Samsung Galaxy Note 8 battery life test, real-life impressions and comparison vs iPhone 7+

We've been using the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, the $950 Android super-phone, for about a week now and we have a lot to share, but one thing in particular deserves special attention: the Note 8 battery life.

After all, the Note 8 actually has a smaller battery than the nearly identical Galaxy S8+, so this might have some users worried. The Note 8 ships with a 3,300 mAh battery cell, while the Galaxy S8+ sports a 3,500 mAh battery.

So how does the Note 8 do in real life?

We have some good news: the phone easily lasts a full day of use, no worries. And we also have some not so surprising bad news: its battery life is predictably slightly worse than that of the Galaxy S8+. To back up our claims, we have our battery test scores. For the test, we set the Galaxy Note 8 display to a brightness level of 200 nits, which makes the phone bright enough for indoor use. We then ran a test that taxes all phones in the same way and here is the result: the Note 8 battery lasted 7 hours and 50 minutes.

This is an above average score, but it's still below "great" and it's less than the battery life that we got out of last year's unfortunately explosive Note 7. It's also very slightly less than the score of the Galaxy S8+.

Battery life (hours) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 7h 50 min (Good)
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 9h 49 min (Excellent)
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 8h (Excellent)
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 9h 5 min (Excellent)
OnePlus 5 9h 18 min (Excellent)
Google Pixel XL 7h 19 min (Good)
LG G6 6h 9 min (Average)

How does the Note 8 battery perform when compared to other rivals? The iPhone 7 Plus outlasted it by more than 15%, which is a significant overhead, but just about every other flagship had a lower score, including the Google Pixel phones, the LG G6, and others. On a positive note, the OnePlus 5 actually delivered a slightly longer battery life.

Charge times

Another imporant aspect of the battery experience is the time it takes to recharge a phone battery.

The Galaxy Note 8 supports Samsung's Fast Adaptive charging, and it comes with a special wall charger that outputs a ton of power and does not require a proprietary cable, but instead uses the standard USB-C.

Interestingly, despite its smaller battery, the Note 8 takes a bit longer to recharge than the Galaxy S8. It took us 1 hour and 42 minutes to go from 0 to a full 100% on the battery meter. In this aspect, the Note 8 is much better than Apple's iPhones. The larger iPhone 7 Plus lacks quick charging and the battery takes a depressingly long 3 hours and 17 minutes to fully recharge.

Charging time (minutes) Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 102
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 96
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 99
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 197
OnePlus 5 99
Google Pixel XL 118
LG G6 97

Wireless charging

The Galaxy Note 8 also supports wireless charging, which requires a separate wireless charger that is not included in the box. Wireless charging is compatible with WPC and PMA standards, but if you do not want to look for a third-party charger, good news is that Samsung also makes a stylish wireless charger that holds the phone up and doubles as a good-looking dock. 

The wireless charger (officially called the Fast Charge Wireless Charging Convertible, model number EP-PG950TBEGUS) is offered as a freebie for those who get the Note 8 in the first month of availability, while otherwise it has a full retail price of $90. That charger also works with othe Qi-compatible devices.

It takes nearly half as long to charge up the Note 8 battery with the wireless charger, so keep that in mind. And if you don't want to spend the big bucks on this new charger, older and still perfectly compatible Samsung-made wireless chargers can be found for less than $40 at Best Buy.

Related phones

Galaxy Note 8
  • Display 6.3" 1440 x 2960 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2350 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3300 mAh(22h talk time)



1. afrohoxha

Posts: 255; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

"We then ran a test that taxes all phones in the same way" . Can you explain in detail the tests performed please? Because some tests may favor one phone over the others...for instance if you give much importance to standby time, it's obvious iPhone is going to come on top, or video tests tend to favor Galaxy phones.

8. Victor.H

Posts: 1062; Member since: May 27, 2011

See comment number 6 for clarification :) We do not test for stand-by time performance.

39. thxultra

Posts: 457; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

Of course phone arena is going to run a test that is best for the iphone... This guy did a pretty good all around test.

