Smartphone battery capacity

You see it on the TV, you hear it on the radio, you read about it online. Smartphone battery capacity is a battlefield for advertisers, marketers, salespeople and companies. “Our latest phone has a 6,000mAh battery and it will keep you online for days without recharging”, some boldly claim.


Read: Types of Smartphone batteries


The average end user too is not left out. People will not buy a phone with certain battery capacities. We all have at some point had to state our battery capacities to friends and family members. So that begs the question…

What is smartphone battery capacity?

Smartphone battery capacity can be defined as how much electrical current, power or charge that a battery can hold. A battery that can hold a lot of charge is said to have a high capacity (or it is a big battery), while a battery that holds less charge is a low capacity battery (or a small battery).

Battery capacities are rated in milli amperes per hour (mAh). The symbol for ampere or current is the capital letter A. This is why battery capacities are written as “mAh”.

Bigger batteries like the ones in your car, UPS or solar inverter are rated in amperes per hour (Ah).

1Ah = 1000mAh

This simply means that there are 1000mAh inside one 1Ah of battery. Smartphone batteries are much more smaller so they have a lesser capacity when compared to the aforementioned devices. If we are to use the equation above, a small 600 Ah UPS battery is equal to 600,000mAh. This should give you an idea of capacity differences between smartphone batteries and other bigger devices.

Battery capacities of modern smartphones can be anywhere between 2500mAh to as much as 6000mAh. Although, 4000mAh and 5000mAh seem to be the most common choices made by manufacturers these days.


Read: Screen on time and battery performance


What does the milli ampere per hour (mAh) imply? Oh that’s simple. It means that if the battery is connected to a 1000mAh load, it will lose 1000mAh every hour. In other words, a 4000mAh battery will should run down in 4 hours if it is connected to a 1000mAh load. Thankfully, our smartphones today do not consume 1000mAh in one hour so our batteries can last much longer than that.

The milli ampere per hour (mAh) rating of a smartphone’s battery should tell you how much current that a battery can hold but it doesn’t tell how long it can last though. That will be explained in a later post. Do keep a date with us.


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