Battery Life

Continuing to the battery life benchmarks we should expect the Mate 8 to perform very well, thanks to the high efficiency of the Kirin 950, an LCD screen as well as the 4000mAh / 15.2Wh large battery.

Web Browsing Battery Life (WiFi)

Starting off with our WiFi web-browsing test we see the Mate 8 just get short of 13.5h of battery life. The interesting comparison is here to last year’s Mate 7 as it seems the actually last just as much. This may point out that the screen efficiency measured in our display power testing was maybe correct and the Mate 8 is less efficient. Another aspect is that the Mate 8’s overall platform power consumption hasn’t seen much improvement and thus still represents a large barrier for battery life.

Web Browsing Battery Life (4G LTE)

On the 4G LTE test we see that the Mate 8 loses out its advantage over the competition. Again I’m testing under rather mediocre signal conditions so it’s not a valid apples-to-apples comparison to devices reviewed by Joshua or Brandon, however when comparing it against for example such as the Nexus 6P which was tested under the same conditions we see that the Mate 8 faces a much larger battery life degradation going from the WiFi to the LTE test. The reason for this can only be that the Kirin 950’s modem and RF back-end just aren’t as efficient as Qualcomm or even Samsung’s.

PCMark - Work Battery Life

While the web-browsing tests didn’t represent a large improvement for the Mate 8, we see PCMark put the phablet as the current undisputed leader among high-performance devices. Here the difference to the Mate 7 is almost 4 hours, or around a 65% increase in battery life. The increase is most certainly linked to the new SoC’s power efficiency.

BaseMark OS II Battery Life

BaseMark OS II’s battery test is more of a maximum load type test that depends on the allowed maximum TDP of the phone. With a 15.2Wh battery and a runtime of 4.2h we see an average consumption of 3.6W, roughly the same amount of power that I saw that the device was able to sustain in our CPU thermal test.

GFXBench 3.0 Battery Life

Finally the GFXBench battery test shows that the Mate 8 doesn’t show very good battery life but this is a two-edged sword. As we’ve seen in the GPU section the SoC hardly throttles under heavy GPU load and thus retains its maximum performance for the duration of the test. Considering that the Mate 7 slowed  throttled down to 9-10fps and the Mate 8 does not go under 40fps, it still shows that the Mate 8 is twice as efficient as the Mate 7 even though overall battery life is almost twice as short.

At 200 nits the Mate 8 averages an idle power consumption of 989mW and we saw that system load power for the T-Rex test is 3.64W. 3 hours battery runtime averages 5W of power, near the 4.6W we theorized. The small difference may be due to the overhead of actually running the on-screen test and thus also not able to show the DDIC’s savings thanks to PSR due to continuously changing screen content.

Overall I’ve been extremely impressed by the Mate 8’s battery life. In everyday usage this is the longest-lasting device I’ve had the opportunity to use. The Kirin 950’s efficiency is outstanding and is truly able to earn its place among the top for this generation. It seems the Mate 8’s limiting factors are related to the screen and general platform base power consumption, something that Huawei may be able to improve in future devices and thus get even better value out of the Kirin 950.

All being said, if you’re looking for a long-lasting device, you can’t go wrong with the Mate 8.

Charge Time

The Mate 8 advertises fast charging out of the box so that even considering it having a large 4000mAh battery, it should still be fast to fill up when in need. The stock charger is a 9V/2A (18W) unit. I’m not sure if the charging enumeration protocol is based on Quick Charge or Adaptive Fast Charging, but it was able to enable fast-charging on Samsung phones while the Mate 8 didn’t fast-charge on Samsung’s charger, meaning the Huawei charger is likely a Quick Charge unit and the Mate 8’s PMIC and voltage negotiation IC seems to only accept Quick Charge.

Charge Time

As we see in the charge graph, the Mate 8’s battery cell gets charged at up to 11.5W during the fast-charging phase, being able to reach 80% in 68 minutes around little under 40% charge for each half hour of charging. The last 20% takes up to another 70 minutes as the device switches over to trickle-charging.

