Samsung Galaxy Note 3 battery life test: a monster in faux-leather clothes

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 battery life test: a monster in faux-leather clothes
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has gone through our extensive battery test and the results are in. The Note 3 brings one of the largest batteries we've ever seen on a mobile device. With its massive 3200mAh juicer, it aims to solve one of the biggest problems of smartphones - reliable longevity. Most smartphones nowadays are struggling to last through the day and we're not even talking about a 24-hour battery life - most phones would die even before you get back from work. This can be a frustrating experience, taking mobile out of mobile phones. Is the Galaxy Note 3 any different? Let's find out.

Luckily, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 differs. Its gigantic juicer scored a respectful 6 hours and 8 minutes of battery life. This is the exact time you can expect your Note 3 to last if you use it non-stop, without putting it down. In reality, however, we do put our devices to rest. That's why you can expect the battery to easily last you a full work day even under heavier use. Use it a bit more moderately - but still without restricting yourself - and on average, you'd be able to get a full 24-hour battery life on a single charge. Best of all, be a bit more restrictive with your use and you can easily get two full days of use on a single charge. Impressive.

How does the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 compare versus last year's Galaxy Note II, though? The difference is not big, but - interestingly - the Note 2 actually lasts a bit longer. How is this possible when the Note 3 has a larger battery? Simple, the new Note is much brighter and has a slightly larger display. The phablet is using a new type of AMOLED display that - unlike earlier ones - solves the issue of dim-looking AMOLED screen. The third-generation Samsung phablet is actually 55% brighter than its predecessor, the Note II. That's a great convenience for the user, but a brighter screen also requires more power. What's really remarkable, though, is that despite having a 55% brighter display, the Note 3 screen is still 26% more power efficient. For the techies, let's just mention that measurements showed that the Note 3 draws 0.9 watts at the average 50% brightness level, whereas the Note II draws 1 watt.

Here are some basic facts about the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Li-Ion battery:


Finally, we ought to mention that Samsung has put a lot of effort in order to maximize battery life on the Note 3. It is the first phone we know of to ship with a Qualcomm QFE1100 envelope tracker that can lower down power drain by as much as 20%. It's no surprise it lasts longer than the iPhone 5s, the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One! Its only matches are the LG G2, our battery champ, and the HTC One max phablet.

The Galaxy Note 3 not only features a gigantic battery pack, but one that is actually user removeable. That's quite a rarity nowadays. Just peel the back cover off and you get instant access to the battery pack. Why is this important? Simple, you can easily bring a spare secondary battery and put it in once you run out of juice. It's not something many people would use, but those who need the extra battery life will appreciate it.

When it comes to charging times, the Note 3 ships with an unusually fast for a phone, 2-amp wall charger. This means that it can charge up faster than most other smartphones. Actually, 2 amps is the average speed at which power hungry tablets recharge. Many smaller smartphones like the iPhone 5s use half of that, or just 1 amp. In reality, this faster charger allows the larger Note 3 to refill its battery in around 2 hours and a half, just as fast as your average smartphone. That's a great achievement for such a big device. It takes more time to charge it from a USB port, of course, since the amperage it can provide is much lower.

All in all, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 ranks on top of our battery charts. It's not only powerful, but also power efficient. Having sold 10 million units in just 60 days, the Note 3 is reaching Galaxy S4-like popularity. With such a long lasting battery - we're not surprised.

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 Z Ultra
4h 52 min (Poor)
Google Nexus 5
4h 50 min (Poor)
Motorola Moto X
5h 50 min (Poor)
HTC One max
7h 27 min (Average)
Sony Xperia Z1
4h 43 min (Poor)
LG G2
6h 48 min (Average)
HTC One
5h 45 min (Poor)
Samsung Galaxy S4
4h 59 min (Poor)
Apple iPhone 5s
5h 2 min (Poor)
Samsung GALAXY Note II
6h 16 min (Poor)
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
6h 8 min (Poor)

Testing method:
As for our battery test, we use a simulation of real-life usage. A smartphone nowadays is used for much more than calling and texting, so we had to take this into account. The average smartphone user actually spends most of the time on the web and social media, and you might be surprised that this average Joe of a user actually listens to music and plays games more than he talks! To get a better understanding of that average use, feel free to take a look at the top activities we do on our smartphones.

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Related phones

Galaxy Note 3
  • Display 5.7 inches
    1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP (Single camera)
    2 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, 3GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, microSDHC
  • Battery 3200 mAh
  • OS Android 5.0 Lollipop

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44 Comments

43. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Nice thing about my Nexus 5 battery is that it can go 36 hours with normal use - I rooted it and installed the bricked Hammerhead kernel in place of stock...

39. COZMAN

Posts: 99; Member since: Nov 28, 2013

Can't go wrong with SAMSUNG. They make great innovative products.

