Battery Life

The new One features an integrated 3.8V 2600mAh battery (9.88 Wh), a 13% increase in capacity compared to the previous model. The battery comparison isn’t that simple however. The M8 has a larger display (5” vs 4.7”) but it also has a higher performing and more power efficient SoC (Snapdragon 801 vs. 600). To find out how the new One stacks up against its predecessor, we turn to a mix of old and new battery life tests to help better characterize the device.

We’ll start with our standard browser based battery life tests. Keep in mind here these tests are as much about replicating a particular CPU profile as they are about loading specific web pages in order.

AT Smartphone Bench 2013: Web Browsing Battery Life (3G/2G)

AT Smartphone Bench 2013: Web Browsing Battery Life (WiFi)

We saw a substantial gain in battery life with Snapdragon 800, and 801 extends that even further. For the same, relatively light (yet constant) workload, the M8 improves battery life over the M7 by as much as 71%. On WiFi the advantage drops to only 38%, but we’re still talking about absolutely huge generational gains.

A constant workload is only one part of the story though. More often than not, when you’re faced with faster compute you end up doing more. To see what the other extreme of battery life looks like I turned to two canned tests: BaseMark OS II and GFXBench 3.0.

I ran both of these tests under the same controlled conditions we always use, with all displays calibrated to 200 nits. BaseMark OS II runs through a bunch of CPU and storage benchmarks (basically the same tests used for the BaseMark OS II system and memory tests), as fast as possible, until the battery dies.

I like this benchmark as it gives us an indication of worst case battery life if you’re absolutely hammering the CPU (and storage) relentlessly.

CPU Bound Battery Life - BaseMark OS II

Despite the faster CPU cores, the M8’s battery life actually goes up compared to M7. Here we’re really seeing the benefits of 801’s updated 28nm HPm process compared to the Snapdragon 600’s 28nm LP process.

GFXBench provides a similar test, with effectively uncapped performance (on today’s devices at least since we’re not hitting v-sync limits), but stressing the GPU instead of the CPU. Here we’re running the T-Rex HD benchmark, onscreen, until the battery dies.

3D Battery Life - GFXBench 3.0

This is the first and only test we’ve got here that shows a regression in battery life compared to M7. The M8 loses about 6% of runtime compared to the M7, despite having a larger battery. Now look at what happens if we look at performance at the end of the run:

GFXBench 3.0 Battery Test - Performance

Now the M8’s battery life regression doesn’t look so bad. You give up 6% of runtime but you get almost twice the performance compared to M7. Snapdragon 801 is just a huge upgrade compared to 600.

Charge Time

The M8 features a Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 enabled PMIC, which enables faster battery charge times through higher voltage charging. Unfortunately the in-box wall adapter is only Quick Charge 1.5 compliant so you'll only pull 7.5W from the wall. HTC expects to offer a Quick Charge 2.0 compliant power adapter later this year.

Device Charge Time - 0 to 100 Percent

The M8's charge time is a bit slow compared to what we've seen from other devices with larger batteries.

Snapdragon 801 Performance Display
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  • Grooveriding - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - link

    The best just got better!

    Only on page 2 so far, but it's looking excellent.
    Reply
  • dylan522p - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - link

    While it's got flaws, all around best phone IMO. One weird thing is that even though HTC didn't advertise it, the One has passed water proofness tests in a sink for 2 hours.. Reply
  • fokka - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - link

    i almost couldn't watch it... air slowly escaping out of the headphone port, like a fish slowly drowning. (wait a minute...) Reply
  • blanarahul - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - link

    Disappointed in the camera department. The camera is the single most important factor for me when buying a smartphone, so the One is a no go. Reply
  • blanarahul - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - link

    Btw, I am referring to the rear camera.

    HTC did a really awesome job by putting the power button on the top on a phone this tall.

    They should have gone with capacitive buttons IMO. Atleast you wouldn't have to stare at the logo.

    The S5 is the only remaining good phone for me (I have bad experiences with Sony's quality control, so Z2 is a no go). I just have to find a good back cover for it.
    Reply
  • Cptn_Slo - Saturday, March 29, 2014 - link

    actually, I think HTC is one of the few smart phone manufacturers to invest in specs that will actually make a difference rather than to impress idiots. Reply
  • shaolin95 - Tuesday, April 01, 2014 - link

    Or fool idiots that think they are too smart... Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Tuesday, April 01, 2014 - link

    The reality is, HTC cuts back on the internals simply to make up for the cost of vanity. Calling that "specs that makes sense" is a poor excuse, I think. :) Reply
  • noel_newell - Friday, October 03, 2014 - link

    I agree, HTC One M8 is one fantastic phone and most sources seem to agree (my favorite source on the topic is http://www.consumertop.com/best-phone-guide/ ). The people that prefer Samsung or iPhone really haven't tried the M8. When my friends try out mine they are amazed. Reply
  • jonup - Thursday, March 27, 2014 - link

    Can we turn off the broken record!? Listen, consumer does not need 8+MP camera other than for bragging rights. I bet you we can show a daylight picture taken on a One and S5 to 95% of the people on the street on a ~5" display and they will not tell which is higher resolution. Then we can do the same with a low light picture. You see what I did there!? ;) All I hear about every review out there is "oh the camera is only 4MP", especially the once paid off by Samsung. And all the people like you repeat it all day long. I have someone with an HTC M7 in the office along with iPnone 5s and my Nokia 925 and N5. Side by side shots with all 4 of them look pleasing to the eye. If you are into photography that you care so much about picture detail, you won't be using you phone to take pictures. You can overanalyze the picture quality but It's a mute, geeky point that makes for great marketing. When in reality, the way most of us use their phone camera, the HTC setup is the best camera setup out there. (obviously exaggerating a bit but you get the point) At the end of the day as Anand said it will end up compressed on social media and most likely will be displayed on a phone. Reply

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