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Galaxy S6 Active battery life test shows how far can 3500 mAh go

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Galaxy S6 Active battery life test shows how far can 3500 mAh go
Our review bee is working hard on outing their first impressions from the Galaxy S6 Active, and we know what you are most curious about - this phone has a much larger battery than the Galaxy S6 itself, after all, right? With a 3500 mAh unit, how do Samsung's frugal screen, chipset, and software optimizations fare, when compared to the 2550 mAh unit in the S6?

Well, our proprietary battery life benchmark has been done on the phone, and it shows exactly how good has Samsung gotten at optimizing its flagships for a great ratio of battery capacity and longevity. We got a bit over 12 hours of screen-on time in our demanding test, which jibes with Samsung's stated 16 hours of video playback on a charge, and the phone's 40% larger battery capacity. On the minus side, it takes 103 minutes to charge the battery to its full potential, compared to 78 minutes for the Galaxy S6, yet this is still an incredibly fast charging time. 

Last but not least, Samsung managed to achieve this excellent battery life result, and ace the drop and waterproofing tests in the process, while keeping the thickness of the tough handset at the reasonable 8.6 mm only - a far cry from the usual chubby ruggedized handsets we are used to seeing. The Galaxy Note 5 is rumored to have a sizeable battery as well, so we can only imagine what its battery life will be, if the rumors hold water.

Battery Benchmarks

Battery life (hours)
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 Active 12h 9 min (Excellent)
Sony Xperia Z3 9h 29 min (Excellent)
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 8h 11 min (Excellent)
Samsung Galaxy S6 7h 14 min (Good)
Huawei P8 7h 12 min (Good)
HTC One M9 6h 25 min (Average)
LG G4 6h 6 min (Average)
Charging time (minutes)
Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 Active 103
Sony Xperia Z3 235
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 83
Samsung Galaxy S6 78
Huawei P8 180
HTC One M9 106
LG G4 127
View all

50 Comments
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posted on 16 Jun 2015, 03:04 21

1. czytoon (Posts: 14; Member since: 26 Feb 2015)


holy smokes! That is the direction to take! sooo hoping it will be available worldwide...

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 03:11

4. aba71983 (Posts: 805; Member since: 24 Jul 2014)


I don't think so. World wide it's not gonna happen. Those previous phones like S4 Active, S5 Active, S6 Active only selected country.

Maybe 100,000 units they make only.

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 04:56 16

18. AnTuTu (Posts: 1578; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)


Get the hell outta here Aba. No one gives a F what you have to say on this site. F**ckin moron.

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 16:52

46. javy108 (Posts: 1004; Member since: 27 Jul 2014)


S5 act and S4 act were available in Central America at least.

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 09:39

31. waddup121 (unregistered)


But alas, it makes it 2550 MaH instead...

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 11:52

36. android1234 (Posts: 137; Member since: 09 Feb 2010)


High battery capacity is acheiveable in thin form factors. Right now Chinese manufactuers are outting phones with 4000+ mah in 9mm thin phones. If they can do it, im sure the high end manufacturers can do it. I just bought a phone from China called the Bluboo X550, it has a 5300 mah battery, 5.5" screen and its a little thickner than the LG G3/G4. Thats a great acheivement, and another Doogee phone mentioned on Phonearena is coming out with a 6000 mah battery in 9mm thin package. Being on T-mobile it'll be easier to order these phone which are quite capabale for under $200.

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 03:04 6

2. Youraveragejoe (Posts: 119; Member since: 31 Oct 2014)


Go sammy!

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 03:05 19

3. Ordinary (Posts: 2203; Member since: 23 Apr 2015)


Wait for haters

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 03:23 4

10. singhkaran9830 (unregistered)


marorun!where are you?/

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 13:02

38. marorun (Posts: 3366; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Why hate thats how the basic S6 should been.

i am selling lots of S5 active at my store ( its same price as the S5 and much better all around and better build quality )

Still it is not trully a rugged device its more like halfway.
a good device for someone who do a lots of outdoors activity and take good care of is phone ( will still break if droped from too high )

Real rugged device come with a warranty against it been broken and not many OEM do this.
Want to call your device rugged give the warranty thats come with it free of charge.

But for the battery size they done the right thing.

I am just been logical here :) And yeah i hate the crappy build quality of most Samsung handset ( excepted the active and note serie ) as they have the highest return rate ( in % of return per phone sold ) vs all other oem even iphone is a bit lower...

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 21:10

50. -ARTE- (banned) (Posts: 80; Member since: 14 Jun 2015)


Like bobbybuster.

