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The Google Nexus 9 scores excellently on our battery life test

Posted: , by Chris P.

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The Google Nexus 9 scores excellently on our battery life test

One of the key findings you'll stumble upon if you go through our Google Nexus 9 review concerns the slate's battery life. Simply put, it's awesome – as the slate held its ground for the whopping 9 hours and 24 minutes. That's excellent considering the trying nature of the script we run.

Putting those numbers into words, you should expect up to two days of usage with the Nexus 9, so long as you don't go down on it crazy hard, of course. We know because of the aforementioned script we use to test battery life – it replicates the average user's habits and arrives at a final figure that is indicative of the hands-on time you can squeeze out of it on average. 

The Nexus 9's score puts it in front of competitors like the Apple iPad Air 2 (7 hours 27 minutes), the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 (7 hours 2 minutes), and even the enormous Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 (8 hours 58 minutes). With a charging time of 254 minutes, the Nexus 9 is also one of the fastest tablet devices to recharge from zero to full on our list – behind only the Apple iPad mini 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4.

Take a look at the charts below.

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
Apple iPad mini 3
6h 53 min (Average)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
7h 2 min (Good)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4
7h 4 min (Good)
Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2
8h 58 min (Excellent)
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet
6h 54 min (Average)
Apple iPad Air 2
7h 27 min (Good)
Google Nexus 9
9h 24 min (Excellent)
View all



31 Comments
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posted on 03 Nov 2014, 06:06 3

1. darkskoliro (Posts: 1077; Member since: 07 May 2012)


Still waiting for the K1 hate on battery life

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 06:44 1

5. Finalflash (Posts: 3206; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


K1 might be fine and all, but I can guarantee that most of the battery longevity comes from Project Volta. I have the same effect on my Nexus 5 with the preview right now, it literally lasts days with light use now whereas before it would be almost dead by the end of the day.

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 17:43

29. vincelongman (Posts: 4569; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


I dont think we are seeing the benefits of Project Volta yet
Installing Lollipop doesn't simply give you the benefits of Project Volta
Apps devs actually need to update their apps to use the new Project Volta battery saving APIs, otherwise their apps will still be the same as on KitKat
I think the battery improvements from Lollipop are currently from the improved kernel and other under the hood improvements like ART

My Nexus 5 is getting ~4-5 hours SOT which is same as I was getting on KitKat with a custom kernel, unbounce and undervolt, without the modifications I was getting ~3-4 hours SOT
Hopefully when devs update their apps we'll get ~6 hours SOT

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 08:41 1

13. irellemot (Posts: 109; Member since: 29 Nov 2012)


Yeah, i love how people said they wouldn't buy it because the small battery and how it ruined the whole tablet. I bet they are regretting that right about now.

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 11:03 1

23. TyrionLannister (unregistered)


This is not the hated k1. This is the ARMv8 based custom denver core equipped dual core tegra k1.

Just equip the nexus 9 with the cortex a15 based tegra k and see the battery test come down to

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 06:10 7

2. rd_nest (Posts: 1605; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)


[Copied from another article] Here's my question to PhoneArena:

1] At what display brightness is the test done? Full, half? or any specific NITS?

2] Is background data on or off, device in flight mode?

3] Is GPS on/off?

4] Does take into account 3G/LTE usage or WiFi? or is data completely off?

5] Is audio ON?

6] Does it take into account the standby usage of device?

All these parameters will play a major role in battery usage.

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 07:05 6

9. Finalflash (Posts: 3206; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


Doesn't matter, the same options were enabled and set on all the other tablets they tested. The brightness is the only thing that could be different between them unless they normalize them to similar nits like Anandtech does in their testing. Yet if they went with the same standard percentage in their testing, the Nexus 9 would be brighter than all the other tablets and still out perform them. Also, most of the battery longevity guaranteed comes from Project Volta. I have seen the same affect on my Nexus 5 and likely, everyone who gets Volta will experience the same boost. Good times in the Android camp these days, kind of feel bad for the rest.

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 14:01

26. rd_nest (Posts: 1605; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)


What doesn't matter?? Are you on drugs or what?

You think it doesn't matter whether you have a script running webpages or whether you are running a movie?Do you think it doesn't matter whether you can decode the codecs natively or through software? Do you think it doesn't matter if GPS is ON/Off? Do you background data/sync has no effect on batterylife?

People like you shouldn't be allowed to comment.

