Go on just about any online tech forum and you’ll see the thing that smartphone users want to see improved the most about their phones is the battery life. Because of this, you would think that the world’s top two smartphone manufacturers, Apple and Samsung, would be falling over one another to deliver biggest and better batteries on their phones. But a funny thing happened this year: Both companies’ major flagship devices actually deliver smaller batteries than the devices they released last year. What is going on?

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Officially, Apple and Samsung will tell you that they’ve both made major improvements to their devices’ overall efficiency so they can deliver the same or better overall battery life than last year’s devices. Samsung’s Philip Berne, for instance, writes on Twitter that the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 5 “added super fast charging and two wireless charging standards, and Exynos is a very efficient processor.”

Apple, meanwhile, says the iPhone 6s will deliver the exact same battery life as the iPhone 6 despite having a battery that’s 95 mAh smaller.

OK, so let’s say that these new devices really do deliver the same battery life with smaller batteries thanks to assorted software and hardware efficiencies. Is that really acceptable given that battery life is still the subject of constant complaints among smartphone users?

What this may show us is that despite many hardcore fans’ preferences, having a bigger battery just isn’t a big deal for many smartphone users, or at the very least it isn’t a big enough factor to be a deal breaker for them when buying a new device.

At any rate, this sadly dims our hopes that the Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7 will deliver significantly better battery life next year. While both smartphone titans love paying lip service to delivering stronger batteries, it seems that it just isn’t their top priority.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.