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 03:11 1

5. Shocky (unregistered)


Why is there an hour difference in the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge?

That alone calls into question how meaningful these results are.

Impressive though from all the Samsung phones considering battery size.

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 03:14 4

7. SamDH1 (Posts: 415; Member since: 21 Apr 2015)


S6 Edge has a bigger battery than the standard S6. Edge tends to get about 20% life left inside by the time the standard S6 dies.

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 03:17 12

8. tech2 (Posts: 3388; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)


Yeah right bcoz that bigger battery of 50mah is making all the difference. -.-

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 03:19 3

9. SamDH1 (Posts: 415; Member since: 21 Apr 2015)


*Because

Okay, well I'm guessing you haven't done the test yourself yet, so you can go try it yourself, or go watch/read the comparisons which notice extremely similar results.

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 03:28 3

12. TyrionLannister (unregistered)


It just means that PA test is not reliable or both phones were not at same firmware.

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 13:03

39. marorun (Posts: 3366; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


i would tend to agree with your first choice..

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 10:16

33. Neros (Posts: 1016; Member since: 19 Dec 2014)


They couldn't set the screen of the edge to the same brightness as the s6's, so it was a bit dimmer, which in combination with extra 50 mAh gave it an unfair advantage over the base s6. All in all, I'd treat edge's battery life result with a pinch of salt.

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 03:28 2

13. Shocky (unregistered)


50mah? Yes, because that equals a whole hour.

Don't be daft.

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 03:30 1

14. SamDH1 (Posts: 415; Member since: 21 Apr 2015)


I don't know why you're all crying about this fact :P Go try it yourself

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 04:15

17. Shocky (unregistered)


I have tried them both actually, there is no noticeable difference in battery life between the two phones, both will give you around 4 hours of SOT.

FYI I had Galaxy S6 and now I have a Galaxy S6 Edge in emerald green because it looks stunning. :D

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 05:18

20. 99nights (Posts: 1152; Member since: 10 Mar 2015)


From what I've read the s6 has better battery life (real world) probably because of the edge(screen) feature it's self

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 07:58 1

27. Macready (Posts: 857; Member since: 08 Dec 2014)


Two reasons and I'll start with the less influential one: 50 mah less battery capacity.
But more importantly, they test each phone at 50% brightness where the S6 is calibrated at 200 nits and the S6 Edge at 180 nits.

And before anyone jumps in and cries "faul" , most other phones are below both at 50%. For example the G4 almost half that....

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 03:13 1

6. GeekMovement (Posts: 2155; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


Incredible. If only the original S6/edge was as good.

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 03:25

11. marchulya (Posts: 47; Member since: 18 Nov 2014)


And S6Edge Plus on the way too w/ a bigger battery. another recordbreaking?

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 03:34 2

15. TyrionLannister (unregistered)


It just means that S6 should get another test.

The numbers don't add up. The active only has 37% bigger battery and manages 68% higher result, with the same hardware. The software updates must have done their job.

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 06:23

22. ph00ny (Posts: 1193; Member since: 26 May 2011)


that just means PA's testing most likely mixture of operations favors some that are less battery intensive as others

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 03:52 1

16. junaidahmed (Posts: 103; Member since: 04 Sep 2014)


hmmm more reasons to look forward to note 5.

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 05:17

19. 99nights (Posts: 1152; Member since: 10 Mar 2015)


Impressive results.

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 06:07

21. Jimrod (Posts: 1065; Member since: 22 Sep 2014)


Are these Samsung phones "optimised" for tests like this as they were for the performance tests in the past?

I ask because a friend has had an S6 edge for a couple of weeks and while it's a nice phone, the battery life pretty much sucks, even with all the online tips for longer life followed... Her previous S3 was better.

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 07:30 2

24. Shocky (unregistered)


Nothing wrong with the battery life on the Galaxy S6 Edge, mine is lasting me two days and giving me 4-5 hours SOT.

The problem is apps are using mobile data after you exit them, it's a lollipop issue and something Google need to fix.

The solution for me is Greenify, identify offending apps and use Greenify to stop them draining your battery.

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 07:56

26. Jimrod (Posts: 1065; Member since: 22 Sep 2014)


Thanks for the info, I'll recommend she gives it a try!

I've not had an Android phone yet, iPhone 6 here but I'm always open to options come upgrade time - if the HTC's had moved forwards rather than stationary last year I'd have probably got one. What surprises me is the criticism of the iPhone battery in all these tests - in reality with a day of moderate use (Facebook, internet browsing, messaging, the odd call and pics etc) I tend to end the day with at least 50% battery, my friend with the S6 is at that around late afternoon/early evening.

