Galaxy Note5 battery life benchmark: Outperforms the Note 4 despite smaller battery

Most of you probably won't remember, but as it was our job to pay attention back then, we do. When the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 arrived on the scene last year, critics and consumers alike were worried that Samsung used a battery with essentially the same capacity as its predecessor, the Note 3, and that this time around it would have to power a hungrier, Quad HD display instead of a more frugal, 1080p panel. So you can imagine we were all pleasantly surprised when our custom battery life benchmark showed that the Note 4 is significantly more resilient than its predecessor.

Fast-forward to last week, and similar outrage could be seen across the web, though perhaps a little understated in comparison to last year, what with Samsung committing 'sacrilege' by going microSD card slot-free and without a removable battery. In any case, people were seriously worried that with its smaller battery (3,000 mAh, a 220 mAh drop), the Note5 would prove less enduring than its predecessor, though there was obviously a glimmer of hope that Samsung will pull out yet another small miracle. Well, now that our strenuous battery life test has been completed, we can confirm that it did: the Note5 does better than the Note 4.

How much better, though? Well, not too much, but that's still something considering the drop in capacity — 9 hours and 11 minutes. That's nearly half an hour on top of the Note 4's score of 8 hours and 43 minutes. Of course, that's still below the extraordinary results the Galaxy S6 Active (3,500 mAh battery) achieved, or the Motorola DROID Turbo (3,900 mAh), but better than other competing, high-profile devices like the HTC One M9, the LG G4, and the iPhone 6 Plus.

That's not all, however, as the Note5's 3,000 mAh cell is also very fast to go back to 100% when charged using the included accessory in the box. We measured 81 minutes, which is extremely fast on the whole, and puts the Note5 at the number six spot in our all-time ranking. In fact, it's only Asus' ZenFone 2 (also a 3,000 mAh battery) which proves quicker in this particular regard. 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
Samsung Galaxy Note 5
9h 11 min (Excellent)
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
9h 29 min (Excellent)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
8h 43 min (Excellent)
6h 6 min (Average)
HTC One M9
6h 25 min (Average)
Sony Xperia Z3+
7h 15 min (Good)
Sony Xperia Z3
9h 29 min (Excellent)
Motorola DROID Turbo
10h 42 min (Excellent)
Google Nexus 6
7h 53 min (Good)
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
6h 32 min (Average)
Asus ZenFone 2
7h 34 min (Good)
minutes Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 5
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
HTC One M9
Sony Xperia Z3+
Sony Xperia Z3
Motorola DROID Turbo
Google Nexus 6
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Asus ZenFone 2

Related phones

Galaxy Note 5
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 2100 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3000 mAh(22h 3G talk time)
Galaxy Note 4
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 3.7 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 1900 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3220 mAh(20h 3G talk time)



1. devon613

Posts: 127; Member since: Oct 13, 2011

oh happy day

17. AnTuTu

Posts: 1613; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

Wow great news. Just waiting for MKBHD and Fisher from PocketNow to confirm this.

22. iusshpandeh

Posts: 250; Member since: Jul 23, 2014

Michael Fisher is the best reviewer. (Period)

63. Aploine

Posts: 445; Member since: Oct 24, 2013

[At the second chart, the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ doesn't appear by default (at this moment). You have to find it in the drop down menu that shows only two devices at a time, since is overlapped by the photos.] If those phones had removable batteries they could be charged to 100% in litteraly 10 seconds, on the fly, by removing the empty one and replacing with a charged one. No waits and ready to go, no wallhugs. Now you have to wait for a full charge at least 1h20' (by cable, with a new battery, not a -let's say- 9 months old that isn't efficient any more like a new one) and 2 - 2h30' wirelessly (with the new charger, not the one made for the S6 / S6 edge that's 1+h slower) Versatility, adaptability, efficiency, practicality, usefulness, common sense, went missing with the new Samsung logic. Or should I say old Apple logic?

96. NeXoS

Posts: 292; Member since: May 03, 2011

I agree!

28. manojmcn

Posts: 634; Member since: Jul 16, 2015

MKBHD is a nexus & ios fan. Diificult to expect from him honest opinion on Samsung models.

29. AnTuTu

Posts: 1613; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

You are wrong mate. Both of them are great reviewers (period)

33. manojmcn

Posts: 634; Member since: Jul 16, 2015

However good these tech guys are, they have slight favouritism to some companies. It may be based on the the opportunities and goodwill they receive from the manufacturers or may be their prejudice. One example is the Unbox Therapy guy, who was given screen time by Samsung during the launch event. Remember that guy ros to fame with iphone bendgate video, followed by proof that Note 3 fares far better than oher phones.

