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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  • teiglin - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    I'm not sure there's a reasonable compromise there, though, without increasing size pretty substantially. Even APQ8064 at 1.5GHz is going to blow through the <20Whr of battery one can fit in a chassis designed for a 7" screen very quickly, not to mention the higher draw of a denser display. Unfortunately, the reality of the OS situation means that Google lacks the luxury Apple has of running a lower-clocked CPU, so when it comes to gaming, the only way to save battery is to run games that look worse or wait for better silicon (or better battery technology, though I don't have the impression that's improving very fast).

    I'm curious what your target battery life is for this sort of thing. I mean, four hours is a long time to be gaming away from a power source; it's within spitting distance of long enough for a cross-country flight (sorry, US-centric here), and when travelling, I tend to have a USB battery on hand anyway.
    Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    I suppose my thoughts are based on my first tablet, the Iconia A500. Battery life was crazy long on everything. I think I plugged it in once or twice a week, when it seems like my Nexus 7 gets plugged in almost everyday. Most days, I don't even game that long.

    More directly to your question, I don't have a major complaint about the Nexus 7's battery life, but I would rather see batter life improve next release as opposed to getting worse. I don't feel that the general performance of the device is bad in any way, so it seems like a more efficient SOC that performs slightly better is all that is required. Provided they don't increase DPI, of course.
    Reply
  • Hung_Low - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    What is the GPS app used for the review? Seems to be very popular amongst the tech community Reply
  • thebigfudge - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    I found it: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.... Reply
  • mayankleoboy1 - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    The only problem i see is the last generation hardware. Reply
  • mayankleoboy1 - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    Just to add, why would anyone not buy the Nexus 10 ? Reply
  • StormyParis - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    Size. Pen. SD. Reply
  • lmcd - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    Exynos 4 Quad is definitely in the good enough range. Reply
  • Spunjji - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    It's probably a bit above that, being entirely honest. Tends to sit near the top end of benchmarks. Quad Krait / A6 is definitely better, but not a lot else. Reply
  • Spunjji - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    Oh no, so slow.
    /sarcasm
    Reply

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