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 13:10

42. marorun (Posts: 3366; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Thats depend on your use.

Same phone two different person and you get differents result.

Only way to really test is to play the same video ( so yeah you have to change it to the compatible format for iphone anyway the android will support it anyway ) and run it non stop until both phone die this will give you a good comparison of the endurance of the battery.

On my Sonim XP7 i almost did 11 hours non stop but then i got tired and stoped lol i was still around 30%...

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 13:08

41. marorun (Posts: 3366; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


My Sonim XP7 give me nearly 10 hours screen time if not more...

HTC M9 has a feature thats its control what app use data in background and make them all use data at the same time for a shorth burst then turn them off.

A similar function exist on the S6 no? ( i may be wrong on thats one )
If not then its suck for them they need to put it in next update this alone save load of battery when you have lots of app doing background data sync.

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 13:06

40. marorun (Posts: 3366; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Probably optimised or the best of the best of the batch ( like tripple checked for any fault before been send to reviewer )

I do have a lots of return on the S6 and S6 edge because of worst battery life than they anticipated. ( based on those lovely biased review )

But to compare with an S3 thats just impossible she must had a deffect ( 30% defect average on all Galaxy S model since the S3... )

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 17:35

47. Jimrod (Posts: 1065; Member since: 22 Sep 2014)


Cheers for the feedback guys, I just checked with her and at 11:30pm she's down to 21% with fairly light use as she's been busy most of the day. Definitely worse than her previous phone (S5, not S3 as I wrote, typo sorry!). It definitely seems off. My iPhone is down to 46% which is about normal, not spectacular but I'd expect the S6 to be ahead given similar usage like I listed before, no games or much more than the odd YouTube vid, maybe she should take it back and see about a swap for another...

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 07:20

23. .KRATOS. (Posts: 309; Member since: 15 Mar 2013)


I feel I was rubbed now WTF why didn't they include such a battery on the galaxy s6.

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 13:11 1

43. marorun (Posts: 3366; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Because its would not had been as thin...

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 07:52 1

25. tokuzumi (Posts: 946; Member since: 27 Aug 2009)


Those camo backs on the S6 active look terrible. At least they made an all black version.

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 08:39

28. BundlePack (Posts: 23; Member since: 06 Mar 2015)


When I charge my current (2 Year old) phone I switch it to the power saver mode and it charges 2-3 times faster.

So please do a test on the S6 Active charging it in the power saver mode and see how much faster it will charge from 0% to 100%.

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 10:18

34. Neros (Posts: 1016; Member since: 19 Dec 2014)


Switching off the phone would speed up the process even more.

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 13:12

44. marorun (Posts: 3366; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Yeah i can fully charge my 5000 mah battery in my Sonim in less than 1 hours when its turned off and take nearly 2 hours when turned on..

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 09:00

29. godwhomismike (Posts: 22; Member since: 01 Nov 2013)


Builds a phone that is as close to perfect as possible, and then gimps it with only 32GB of storage and only available on one carrier.

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 13:13

45. marorun (Posts: 3366; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Well this is for sure 100% right but 32 gb is still enuf for most user.
Having an SD card slot could have help ( and with the increased thickness they could had done it )

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 09:12

30. talon95 (Posts: 475; Member since: 31 Jul 2012)


For less than 2mm I would have preferred to see this in the standard S6 as well. I don't want it removable, but make it big enough to last for everyone. They have a great chassis now, so there is very little to complain about, but battery life wasn't as remarkable as it could have been.

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 09:40

32. rifat44 (Posts: 48; Member since: 29 Apr 2015)


Still my lg g2 beats the g4 and m9 in battery department,wow

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 11:40 1

35. Ruturaj (Posts: 1294; Member since: 16 Oct 2014)


If note 5's SOC is no big improvement over 7420, I will get S6 active.

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 12:29

37. legiloca (Posts: 1305; Member since: 11 Nov 2014)


My Jaw, It literally just dropped :- (|

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 17:41

48. haydenb (Posts: 38; Member since: 24 Nov 2011)


Now if only the thing was Stock Android instead of touchwiz

posted on 16 Jun 2015, 19:36 2

49. legiloca (Posts: 1305; Member since: 11 Nov 2014)


If you have been living under a rock lately, you can install a custom rom if you really hate touchwiz like it killed your family or something

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