It’s funny how people automatically assume that a smaller battery means shorter battery life. That’s simply not true. In the case of the Moto Z2 Play coming out in a few months, we might be jumping to that conclusion without knowing the facts. The biggest fact being: just because a battery has a lower mAh rating, it doesn’t necessarily means it won’t last as long. There are several factors on which battery life depends, such as the processor’s power efficiency, to name just one.
Let’s have a look and see if the Moto Z2 Play will actually have a shorter battery life than the Moto Z Play, which was critically acclaimed for how long the device could last on a single charge.
A couple of years ago, a similar thing happened with the iPhone 6s. The new iPhone for 2015 had a smaller battery than its predecessor, iPhone 6. iPhone 6s sported a 1715mAh battery, versus the 1810mAh battery on iPhone 6. Admittedly, that’s not a massive difference – about 95mAh.
However, if you look at the estimated usage limits, they’re exactly the same as iPhone 6 that was launched the year before, with the larger battery: 14 hours of 3G talk time, 10 hours of data usage on 3G, 10 hours on LTE, 11 hours on WiFi and 10 days of standby.
Now, the upcoming Moto Z2 Play, in comparison, has a much smaller battery than its predecessor, the Moto Z Play. The latter had a 3,510 mAh battery, and the newer model will have only 3,000 mAh. That’s a much bigger difference than the battery capacities of iPhone 6s vs iPhone 6.
But let’s look at the processor upgrade. The Moto Z Play has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, while the Moto Z2 Play will come with the newer Snapdragon 626. Here’s what Qualcomm says of the 626:
“The Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 626 processor is engineered to provide even more power and efficiency than its predecessors by using leading-edge 14 nm technology to power premium experiences in high-tier smartphones without draining the battery. Featuring support for full HD (1080p), an integrated X9 LTE modem, Qualcomm® Adreno™ 506 PC-class graphics and Qualcomm® TruSignal™ antenna boost technology, the Snapdragon 626 is designed to provide fast connectivity, vibrant displays and up to 10% higher performance over the Snapdragon 625 processor.”
So, the 626 is definitely more power-efficient than the 625, while providing a 10 percent increase in performance. But will that efficiency be enough to offset the lower battery power?
It might now. According to Lenovo’s own numbers, the Moto Z Play has a total standby time of 50 hours, compared to only 30 hours on the new Moto Z2 Play.
However, battery life is not necessarily always about standby times. Real-life usage is what matters, and, similar to the iPhone 6s delivering the same battery life as iPhone 6 despite the drop in battery capacity, Moto Z2 Play with the 626 processor could perform resource-intensive tasks without draining the battery, as pointed out by Qualcomm, allowing the new Moto Z2 Play to have somewhat comparable battery life as the Moto Z Play.
We’ll only know the reality of things when the new phone finally comes out – presumably an August launch followed by availability the month after. But we’re pretty sure that Lenovo is well aware that the long battery life was one of the Moto Z Play’s best features, and they’re not likely to compromise too much on that just to get a thinner phone out to the market.
But let’s wait and see. In fact, we might not even have to wait until the launch. Now that so much has been leaked, it’s possible that Lenovo will slowly begin to release other specs prior to the actual launch.