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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 features a user-removeable battery.

The Galaxy Note 3 features a user-removeable battery.

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.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 battery life test

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.

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

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.

Story timeline

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posted on 27 Dec 2013, 09:56

1. DEATHSTROKE9 (Posts: 399; Member since: 09 Nov 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.

posted on 27 Dec 2013, 10:31 6

7. abdane (Posts: 494; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)

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

posted on 27 Dec 2013, 10:43 1

9. DEATHSTROKE9 (Posts: 399; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)

Thats true but the guys at pocketnow said that the snapdragon 800 didnt have any performance issues.

posted on 27 Dec 2013, 11:45 4

11. tech2 (Posts: 3487; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)

Don't take Taylor Martin's word he is an Exynos hater.

Exynos 5410 released with GS4 had those issues as it was released prematurely (Source: Sammobile). However, they perfected the SOC with 5420 (in Note 3).

BTW, the best place to search for your answer is XDA forums.

posted on 27 Dec 2013, 12:11 5

15. tedkord (Posts: 14114; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

The Snapdragon version doesn't have those stutters. Therefore it is an Exynos issue.

posted on 27 Dec 2013, 12:44 5

18. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

I have the S800 version (SM-N900T) and I have NEVER encountered any lag, stutters or hickups.

posted on 28 Dec 2013, 01:16

35. DEATHSTROKE9 (Posts: 399; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)

Thank yo uvery much! I will pickup the note 3 S800 tomorrow then. :-)

posted on 27 Dec 2013, 12:47

20. Hammerfest (Posts: 384; Member since: 12 May 2012)

If TouchWiz is optimized for Qualcomm chips like all tests seem to indicate for the Note 3 and Note Tablet, its hardly an Exynos issue, and seeing as the stutter doesnt seem to exist on OTHER Launcher UI's, it again ceases to be a Exynos issue.

posted on 27 Dec 2013, 14:23 1

23. bigstrudel (Posts: 529; Member since: 20 Aug 2012)

TouchWiz is not optimized. The Snapdragon 800 just wields enough brute force to get the job done. Big.little. is the culprit in the Exynos' Android performance problems.

posted on 27 Dec 2013, 19:20 1

32. nxl2610 (Posts: 49; Member since: 14 Aug 2013)

Note 3 5420 here.Don't know about other peoples ,but my Note 3 never encounter any stutters or hickups.
And yes ,as a light user ,Note 3 easily give me 3 days of battery :)

posted on 28 Dec 2013, 20:17 1

40. Pancholo (Posts: 380; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)

Another Exynos version here as well. My beast hasn't stuttered at all in the month I've owned it. :')

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 12:23

42. box14380 (Posts: 43; Member since: 28 Nov 2013)

It might be the Exynos version is half baked. For one month of use my SM-N900 froze 2 times while simultaneously downloading heavy games and updating apps. Or probably it was a wifi signal problem.

Overall performance is amazingly fast especially browsing the net using Dolphin of course through wifi and mobile data. The best thing on it is the bright display so crisp and clear.

Speaking of hiccups I have experience occasional stutters that would take less than 2 seconds.

Good for me as I just got my phone for free as giveaway during the running event. But if I have to buy from my own pocket I'd rather choose Snapdragon 800 version.

posted on 27 Dec 2013, 16:26

28. fanboy1974 (Posts: 1345; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)

I have no performance issues at all with touchwiz on the Note 3. I currently have the ability to run a custom OS but don’t because stock has been working fine for me. I just load up my desired software to give me features; not to increase performance. The Note 3 has been a pure beast.

posted on 28 Dec 2013, 08:49

38. ihavenoname (Posts: 1693; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)

Rocking Snap' 800 N3, smooth and fast performance, no lagging whatsoever.

posted on 27 Dec 2013, 12:36

17. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)

I used note 3 lte model and it easily lasted a day although I was watching movies on its amazing screen, best phone for movie experience. why they didnt put dual speakers in the phone? WTH...

posted on 27 Dec 2013, 14:24

24. bigstrudel (Posts: 529; Member since: 20 Aug 2012)

Korean devices are well known for their tinny, low quality speakers. Might have something to do with the sub-par build quality and materials as well.

posted on 27 Dec 2013, 09:58 1

2. Odiin (Posts: 352; Member since: 23 Apr 2013)

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

posted on 27 Dec 2013, 10:01 3

3. enthasuium (Posts: 138; Member since: 21 Nov 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

posted on 27 Dec 2013, 10:11

4. rallyguy (Posts: 620; Member since: 13 Mar 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.

posted on 27 Dec 2013, 10:16 1

5. fouadqr (Posts: 326; Member since: 21 Nov 2012)

1520 ..

posted on 27 Dec 2013, 10:20 15

6. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1635; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)

lol no one buys it :P

posted on 27 Dec 2013, 16:01 1

27. Bilpocalypse (Posts: 301; Member since: 13 Oct 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

posted on 27 Dec 2013, 16:37

29. Bilpocalypse (Posts: 301; Member since: 13 Oct 2012)

...am still at 50%.

posted on 27 Dec 2013, 17:32 3

30. stealthd (unregistered)

It almost looked like your battery died midway through

posted on 28 Dec 2013, 20:42

41. Pancholo (Posts: 380; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)

Lmao. This somehow made my night.

posted on 27 Dec 2013, 10:34 1

8. Amw86 (Posts: 44; Member since: 14 Oct 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.

posted on 27 Dec 2013, 10:55 2

10. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

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

posted on 27 Dec 2013, 11:56

12. trustory (Posts: 132; Member since: 23 Jan 2013)

they did, it got 6h 51m

posted on 27 Dec 2013, 12:04 3

13. adrialk (Posts: 20; Member since: 04 Sep 2013)

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

posted on 27 Dec 2013, 12:07

14. Naruto_Uzumaki (Posts: 26; Member since: 22 Mar 2013)

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

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