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

  • herts_joatmon - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    You could always root this, under clock and undervolt the CPU thus giving you Nexus 7 level performance and improved battery life. I also assume that the Wacom digitizer tech used in this uses additional electricity meaning that if it was applied to the Nexus 7, you would probably get reduced battery life anyway Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    The reason Samsung is doing a sea of niches is because they've got the advantage of a huge manufacturing infrastructure they can rely on to do it and do it well. They intend to drown Apple in an ocean of different products at different sizes and specs, bombarding the consumer in so much product there's little chance they haven't made something better for you in an Android variety.

    Poor Apple. They aren't destined to win this one. They're going to be shoved back into that niche box by the end and a big part of the reason will be Samsung, their ex-partner they burned with lawsuits and price bickering. Another large part of the reason will be the fact that Apple seems to be tapped out on new ideas or innovative styling.

    Now everything's just, "Thinner, silverer, black/white-er." They're like fans of a dead man who can't appreciate anything new because of a blind devotion to the rapidly decaying chic of the dearly departed.
  • nerd1 - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    Samsung has some advantage over other OEMs, but not over apple. BOM of apple products are always much cheaper, and they are enjoying double the margin of others. Reply
  • Mercadian - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    Hi Anand,

    Why have you stopped benchmarking mobile SoCs with Epic Citadel? I remember you did a great job with iPhone 4S review.
  • Jumangi - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    I don't know why Samsung thinks this thing is worth $400. I'm not the biggest Apple fan but at that price I would just buy the iPad. Reply
  • herts_joatmon - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    Look up the price of a wacom tablet. then add that price to the iPad to get a comparable price. This is a modern tablet and graphics tablet in one The ipad is just a modern tablet. Reply
  • nerd1 - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    iPad users are actually paying $100 to get JOT stylus to get a half-baked pressure sensitivity... Reply
  • SuperSuperChicken - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    "If you’re the type of person to value, polish and take care of the things you own, the Note 8’s construction doesn’t convey luxury. If you want something you’re not going to feel bad about tossing about like you would your keys or a bag, maybe a plastic tablet is less of a problem."

    I see this a lot on Anandtech lately, with the phone reviews and now this. The insinuation is that if I don't want a metal-cased device, then automatically I'm one that doesn't care about the condition of my devices or how they look, which is simply not true.

    Now, I'm no fan of glossy plastic, I would have hoped the manufacturers would have moved away from it by now. However, I am a fan of plastic and prefer it over metal devices such as the iPad due to the fact that in the real world, I can actually hold onto a plastic device whereas the metal ones tend to slip through my fingers. I think the Nexus 7 is a nice looking device, but even I'm not foolish enough to argue that it looks better than the iPad. However, when I have to encase the iPad in a cover in order to be able to hold it, it seems the point is moot.

    I appreciate quality materials, however, in my case it doesn't take precedence over practicality. With plastic bodies, I can run my phone and tablet without cases, keeping them slim as designed - which is something metal bodied devices wouldn't be able to offer. I just ask that you keep that perspective in mind and don't just assume that everyone who has a plastic-bodied device doesn't care how it looks and is want to mistreat them.
  • nerd1 - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    I see lots of plastic cases for metal phones - I wonder why nobody makes a metal case for plastic phones. Reply
  • SuperSuperChicken - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    Companies do, actually (search for "metal case galaxy s3"). I'm not sure how much I'd trust them not to degrade reception though. Reply

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