An interesting smartphone battery test by Laptop Mag shows that T-Mobile smartphones last longer than smartphones on Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T. Laptop Mag doesn't have a firm explanation for the results, but suspects it may have to do with the efficiency of T-Mobile's network and relative lack of pre-installed apps
The test consisted of installing an application that surfs through 50 websites and pauses on each for one minute until the smartphone runs out of battery. NFC, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi are turned off as a part of the testing procedure, and brightness is set to 150 nits. The Samsung Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4, HTC One (M7), and One (M8) were all put through their paces for all four major U.S. carriers. In each test, T-Mobile smartphones bested the competition, sometimes by a wide margin.
The test revealed that the average battery life for a T-Mobile smartphone was 8 hours and 11 minutes, with Sprint in second place at 7 hours and 34 minutes. These findings were averaged out over a year's worth of reviews from Laptop Mag.
The big question remains: Why does a T-Mobile Galaxy S5 last 11 hours and 16 minutes when a Sprint Galaxy S5 can only muster 8 hours and 32 minutes, with AT&T and Verizon falling somewhere in between?
If you've purchased an Android smartphone recently from one of the four major U.S. carriers (Nexus 5 excluded), you've likely seen a ton of bloatware applications that you may never use. Unless disabled or deleted, these apps can run in the background.
One possible reason T-Mobile smartphones last longer is that the carrier adds fewer bloatware apps than others. While this may be partially responsible for the better battery life, it does make one wonder how much background data is consumed by these pre-installed apps.
Another potential reason T-Mobile smartphones last longer is it's network. As Laptop Mag suggests, the network bands T-Mobile uses could be more efficient at sending and receiving data, or it could be the fact that since the carrier has fewer customers, there's less network congestion, allowing for faster data transfers and puts less stress on a smartphones battery.