While the Mate 8 ends up with total charge time of 2.56 hours, what counts is that the initial 80% of battery capacity can be charged very fast so the Mate 8 is no slouch in this metric.

Display Measurement & Power Camera Still Picture Performance
POST A COMMENT

116 Comments

View All Comments

  • lilmoe - Tuesday, January 5, 2016 - link

    CCI (Cache Coherent Interconnect) is basically responsible for connecting and "shifting" load between CPU clusters (, GPU and various other compute blocks) in a big.LITTLE configuration based on compute load needs.

    For the rest, Google is your friend.
    Reply
  • name99 - Tuesday, January 5, 2016 - link

    Andrei, do you always use the same compiler, version, and settings for the SPECInt2000 measurements?
    The reason I ask is if you compare these results to the A9 results
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/9686/the-apple-iphon...
    things are mostly as you'd expect except 300.twolf and (especially) 175.vpr
    The latter in particular is discrepant enough that the only thing that seems like it might have caused it is a substantial compiler optimization like a loop re-ordering.
    Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Tuesday, January 5, 2016 - link

    On Android we use the same binaries unless we specify some flag changes which happen over longer periods (Last change was in August). Generally we try to publish a given article with apples-to-apples scores.

    For iOS it's impossible to use the same compilers and we have to rely on Apple's LLVM. It's very possible that Apple's scores are higher due to better optimizations. I have in mind to try LLVM on Android (currently it's GCC) but it's something of a long-term project rather than something we can just switch to and even then it will never solve the optimization issue as Apple's LLVM toolchain has additions that we simply can't keep track of.
    Reply
  • name99 - Tuesday, January 5, 2016 - link

    To add to my point, compare with
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/9330/exynos-7420-dee...

    Here the Exynos 7420 SPECInt2000 numbers are sometimes EXTREMELY different (like sometimes over a factor of 2, eg 175.vpr) from the Exynos 7420 A57 numbers you give in this article.

    Maybe it would be good form, going forward, to publish this information, just so we can all keep track. (And obviously it is interesting to see when LLVM results differ greatly from gcc results, or even when the LLVM results show a great jump.)
    Obviously one can't hope for PERFECT LLVM parity. Certainly Apple are keeping the back-ends of the compiler toolchain (Typhoon and Twister, maybe even the current Cyclone and Swift back-ends) secret; and given that they use a slightly different linker, there may be differences in exactly how, eg, they handle LTO. But one would expect mostly similarity between the Apple and Android LLVM, and rather more difference with gcc.

    My point is not some sort of "rah rah Apple"; it's more just a desire to understand. For example, IS it the case that gcc happens to have some sort of (presumably fairly recent) optimization that managed to double the 175.vpr result? (And if so, what's the nature of that optimization.)

    I think we'd all be curious to know, for example, whether you use LTO in building these SPECInt2000 binaries. And whether, if you use PGO, you get a substantial boost in performance.
    Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Wednesday, January 6, 2016 - link

    There were issues with the 7420 harness that caused us not to immediately catch validation failures and it treated the runtime as if the test were simply faster. SPEC is relatively complex so unfortunately such problems do happen. Reply
  • RdVi - Tuesday, January 5, 2016 - link

    Nice improvements from Huawei. If the P9 can keep this up while being no larger than the P8, it might be my next phone. Reply
  • SHartman1976 - Wednesday, January 6, 2016 - link

    No complaint about the power and volume buttons being on the same side? That seemed to vex you on the Nexus 6P a couple of weeks ago despite it being a recurring design choice. Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Wednesday, January 6, 2016 - link

    My complaint on the 6P wasn't them being on the same side, it was that the volume buttons were extremely low on the phone and positioned below the power button, an odd positioning that kept one pressing the volume buttons when holding or picking up the phone. The Mate 8 has a traditional layout which doesn't cause any issues. Reply
  • raghwendra123 - Wednesday, January 6, 2016 - link

    When should we expect the iPad Pro review? Reply
  • Piscupescu - Wednesday, January 6, 2016 - link

    Nice review. Keep up the good work. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now