Battery Life

The Galaxy Note 8.0 features an integrated (non-removable) 4600mAh battery. Assuming 3.7V chemistry we’re looking at 17Wh, a 4.4% increase over the iPad mini. The display is higher resolution and the CPU cores run at a 60% higher frequency than they do in the iPad mini (not to mention that there are twice as many cores). Although the GPU is slower, ARM’s Mali 400 doesn’t appear to be as power efficient as PowerVR’s SGX 543MP2. To make a long story short, the Galaxy Note 8.0 might have a slightly larger battery than the iPad mini, but the platform itself should consume (potentially significantly) more power.

To quantify (we love numbers), we once again turn to our own battery life tests. We’ll start with our 2013 web browsing battery life test, first introduced in the iPhone 5 review:

We regularly load web pages at a fixed interval until the battery dies (all displays are calibrated to 200 nits as always). The differences between this test and our previous one boil down to the amount of network activity and CPU load.

On the network side, we've done a lot more to prevent aggressive browser caching of our web pages. Some caching is important otherwise you end up with a baseband/WiFi test, but it's clear what we had previously wasn't working. Brian made sure that despite the increased network load, the baseband/WiFi still have the opportunity to enter their idle states during the course of the benchmark.

We also increased CPU workload along two vectors: we decreased pause time between web page loads and we shifted to full desktop web pages, some of which are very js heavy. The end result is a CPU usage profile that mimics constant, heavy usage beyond just web browsing. Everything you do on your device ends up causing CPU usage peaks - opening applications, navigating around the OS and of course using apps themselves. Our 5th generation web browsing battery life test should map well to more types of mobile usage, not just idle content consumption of data from web pages.

Web Browsing Battery Life (WiFi)

The Galaxy Note 8.0 delivers about 13% lower battery life than the iPad mini in our test. The drop isn’t tremendous, but it’s just beyond the point of being noticeable.

Video Playback Battery Life (720p, 4Mbps HP H.264)

Video playback is much worse. The Note 8.0 shaves off 23% from the iPad mini’s battery life on a single charge. Apple has traditionally done a great job of implementing low power video decode, it seems like Samsung needs to do some work here as even the larger Note 10.1 suffers.

3D Battery Life - GLBenchmark 2.5.1

Finally, for the true worst case scenario, we have our GLBenchmark 3D battery life results.

3D battery life is one area where the old Galaxy Tab 8.9 actually leads everything else, the reason being that its hardware is so slow it's simply incapable of drawing all that much power compared to newer, faster tablets. Here we get a good feel for the lower bound in the Note 8.0's battery life - a bit under 4 hours. The 8 ends up with ~ 40% less time on a single charge compared to the iPad mini.

The Note 10.1 does a lot better here simply due to its larger battery (offset by a larger display, but benefitting from a lower power SoC).

Charge Time

Samsung bundles a fairly standard 5V/2A USB charger with the Note 8.0. The Note 8.0 takes a hair under 4 hours to charge from empty to full (no current draw at the wall). This is comparable to the iPad mini.

Charge Time in Hours

WiFi, GPS Performance Performance: Upgrading from a Galaxy Tab 8.9
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  • danstek - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    I just have to say that the background used for the photos looks awesome! Reply
  • klatscho - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    just had the same thought - nice one anand Reply
  • hagmamad - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    stole the words out of my mouth Reply
  • onwudinjo,uzorchi - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    hey guy checkout this page www.phy.unn.edu.ng for amazing information as regards academic excellence Reply
  • nerdstalker - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    Hey, c'mon Anand... This is AnandTech, the gathering place of geeks and nerds. It's not The Verge. :P Reply
  • mmartel - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    Another thumbs up on the photos - beautiful background and photography. Reply
  • nerdstalker - Sunday, April 21, 2013 - link

    I bet the photos look awesome on an iPad 4/5, rMBP or late-2012 iMac. ;) BTW, for a long time I expected AnandTech to review the late-2012 iMacs; but it didn't happen. :( I hope they review, at least when those get the next speed bump. Reply
  • jeffkibuule - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    It's an interesting tablet for sure, but eh, we know we're going to get the Nexus 7 II with a 1920x1200 display and Qualcomm Snapdragon 600/800 in a month for $249-299. I'd just sit back and wait for the inevitable. Reply
  • thesavvymage - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    hell, it can keep the 1280x720 res if it stays at the 200/249 price point. Im just hoping the usb otg isnt totally neutered like it is on the Nexus 4. We shall see... Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    It's actually 1280x800, but I really hope Google doesn't overdo the specs of Nexus 7.2 and forsake battery life. More than anything, I wish my Nexus 7 got a few more hours on a charge, especially during games. I appreciate a boost in specs, but I hope they are sane about it. Reply

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