability6%
source: survey of 2,004 Australians conducted Feb 2017. *participants were able to select the three top features

Tips on prolonging your battery life

1. Dim the screen or select ‘auto-brightness’

Your screen’s brightness consumes battery faster than any other component. Adjusting your settings to auto-brightness will ensure that your screen remains readable in all environments and will save you a fair amount of battery life compared to having it set to bright all the time. Keeping your screen dim and only brightening it as you need it will save you even more battery power again.

2. Switch off your Wi-Fi

When you’re out of Wi-Fi hotspots, turn your connection off. When your phone is searching for signal where there is none, it’s sucking up unnecessary power.

3. Disable GPS or location services

Your mobile device’s GPS uses a lot of battery power. You could have apps running location services and using power in the background that aren’t necessary, and that you aren’t even aware of -- think Uber and Pokemon Go. Once you’re finished with an app that uses location services, switch it off.

4. Invest in a portable charger

Avoid having to charge in public bathrooms or risk the privacy of your personal photos through borrowing a stranger's laptop and purchase a ‘plan b’. Portable chargers, power banks and battery packs are all ideal for when you need to charge on-the-go.

1 Experian Hitwise Since 2015


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