31. maherk

Posts: 6884; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

That's not true at all. He lobes android, and yes he prefers stock android, but i never watched a video of him being biased towards or against a product. He once said that his dream phone would be designed by HTC, with Samsung's camera and functionality, Z3's battery life, and stock android running on top. I love Fisher's videos, but I enjoy MK's videos the most.

35. Clars123

Posts: 1078; Member since: Mar 16, 2015

He is of the stock android variety..but he isn't as biased as you're trying to suggest.

40. xdza1979

Posts: 296; Member since: Aug 08, 2015

MKBHD favourite Apple its not a secret.

44. hellbread

Posts: 309; Member since: Nov 21, 2014

Bs. If you ever watch him you would know that he is nexus and stock android fan...

75. T4rd_

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 17, 2015

Yeah, I guess that's why he's been using the GS6 for the past few months as his main phone.

77. dazed1

Posts: 802; Member since: Jul 28, 2015


101. raky_b

Posts: 398; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

they will confirm it if they measure as Phonearena does, with benchmarks. in real life, it it have 3+ h of SoT, it will be good.

81. bkydcmpr

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 17, 2015

really? click the dropdown and add s6 to the comparison. it listed s6 at 7'14", outperformed iphone 6 plus at 6'32", made this benchmark highly questionable. I don't own either of them, but from the reviews I had read, the battery life of s6 is not at the same level of iphone 6 plus at all.

91. SlipKoRnSaad

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 18, 2015

Totally, my GS6E was a nightmare, it lasted 10h at best with my usage patterns, i switched to an i6+ and it really easily holds 3 more hours.

2. Kruze

Posts: 1285; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

Wait a minute, how come the Zenfone 2 charging time is only 58 minutes? Less than an hour? Seriously?

46. hellbread

Posts: 309; Member since: Nov 21, 2014

Something is wrong with their charging times. I have Z3 and it never took 235 minutes to charge it. It is somewhere less than 2 hours.

48. nodes

Posts: 1160; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

i don't know how they did the test. but i'm sure, every devices i had never had the same or nearly as good as they benchmark results. like Note 4, they wrote 8:43, on my case it's only 4~5 hours SoT, and it's with < 40% brightness. no games, only browsing and texting.

59. Zylam

Posts: 1817; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

That's because apps on Android hog battery for no reason. Use wakelock Detector and see what's hogging your battery. Just a few days ago I installed Facebook and it's messenger app, just installed, didn't even log in or anything and noticed my battery life took a hit. I usually get 5-6 hours of screen on time for about 1 day and 12+ hours of use, I use a hweuai y550 without a sim, just Wifi at home and tethering on the go and I'm a crazy basic user, just use chrome and Xbox smart glass and Hangouts, which is why I get such crazy battery life.. Anyway I installed those apps and my battery life was halfed over night, for no reason at all. I used wake lock detector and it showed the Facebook apps kept waking the phone and tried to connect to the network for no reason at all, I wasn't even logged in to Facebook. Android apps are the mess when it comes to battery life, just installing an app is enough for it to affect battery life.

102. raky_b

Posts: 398; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

they are mesuring with benchmarks, and SAMOLED screen does help much with that (don't use power for black), so in real life if you use phone, if you get 4h of SoT wit Note4 it is .....ok, it should have litlle more, but not even close 8 or 9h. this one will have even les in real life,as S6 and S6edge does. only Xperias have realy 7-9 h of Sot, and some chenesee smartohones with 5000+ mAh batteries

49. maherk

Posts: 6884; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I am guessing you have a fast charger? It is proven that the Z3 needs more than 4 hrs to fully charge when using the stock charger.

53. Chris55505

Posts: 10; Member since: Jun 12, 2015

That's true. I am using Zenphone.It charges really faster.

3. vuyonc

Posts: 1091; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

Beast! Hopefully this reflects in the real world.

4. maherk

Posts: 6884; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

And i have no doubts that it will get even better after Samsung releases it's first stability and performance update. And this is for all the haters, who kept implying that smaller battery will translate to poor battery life.

50. nodes

Posts: 1160; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

the hate is toward non-removable battery, you can easily get double, triple, that battery life with spare battery.

99. Larry_ThaGr81

Posts: 592; Member since: May 26, 2011

When the current battery that's in the phone dies then I'll just take the spare battery out of the spare charger and insert it into the phone. As a result my charging time from a completely dead battery will be less than 2 minutes because that's about how long it will take me to swap the battery and power the phone back up.

103. raky_b

Posts: 398; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

removable battery can be changed by using powrbanks, but it's not same. Lary wrote wone reason why, and i will tell you it is not nice when battery expans itself and cause the circuit board to bend outwards in unibody phone. i did see it,and it is not nice...

5. radhawnms

Posts: 11; Member since: Sep 14, 2014

Yep now i will buy that phone #unleash the beast#

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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