37. ImperialDynamics

Posts: 84; Member since: Nov 30, 2012

no mention of the Lumia 1520 and its colossal 3400 mAh battery. wth

36. StreetNerd

Posts: 870; Member since: Dec 08, 2010

Lumia 1520 = winner

33. fireblade

Posts: 717; Member since: Dec 27, 2013

wow @ HTC One Max. Too bad it's still SD600

31. Professor

Posts: 223; Member since: Aug 02, 2013

The battery life on Androids phone also depends on the version of the software that they have installed... I have a Nexus 4 and I made the big mistake to upgrade to Kit Kat (ver 4.4.2) and even when Google was claiming improved battery life in reality my battery life has being DRASTICALLY REDUCED. Now my phone battery last way less than half of the time that used to last. And I has done everything possible (even turning off Wi-Fi, bluetooth, and GPS) and still my phone drains the battery in a few hours. Used to last like 12HRs on stand by (waiting for a phone call) and now only last only like 4hrs on stand by (just waiting for a phone call) before it dies.. And that's without counting all the programs that used to work perfectly with 4.3 and were screwed (no longer working at all) by version 4.4.2. Version 4.4.2 even eliminated the Navigation program. And the new version of the Play movies and TV's program is 200% useless. And the new Phone dialer... the worst. Way more difficult to use than the old version. If there was any way to go back to the old programs I do it in one second. I found no real advantage to the new 4.4.2 version, and all the disadvantages outweight the advantages (if any)...

26. jackto

Posts: 19; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

I am also a galaxy note 3 n900 (exynos) user , and i have never had any stutters or lag, the battery life is also great ,the octacore processor in the galaxy note 3 is a lot better than the one in the galaxy 4.

44. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Awesome...yeah, I honestly have zero lag on my N5, and my Droid Razr was pretty much lag free, but the N5 is so much faster ....

25. noteseries

Posts: 80; Member since: Oct 29, 2013

i am note3 user n900, this phone is perfect, i found no stutter issue, and it has great battery life, plus i can swap my battery anytime i want, thx sammy

22. twens

Posts: 1194; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

i am a note 3 user (n900, exynos version) i can tell you that the media is just fake and biased. The exynos even outperforms the snapdragon in certain areas like battery. My battery life is excellent. I will advice you watch the full comparison of the two variants on youtube. Battery drains a bit faster on the snapdragon version even though in games the snapdragon seems to load the games a second faster. Funny thing is the exynos versions run games very smoothly and more optimized than the snapdargon one.

19. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

As a Note 3 user (SM-N900T), I can definitely say this battery easily lasts me a complete day with heavy use age. Thank god I have full signal everywhere I go (except the basement of my job). This is literally the definition of a perfect phone imo.

21. hurrycanger

Posts: 1778; Member since: Dec 01, 2013

My sister's campus has pretty bad signal, yet her Note 3 still gets 8 hour screen time after a full day (20 hours) on a single charge. That phone really is a beast.

16. JerryTime

Posts: 468; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

I've asked this before, but why is the DROID MAXX continuously left out of these tests and left off this list?!

34. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Because the Maxx would embarass the Notes? And the G2? Bigger battery + lower power consumption display and SoC, perhaps.

14. Naruto_Uzumaki

Posts: 26; Member since: Mar 22, 2013

lumia 1520??????? are you kidding me

10. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

I wonder how the Droid Maxx with its honking huge battery would do? Any plans to test it, PA?

12. trustory

Posts: 132; Member since: Jan 23, 2013

they did, it got 6h 51m

13. adrialk

Posts: 20; Member since: Sep 04, 2013

They did not, that is the Droid Razr MAXX which is getting on 2 years old.

8. Amw86

Posts: 45; Member since: Oct 14, 2013

my note 3 rolls just as hard as my gf lg g2 so idk what crack they are smoking, course, rooted...so is the G2 though, love em both.

5. fouadqr

Posts: 326; Member since: Nov 21, 2012

1520 ..

6. WHoyton1

Posts: 1635; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

lol no one buys it :P

27. Bilpocalypse

Posts: 301; Member since: Oct 13, 2012

Lol. I bought it. Battery life is pretty good on it too. Not sure why they left the 1520 out of the test. Battery life might even be better than the Note 3 as it does have a bigger battery (3400 mAh) and a lighter OS. For example, I charged it yesterday morning and

29. Bilpocalypse

Posts: 301; Member since: Oct 13, 2012

...am still at 50%.

30. stealthd unregistered

It almost looked like your battery died midway through

41. Pancholo

Posts: 380; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

Lmao. This somehow made my night.

3. enthasuium

Posts: 150; Member since: Nov 21, 2013

Fake. N3 is a battery monster we know but how can it be lower than N2? where each and every tech sites showed N3 has much much longer battery life than N2. Stop those nonsense test

4. rallyguy

Posts: 620; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

It all depends on the test. There really is no standardized test that I know of. My N3 battery lasts all day which none of my previous could even come close to. I work 12 hour shifts and I still have 20 or 30 something battery life left. I do have a good signal at work and that helps a ton.

2. Odiin

Posts: 373; Member since: Apr 23, 2013

How come Sony Xperia Z Ultra is better then Xperia Z1?

1. DEATHSTROKE9

Posts: 399; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

I wanna buy a galaxy note 3. I have heard that the exynos 5 version has buggy software which is poorly optimized and that the lte snapdragon 800 version does not suffer from performance issues.If there are any exynos galaxy note 3 users here please tell me if you are suffering any performance issues even if they are slighy stutters. My galaxy s3 sttutered alot after it got jelly beaned so I want a pwrfect android phone this time. Needless to say, I will only buy a galaxy note 3.

7. abdane

Posts: 507; Member since: Oct 07, 2011

the stutter issue is NOT because of Exynos, it's because of TouchWiz.

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