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 14:08

27. rd_nest (Posts: 1605; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)


Lollipop isn't going to magically improve batterylife.

Before I conclude this section, I just wanted to note that Android L alone won’t improve battery life on these tests. Android RunTime (ART) won’t help with battery life as these applications are native code. Job Scheduler is also irrelevant to our tests, as it will only improve battery life in situations where multiple applications are running in the background. We make every effort to ensure that no background tasks occur during these battery life tests and auto-sync is disabled as well in order to make sure that the only task running is the one under test. We have already run the data early in the summer on the Nexus 5 with Android L developer preview and our data does not show any significant difference in battery life. However, in real world usage where background applications and data syncing are active, one can expect greater battery life with Android L but only in the range of 10-15%

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 17:37

28. vincelongman (Posts: 4569; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Also installing Lollipop doesn't simply give you the benefits of Project Volta
Devs actually need to update their apps to use the new Project Volta battery saving APIs, otherwise their apps will still be the same as on KitKat

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 06:12 6

3. MrsJedi (Posts: 25; Member since: 17 Oct 2014)


Go Nexus!!!!!

Oh and Sony did a good job as well.

:)

Shame on you Apple though your devices should be the best at every thing since they are the most expensive ones.Battery life is still good though.

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 06:30 1

4. DeusExCellula (Posts: 1236; Member since: 05 Oct 2014)


Nice performance. Looks like Sony is producing some really energy efficient devices. Most of them have great battery life and the batteries are smaller capacity. Still the Nexus 9 lookin pretty solid out there.

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 09:20

14. Commentator (Posts: 3709; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


Not to be a Debbie-Downer, but the Z2 Tablet is also the only one on the list with "just" a 1080p screen.

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 09:33

18. Commentator (Posts: 3709; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


*Sorry, 1200x1920. May as well get the facts right, unlike a CERTAIN particular website, which for the dignity of those involved will go nameless (but which also erroneously reports the Nexus 9 has an "all-plastic body" in their review...)

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 06:48 2

6. Tolooei (Posts: 32; Member since: 24 Oct 2014)


nexus 9 is better in tablets ...

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 06:49 1

7. Tolooei (Posts: 32; Member since: 24 Oct 2014)


design htc is good

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 06:50 1

8. Tolooei (Posts: 32; Member since: 24 Oct 2014)


Nexus and HTC are the best

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 07:48 1

10. newbey123 (Posts: 605; Member since: 19 Mar 2012)


HTC and Google killed it with this tablet. Best tablet available. Good job! Picking mine up this week.

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 09:21 1

15. Commentator (Posts: 3709; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


Picking mine up today! (Probably.)

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 08:07 1

11. Sakeem (Posts: 530; Member since: 05 Sep 2012)


So tempting. I'm enjoying my Tab 8.4 though.

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 08:34

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


Id call that a win for team Nexus. :)

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 09:28 3

16. Zylam (Posts: 843; Member since: 20 Oct 2010)


Hey Chris P, how does Phone area do its battery tests? Can you let us know what's in this typical usage script you use? Thanks!

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 09:31

17. PopeFrancis (Posts: 59; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)


How does the Nexus 9 compare with the nvidia shield tablet in battery life? I've seen some other sites that say the shield has good (not outstanding) battery life. I would love PA to add the shield tablet to their battery benchmark, that way they would be compared in the same grounds.

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 10:41 1

19. aBoss (Posts: 105; Member since: 15 Sep 2014)


So 2 hour difference yet both still excellent? thats a joke

(ipad, nexus)

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 10:50 1

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


This definitely gives the Nexus 9 an edge over the iPad Air 2...

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 10:51

21. blingblingthing (Posts: 537; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)


Go Nexus

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 11:01 1

22. androidwindows (Posts: 193; Member since: 04 Oct 2014)


Hahaha....Phonearena pulled down John V's Nexus 9 review. Didn't he know that reviewers aren't allowed to publish the new Nexus review before November 12?

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 11:12

24. Commentator (Posts: 3709; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


Apparently not. Also: why?

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 11:19

25. androidwindows (Posts: 193; Member since: 04 Oct 2014)


I have no idea. I just remember hearing a tech reviewer (forgot which site) mention that in a hands-on video of nexus 6.

posted on 03 Nov 2014, 22:26

30. gaara6775 (Posts: 738; Member since: 20 May 2014)


People who hate on k1 will buy iPad air2 and end up draining their battery faster.

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