If you're not getting enough battery life out of your smartphone, don't just blame the manufacturer. There's more to how long a phone can operate than how big its battery is or how much time you spend streaming video or playing Tiny Wings–there's the handset's guts, services provided by your wireless carrier, and your phone's software.
Consider, for example, the physical bits and bobs that connect your phone to your carrier. Apple has caught flack for not yet offering a high-speed 4G phone, but the current 4G tech, LTE, is hard on batteries. Samsung's Galaxy S II HD LTE, for example, requires an 1850 milliampere-hour (mAh) cell to keep its battery life acceptable–that's 30 percent more than the iPhone 4S's 1432 mAh. (Don't worry about exactly what mAh means, just know that the more, the merrier.).There are many sites like Phone Year that will let you know which phone is best for battery life.
In addition to a bigger phone battery, 4G requires more chipper. First, LTE doesn't yet support voice calls–it's currently used only for data. Verizon says that voiceover LTE–known as VoLTE, pronounced "volley"–will arrive this year, and ATT says next year. But until it arrives, another circuitry is needed to carry voice. Second, you not only need 3G circuitry for voice, but you also need it for data when 4G isn't available, plus 2G circuitry for additional "fallback" insurance.
In addition to that 2G, 3G, and 4G voice and data radios, as they're called, your smartphone has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth–and here's where the network comes in to help increase battery life.
Currently, smartphone users need to tell their phones when to turn Wi-Fi on and off. Instead, the network should sense what signals are available, and work seamlessly, instantly, and dynamically with the phone to use Wi-Fi, 4G, 3G, and 2G as needs require–a trick that would not only help battery life but also free up precious network bandwidth when the high-speed spectrum isn't required.