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Our Google Nexus 6 battery life test is complete, phablet lags behind the Note 4

Our Google Nexus 6 battery life test is complete, phablet lags behind the Note 4

When it comes to battery life, the story of the modern Nexus line is a fairly sad one – the Nexus 5, for example, managed just 4 hours and 50 minutes on our custom battery test, which is pretty underwhelming for a device at the flagship level. For the most part, we had the comparatively small, 2,300 mAh cell to blame for that, though many of us were willing to let this particular issue with the N5 slide simply because we were still getting a killer deal (it retailed for $349, after all!).

Things changed with the Nexus 6, however – Google's first phablet not only has enough space to fit a massive, 3,220 mAh cell, but it's also priced at $649. So it obviously has to deliver, and deliver on battery life, too, and despite its power-hungry Quad HD display. Thankfully, as it turns out, it absolutely does – this is the first Nexus device to achieve an excellent battery life on our custom test, or, all told – 7 hours and 53 minutes. Unfortunately, while this is a pretty great score overall, it does fall behind other recent QHD juggernauts, like the Galaxy Note 4 and the DROID Turbo, both of which fared better (8 hours 43 minutes and 10 hours 42 minutes, respectively).

So how do we test? We run a custom script that replicates the average person's usage in real life. The final time figure you get is indicative of the total time the average person can expect to spend using the device if he does not put it down to rest before it dies. So, obviously, an 8 hour score doesn't mean you can play a graphics-intensive game for 8 hours straight.

Last, but not least, when it comes to charging from zero to full, the Nexus 6 is among the quickest devices on the market, with a measured score of just 98 minutes – identical to what the Note 4 achieved, at 95 minutes, and pretty much on par with this category's champion, the Oppo Find 7/7A (if you account for the difference in capacity).

See for yourself.

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

hours
Higher is better
Sony Xperia T2 Ultra
10h 16 min (Excellent)
Sony Xperia Z3
9h 29 min (Excellent)
Huawei Ascend Mate7
9h 3 min (Excellent)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
8h 43 min (Excellent)
Google Nexus 6
7h 53 min (Good)
HTC One (M8)
7h 12 min (Good)
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
6h 32 min (Average)
LG G3
6h 14 min (Average)
View all

Story timeline

40 Comments
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posted on 13 Nov 2014, 01:36 13

6. rd_nest (Posts: 1593; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)


@PA, your battery tests are useless if not done at consistent settings. I have been asking tons of times at what luminance/Nits do you run your scripts?

N6 and Turbo has very dim display, so you have to take into account of that. If you want to be taken seriously, do it like Anandtech where they mention they run the tests at 200 nits accros all devices.

http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph8687/69109.png

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 01:48 1

9. fzacek (Posts: 2486; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


Yes, good point. PA should specify this...

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 03:55

19. Finalflash (Posts: 3083; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


They did below and have done numerous times now. I assume they're trying to make it as fair as possible and compared to Anandtech which just does synthetic benchmarks, a script running normal apps and the phone itself in a realistic manner is more useful for comparing battery data. I think other reviewers should also do some scripted tests since almost everyone cheats on synthetic benchmarks.

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 04:47 2

22. rd_nest (Posts: 1593; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)


Without knowing what the script looks like, I don't know how you could say so.

Have you seen their scripts?

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 01:57 3

11. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10456; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Waiting for PA to reply saying their test are all okay and that there's nothing wrong on their end.

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 02:20

14. kent-gaga (Posts: 501; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)


looks like they already did :v

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 02:12 14

12. Ray.S (Posts: 329; Member since: 19 Jul 2011)


Our settings are definitely consistent from test to test. Phone screens are always set to 200-nit brightness, and their software settings are equally adjusted so that one doesn't draw more power than the other.

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 02:26 3

15. medicci37 (Posts: 1276; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)


In other words "get a life" lol

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 02:28

16. rd_nest (Posts: 1593; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)


OK. That's good.

Now, do you only run a webscipt? It's better if you also test video playback times.

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 15:10

37. pyradark (Posts: 852; Member since: 10 Jun 2012)


In other words check gsmarena

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 08:58 1

30. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4833; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Tell him Ray S. Drop that hammer!

+1

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 10:57

35. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


Get em Ray!

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 19:11

41. Rapha.194 (Posts: 34; Member since: 23 Sep 2014)


Because Anandtech the iPhone has great battery and the battery is bad here?

