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


View All Comments

  • nerd1 - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    I think it's better than most people need - it exceeds ipad mini in almost every aspects (except for 10% less battery life) and I think wacom pen + multi-window support is very crucial for many circumstances, like searching for something in one window and writing down a note in the other window. Reply
  • nerd1 - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    Also I think it is very absurd that just everyone ignores the micro SD slot when comparing prices. You can get 16GB one and put 32GB or 64GB micro SD to upgrade the storage, and most will do because it is way cheaper, which Nexus or iDevices cannot. Reply
  • steven75 - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    It still falls down in one massive area that all Android tablets fall down in: app ecosystem. Reply
  • extide - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    Apple fanboy much? lol Reply
  • NekoTipcat - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    Ipad mini wins in 2 aspects or 3
    1 Battery
    2 GPU
    3 iOS (if you like it)
  • Spunjji - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    Samsung Note 8.0 wins in 2 aspects or 3
    1 Pen
    2 CPU
    3 Android (if you like it)

    ...sorry, I really couldn't resist.
  • FlyBri - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    Anand -- I see you mention that the Galaxy Note 8.0 has a PLS display, but I have seen other information that states the display is a TFT panel. Could you provide some more color on this? Thanks! Reply
  • B3an - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    ... Err TFT stands for Thin-Film-Transistor. All LCD displays are TFT.

    "TFT LCD" is the general technology and theres many different types of panels for it. PLS is one of them types. The Galaxy Note 8.0 uses PLS which is one of the best kinds of TFT LCD panels.
  • Sabresiberian - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    "PLS" is Samsung's version if LG's "IPS". :)

    Whether or not it is better - well, there are different versions of both technologies, and Samsung's PLS is newer and so they are still improving it. I would judge on a product-by-product basis.
  • FlyBri - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    My bad, I meant TN, not TFT -- brain fart. In any case, if it's PLS, that's good, but the thing is still overpriced... Reply

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