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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  • boomhowler - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    I really like that you included a NAND-test. Those memory chips can be a real performance killer if they are bad. A request: it would be interesting to see if the NAND performance is about the same when the storage has been filled to ~90%. I have several colleagues who experience large performance degradations on their androids when the storage starts to fill up. And if you can, also add comparisons to Win8/iOS models as well. Reply
  • awehring - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    Anand,
    you are missing an universal remote to control a home cinema. Me too!
    But I found TouchSquid Remote at the Android Play Store, which claims to be just that. Have you ever tried it?
    Reply
  • arifmahmud - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    This review is a compact review of Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 & help any readers at glance about the awesome device. Reply
  • Commodus - Sunday, April 21, 2013 - link

    Like it or not, Samsung is going to be burned by that $399 price.

    Is it fair for what you get? Sure -- but most people don't need a pen and Wacom digitizer. You could safely argue that most customers at this size are buying for cost, not features; otherwise, they'd get a 10-inch tablet or a low-end laptop. While the iPad mini isn't the best value-for-money deal in its current state, it also costs $70 less, carries more tablet-native apps and first launched several months ago.

    Personally, I'd be more curious to see what Apple does for the second-gen iPad mini than the Note 8.0. Put in a Retina-ish display and an A6 at $329 and the tiny iPad could be a killer combo.
    Reply
  • herts_joatmon - Monday, April 22, 2013 - link

    I be suprised if Samsung designed this as an "iPad killer". Unlike Apple and some other manufacturers, Samsung dont have a one size fits all policy. Rather, they have segregated the market into smaller segments. This tablet is aimed at creative types, where as most tablets are designed for consumption (reading, gaming, browsing etc).
    Like the original Note phone. They wont have expected it to sell in abundance, but if other market segments take it up, it will be a bonus to them.
    For me, the closest rival is the Surface Pro. Thats the only other tablet that you can actually draw on with pressure sensitivity support and good accuracy (that im aware off) and that is over twice the price. So is $399 a fair price? Compared to $999, its a bargain.
    What I want is a mobile sketch book. Any other functionality is a bonus in my opinion.
    Reply
  • nerd1 - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    $500 Ativ smart PC has the same wacom support. Reply
  • ZoeAnderson24 - Monday, April 22, 2013 - link

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  • A_Smith - Thursday, April 25, 2013 - link

    Is that a painting colored by fabric colors at the back of photos in the review? Reply
  • fteoath64 - Friday, April 26, 2013 - link

    Only 1 comment that is most important is the aspect ratio of the screen!. The iPad Mini's 4:3 ratio is just perfect for web and reading and it is nor less good for movie watching either!. The 16:9 ratio of Note makes it look long and web reading is constrained by either too narrow a width on portrait mode or too shallow if put on landscape mode. I suggest a 1600 X 1200 screen be used with minimal bezel on the sides. All other things are perfect as they are ... Reply
  • Pessimism - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - link

    Plastic housing and no cellular telephone capability = no care. Reply

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