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 02:15

13. a1369366 (Posts: 27; Member since: 24 Aug 2014)


when doing review, they never mention which variant was used for the test....say Note 4, I dont know if thats the snapdragon 805 performance or Exynos

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 08:30

29. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1888; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


It's just a comparison test and doesn't reflect the real life performance. Beside, if you really do hang up by those result, please go buy the phones you want to compare and use them the same way for 1 week straight. Then the average of the result would be more accurate for your needs.

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 01:43 1

7. LetsBeHonest (Posts: 1442; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)


Well it is pretty good result. But it seems like Sony,motorola droid turbo abd Samsung with their touch wiz outclassed nexus with their project volta. And special thumps up for Sony for achieve such impressive result with same capacity battery.

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 01:47

8. mayur007 (Posts: 565; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)


Lol i thought only iphones record mono while recording this phone also

Not worth the price mentioned

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 01:49

10. bugsbunny00 (Posts: 2054; Member since: 07 Jun 2013)


well that's not impressive,..i thought wrong...

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 02:34 1

17. medicci37 (Posts: 1276; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)


If Google was going to start charging flagship prices they should have done a better job on design & performance. Imo the Note 4 kicks is a couple notches above the Nexus 6

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 03:46

18. YourNickname (Posts: 127; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)


Are we sure this is the latest version of lolipop for the nexus 6?

wasn't there an error in a previous version with battery drain? Maybe this is an early model without the update needed.

Don't want to wait 7 months for the LG G4... :(

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 04:30

20. uzbek-mobile-man (Posts: 16; Member since: 27 Sep 2014)


Please, tell me if you are using LG G3 and Google Nexus 6.

Right now I am using HTC One M7. It's one of the best smartphones. But, indoors, in low-light situations, its camera takes photos and records video awfully, there's red-purple tint issue. Its battery is not removable. Its display is not big for internet surfing.

I need best cameraphone for photos and videos, indoors and outdoors.
I need a phone with large display for internet and watching videos.

What about LG G3 and Google Nexus 6? Their cameras for taking photos and recording videos indoors and outdoors? Are their flash light during camera working, video ilght? If they are good phones, I will buy one of them instead of HTC One M7.

Please, tell me. Thank you beforehand.

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 04:31

21. uzbek-mobile-man (Posts: 16; Member since: 27 Sep 2014)


Please, tell me if you are using LG G3 and Google Nexus 6.

Right now I am using HTC One M7. It's one of the best smartphones. But, indoors, in low-light situations, its camera takes photos and records video awfully, there's red-purple tint issue. Its battery is not removable. Its display is not big for internet surfing.

I need best cameraphone for photos and videos, indoors and outdoors.
I need a phone with large display for internet and watching videos.

What about LG G3 and Google Nexus 6? Their cameras for taking photos and recording videos indoors and outdoors? Are their flash light during camera working, video ilght? If they are good phones, I will buy one of them instead of HTC One M7.

Please, tell me. Thank you beforehand.

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 05:55 1

24. Dude2014 (Posts: 439; Member since: 12 Feb 2014)


I'm not Samsung fanboy but when I saw what you said, Galaxy Note 4 immediately came to my mind.
5.7" QHD Super AMOLED Display
(Best display on this planet atm. Big but not too big. Very good for web browsing and watching videos)
16mp with OIS
(Not best but still one of the best camera out there. Good indoor and excellent outdoor with its amazing HDR mode. Samsung's unbeatable in smartphone HDR. Capturing videos and taking photos in HDR mode is the best I've ever seen. Galaxy S5's poor low light performance was disappointed but Note 4's low light performance is decent thanks to OIS.)
Like you, I'm also currently using HTC One M7 and the only issue I have with camera is it overexpose too Much while shooting in bright conditions like shooting sky blue. In door are pretty good. Low light is not good but not too bad either.
I owned LG G3 and recommend you not to buy that phone. I sold it because its battery is really bad. Camera is okay but not as good as Note 4. It's UI is ugly and not that smooth.
For Nexus 6, I don't know because I've never seen Nexus 6 personally in real life yet.
I've used my friend's Note 4 and it's really an amazing phone. The only thing I don't like is Touchwiz. It is not lag but still noticeably not as smooth as HTC Sense or Stock Android.
If you want to try other platforms, go for iPhone 6 plus or Nokia Lumia 1520.
Good luck!

posted on 16 Nov 2014, 02:52

45. uzbek-mobile-man (Posts: 16; Member since: 27 Sep 2014)


I like Nokia Lumia 1020 and Nokia Lumia 1520. But, unfortunately, these phones are only GSM network based phones. I do not like GSM network, Global System for Mobile communications. I always use CDMA phones, Code Division Multiple Access. Here in Uzbekistan Perfectum Mobile and Uzmobile are CDMA operators. The difference between them are that Perfectum Mobile works on CDMA 800 MHz, while Uzmobile works on CDMA 450 MHz. The best one of them is CDMA 800 MHz. Because, modern and best phones works this network, like Apple, HTC, Samsung, LG, Nokia, Motorola and others. In the USA, Verizon Wireless and Sprint works on CDMA 800 MHz, like Perfectum Mobile in Uzbekistan. CDMA 450 MHz based phones are not too good. You can not find good phones for 450 MHz.

