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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  • Ashley1989 - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    Hi, I'm awaiting for the launch of this machine in India, expected somewhere in the end of April. I'm inclined towards its sleek design and its task switcher feature. Its available on S3 too if you update your software. Can't wait to install One browser to it, download and surf at lightening speed. Its gonna be a deadly combo. Reply
  • superflex - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    No Editors Choice award?
    Enjoy the wrath of the Samsung Fanbois.
    Reply
  • herts_joatmon - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    This is the first review i've read to date on this that talks about the s-pen as a drawing tool and compares it to a similar product (the surface in this case). The main reason I wanted this was to use as a mobile sketchpad. I have concerns now having read that its not upto the standard of the surface pro. Saying that, I cant afford the Surface pro so I may have no other choice than this. Was it the pen itself that was the issue? Have your tried it with other Wacom pens? I've already gone out and bought the seperate s pen with erraser for the improved ergonomics and functionality assuming it would be a better experience than the standard pen supplied. Reply
  • Arbie - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    This is a real prospect for me. The screen size is just large enough to enjoy videos, while still being portable.

    What I really appreciate is the SD card slot. On a device so capable of media playback, it's a no-brainer to include a tiny, low-cost way of instantly swapping libraries of content in and out. The size of the internal storage is irrelevant to this - nothing beats micro/SD for loading and unloading media sets. The companies that omit SD in order to force higher prices for internal storage (!) will never get my business.
    Reply
  • nerd1 - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    Still some company is charging $100 for extra 16GB while you can get 32GB card at $20. Reply
  • antef - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    lol, a menu button on a tablet??? Users will probably never even notice it's there. Imagine such a thing on an iPad or Nexus 10.

    Samsung just doesn't get it.
    Reply
  • nerd1 - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    It actually helps a lot to have external buttons on tablet, as it won't eat up screen real estate.
    I hate permanent on-screen buttons.
    Reply
  • Calista - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    Fully agree, have always found the onscreen buttons of HC and ICS a bit akward, to easy to hit by mistake. But I guess real buttons would hinder the idea that the tablet should be able to be turned any way the user please. Unfortunately it still won't work that way since we always have the power and volume button and the speakers in fixed positions. Reply
  • antef - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    The problem with real buttons is flexibility. If you include a hardware menu key (Samsung), it creates a bad, disjointed UI experience and a button that sometimes does nothing depending on the app you're in. An app's functionality should be fully contained with the app's UI and a button off-screen to pull up some functions is not smart design. It's also completely inconsistent ith 10" tablets and thus hard for new users to learn which is why Google axed it. However, if you don't include a hardware menu key (HTC), you're stuck with a full-row black menu bar for legacy apps that expect an off-screen menu key. On-screen keys eliminate this issue and let you have the best of both worlds. Reply
  • HanakoIkezawa - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    Im sorry but I fail to see how having dedicated buttons off screen create a broken experience in any way, shape or form. I for one cannot stand having wasted pixels on screen or having no dedicated Reply

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