Advice please, is there a decent cheap smart phone with a good battery life?


War Hero
Afternoon all, I'm after a bit of help and wondered if the opinions of ARRSE could help out.

The time has come, or at least is approaching, when I will dispense with my old style candy bar phone and move on to a modern smart phone but I’m struggling to find anything I actually like.

I’ve currently got a Sony Ericson Elm and before that I had a bunch of Nokias. I like the fact that the Elm is small and pretty easy to use but most of all I like the battery life which used to be for 4 days and now (2 years on) is good for about 3.

I want something which is fairly small, has a long battery life and has better internet features (especially mapping) and apps than my current phone. I also need something fairly robust as I keep my phone with my keys and normally use a phone for about 2 years before replacing it. I want to spend about £150 for the handset but could go to £200 if there is something much better at that price.

I don’t need any social media stuff, I don’t mind about media players and I’ll probably keep my current sim card since it’s cheap.

I’ve seen what Google has to say on all of this but most of the review sites care more about facebook than battery life so it’s difficult to get the info I want. So what do you reckon? What is out there for me?


I'd recommend either the iPhone, or one of the Samsung Galaxy/Nexus range. I don't like the Nokia Lumia, HTC, or Blackberry phones.

You could go to a phone shop and ask to play with a few handsets and see what takes your fancy.
Don't buy a Motorala 'Defy'. Good mapping etc. Shock, dust and waterproof ish, but really shit battery life which gives me 1 day if I don't use any apps, 5 minutes if I do.
Apparently the mobile with the best battery life is the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx


War Hero
Cheers for the ideas guys. Unfortunately the phone shops are useless. The sales staff are too busy trying to sell me features I don't want and only the managers seem to know enough that they can help but still focus on features I don't need.

I'm not after a cutting edge phone so maybe the nexus range is a good one to look into... I was considering the Samsung Wave for a bit but it runs some unknown software that looks pretty poor.
Off the track slightly, but there's always the option of a battery extender. Basically it's a box that takes 4xAA batteries and plugs into your phone. I'm not talking about the emergency chargers which run on a single battery. I originally got one with a mini USB plug for a hand-held SatNav/PDA, allowing it to be run all day or longer with spare batteries and I've just got one with a micro USB plug to power my HTC smartphone. Too early yet to say how long it runs the phone for but it's often easier to throw a few batteries in while on the move than stop somewhere for several hours to plug the charger in.
You may be better off getting a phone that runs on andriod (cheap apps and millions of them) and where you can replace the battery. Which rules out all iphones. I had an HTC Desire for 2 years, it was fine. And as I could swap batteries the normal smart phone problem of batteries not lasting long was eased.
The new HTC One series have a powerful battery, and the new Samsung Galexy (sp) III have an even better one. But all smart phone by thier very nature will eat battery power.
HTC One X is a good phone, I've had mine a couple of months now and its impressive kit, the camera is high end and there are a lot of good apps available for it now from the fun to the very useful (and being a high end phone it runs them well). As with all smartphones they eat battery if you sit there using it all day, especially with the large screen on the One X, but if you keep a fully charged pebble charger with you when out and about in the great outdoors, buy a car charger and keep a spare at work you cant go wrong. You can pick up all those chargers dirt cheap from Amazon.


War Hero
I get the feeling that I want something very unusual with the battery life but I don't see what the appeal is for something that dies in a day. If you go away for the weekend or stay at a mates for a drinking sesh or even just forget to charge it you quickly get left with a dead phone.

Why do they die so quick anyway? I know the screen and apps are greedy but can't you just switch the GPS/3G/WiFi off until you need it and only use the phone as a phone? Surely if it is just in your pocket it can't be much more power hungry than an old style mobile?
Lot of them have all bells and whistles turned on as standard bit of a pisser to turn them off hence battery dies.
Get a stupidly cheap phome with no features if you want battery life.unless tech improves radiclly your not going to get massive battery.
I've recently got sick of all the Blackberry, Apple, HTC stuff. Don't want to piss about with emails on the move, I'll deal with them when I get home. Don't want a camera on my phone, don't want to talk on the phone whilst driving - people can leave a message and I'll get back to them.

Junked it all and got myself a still-boxed Nokia 3310. Best mobile ever made IMO.
3310s are pretty bombproof, and battery life is excellent since they don't really do anything except calls and SMS. Standard NICS issue for quite a while.

I've found that battery life on the "Big Screen" type phones is shite due to said screen, and all the background stuff running (as mentioned by others). I have fairly small hands, but sending SMS on the iPhone 3GS that I have is still a ******* ballache. The phone has been a load of bother in other ways - I had to jailbreak it in order to get a GSM signal as it decided one day that NO SIGNAL was the way to go (upgraded to iPad baseband, works again). It also gets the hump at retrieving emails when it feels like it. Apple tell me that this happens if it sees an email "it doesn't understand" and just stops, but helpfully* didn't tell me what form these supposedly incomprehensible emails take.

Compromise? This: (BB Curve 9320)

Loads of functions/apps etc, very good quality screen. Battery life is pretty good as the screen isn't full size. The free Gokivo Satnav is remarkably good for a phone-based app.

Won't be everyone's cup of tea, but it suits me very well. £140 from Tescunts on PAYG, and will take a 32GB SDHC Micro, cheap cheap on eGay.
Get a second-hand iPhone.

If nothing else, the fact that it's ridiculously easy to use should be a major selling point.
Afternoon all, I'm after a bit of help and wondered if the opinions of ARRSE could help out.

Samsung omnia I900, i have had mine for around 4.5 years now.
only replaced 1 touch digitizer once as i dropped it and it left a mark i did not like.
gives me around 3 days of mixed uses i.e a bit of music listening, sat nav, calls and texts if i go for long distance driving with sat nav, battery drains in like 3 hrs but i stick on in car charger when it warns of battery low. or use my spare driving battery.
You can get you a nice refurbed one with sat nav and extra utilite SW, ready to go for the £150 mark


With the iPhone 5 coming out soon, you should be able to pick up a 4 fairly cheaply. They're the phone of winners.
Best to get a mate who is phone-savvy to give you a basic tutorial on Android and Apple phones. Although these phones have a dazzling array of functions and features, many users such as myself hardly use any of them - its bit like buying a new PC and then not using the bloatware and hundreds of spare functions.

I use a Samsung Galaxy S2 (some bargains around, now that S3 is out) with all the "background updates" and "location services" switched off. The battery lasts about four days with light phone use, texts, and downloading emails.

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