GSM network is not twice or thrice, but 20 times more harmful for human`s health than CDMA network.

What would happen, if Nokia corporation made Lumia 1020 and Lumia 1520 for CDMA network too? It would be nice, if these phones were GSM+CDMA phones. Unfortunately, they are only GSM network based phones.

Hey, Microsoft! Make new phones like Lumia 1020 and Lumia 1520 GSM+CDMA network based phones, pleaseeeeeeeee!

Am I right, my friends?

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 05:25

23. Dude2014 (Posts: 439; Member since: 12 Feb 2014)


Isn't Android 5.0 Lollipop supposed to have 30% more battery efficiency than other previous Android versions? I remember Google said that when they first announced Android L. And now? Huehuehue

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 06:20 1

25. Phonedingo (Posts: 392; Member since: 16 Aug 2014)


It's a QHD display,all things considered it's pretty good.

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 16:35

39. medicci37 (Posts: 1276; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)


&so is the display on the Note 4... Your point being?

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 06:35

28. rowdysheeter (Posts: 74; Member since: 10 Sep 2014)


the reading for the N6 therefore should be 7h 53 min [minus] 30% = 5h 51 min :)

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 09:39

32. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 645; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


Didn't 5.0 just roll out to Nexus devices? I highly doubt that they had the release 5.0 running on this phone so it's probably running Kit Kat 4.4.4 for this test.

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 10:59

36. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


The nexus 6 is running 5.0 out of the box. Every other phone is running 4.4.4 or older.

So, this begs the question of how long the Note4's battery life will be when it gets the 5.0 upgrade.

posted on 14 Nov 2014, 06:18 1

42. Chris.P (Posts: 560; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)


Project Volta isn't just something that Google implemented into the Android source and now we suddenly have 30% better battery life. Sure, optimizations were carried out regardless, but the biggest benefit of Project Volta is that app developers can now better optimize their apps with efficiency in mind thanks to new tools introduced with L.

So no, don't expect a miraculous 30% jump in longevity by just switching from KitKat to Lollipop. If we ever do get to that number, it'll be after a while and only depending on the types of apps you have installed. A ton of third-party apps are sloppily-made and are essentially power vampires.

posted on 14 Nov 2014, 06:43

43. medicci37 (Posts: 1276; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)


I'd like to see Google create some standards for app devs in regards to power consumption. Or even a power ratings system

posted on 14 Nov 2014, 18:25

44. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


Tinder is murder on your battery. They need to fix that badly. No reason for it to be such a drain. :)

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 06:25

26. rowdysheeter (Posts: 74; Member since: 10 Sep 2014)


7h 53 min with Android L, and the other android phones in the list are with the previous Android software. Hmm... What happens when those phones too get the new Android?

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 06:27 1

27. Bondurant (Posts: 426; Member since: 04 Jun 2014)


lol @ nexus fanboys going around in rage. Until this time all these benchmarks were used to complain about other phones, and now that the nexus 6 benchmarks are out they cant swallow it themselves.

But watch out most of them will come around next year when devices have moved beyond explaining that Nexus 6 is the best device that ever existed.

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 09:19 2

31. SellPhones82 (Posts: 569; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)


So a TW device kills a Nexus running stock Android with close to the same screen and battery size? This only further confirms that the N6 is overprices and you're better off going with the N4 if you want a phablet. It's not a "premium" as everyone wants to make it out to be, which is what many of us have said from the get-go. This thing should be $549.99 tops....it's nothing but a huge Moto X.

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 09:41

33. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 645; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


Why so serious? Take a chill pill dude, you act like someone forced you to buy the phone. Seriously some folk need to hop off the name brand bandwagon and get back to living life, it's grand I heard.

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 09:52

34. boosook (Posts: 1436; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


still better than the iphone, though. ;)

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 15:30

38. gigaraga (Posts: 1454; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


Why do all Nexus phones have bad battery life? (Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 5...) Of course it's incomparable to the Note line's amazing battery life~

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 16:58

40. wilsong17 (unregistered)


If you want more battery life on the note 4 got to setting system app and disable feature you won't use and see how much better battery get also disabled auto update and sync

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