53. jacky899

Posts: 431; Member since: May 16, 2017

PhoneArena, please run a test with the resolution set at the screen's native 1440p resolution, which is what I'll be using it at instead of the lowered 1080p resolution. Other competing android flagships are tested at their native 1440p resolutions so we need a fair comparison.

55. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1567; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

Unless a user goes into settings to increase resolution, 1080p is what Samsung sets it to. The average user won't be changing that, average user hardly looks at settings.

2. dnomadic

Posts: 416; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Okay I just watched a real battery test with the entire thing being filmed....and the note 8 and the S8 lasted MUCH longer than the iPhone... Gaming, websurfing, video recording, and something else... The iPhone did okay on web, but after that it was blown away and the Note 8 ended up winning by a great margin over the iPhone and 1% over the s8. This matches my experience with the iPhone and S8.

7. Victor.H

Posts: 1062; Member since: May 27, 2011

See my comment (number 6) for a clarification on our battery test method :)

30. phichart

Posts: 335; Member since: May 03, 2014

probably your battery life test are out dated.. you should try another way.. we saw so many battery test on youtube and it's very different from this side.. by the way.. this is not real life battery test.. this is just benchmark. haha

50. dnomadic

Posts: 416; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Interested in seeing the percentages. I am video/gaming heavy. My household is browses little, we are often in an application social Media (Not me), gaming, watching videos, taking pics. Do people really surf more than they do these things (not being sarcastic, just wondering if my household is weird). So what I would love to see is the number of hours/percentage of time devoted to web surfing.

51. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

"Do people really surf more thanthey do these things (not beingsarcastic, just wondering if my household is weird)." From my personal experience, web browsing occurs more often than taking photos and gaming is general usuage of a smartphone... I mean, I think someone can be connected to the Internet all day long (or leave his/her device connected to facebook and whatsapp) but can't really be gaming all day long... no?

56. dnomadic

Posts: 416; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Interesting. I don't think I've seen anyone in my circle that stares at social media constantly (30-40 minutes at a time). However I see many that play games (puzzles/strategy games) at length. I see tons of photos taken and streamed, and a CRAP load of videos being watched. Would love to see the average by age group.

29. Soundjudgment

Posts: 370; Member since: Oct 10, 2016

iPhone 8 (And its purported L-Shaped Battery) should be the one to test in that camp. We'll know soon.

57. JC557

Posts: 1919; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

One area that the iPhone does well in is standby batter life as Android loves to keep crap running in the background but usage time is less than that of the flagship android phones but ti's not too far behind in my experience. I got to play with the Note 8 yesterday and it was not charging during that time and it took a good while for the battery to go from 80% (which is when I picked it up) to 52%. I was just browsing the web, playing with the camera and comparing the volume of the ringers. I was lucky too as the Verizon shop I was in was pretty empty and the manager knows me and let me play with the phone for as long as I could manage (he said manage because he says I wouldn't believe the battery life on this thing).. Certain tasks did have it drain much quicker but since I am not a gamer I could see this phone lasting me a good day and a half with my usage.

3. Furkan

Posts: 552; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

Please test the LG V30

5. Klinton

Posts: 1409; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

I can do it for you, but.....You must point in your order, what result you want. And donate.

4. darkkjedii

Posts: 31089; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

A few videos on YouTube, showed the Note 8 last quite a bit longer than the iPhone. In fact, none showed it lose, now it loses this one by more than an hr...hmmmm. This Should've been recorded, and posted PA. Too many reviewers have posted videos of battery tests, for the one where it loses not to be video posted.

6. Victor.H

Posts: 1062; Member since: May 27, 2011

It depends a lot on how you test really. Our test is browser-heavy since we consider that browsing is what people do a lot. And tests that are browser-heavy like ours have more whites than say a test that only plays video where there is very little white. This is important because white is not that battery-intensive on an LCD screen, but the more white you have in a picture, the more power an OLED screen consumes. So take all battery tests with the proverbial grain of salt, but we think ours gives a fairly true-to-life estimate :)

11. YeahYeah

Posts: 250; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

Not all of us are heavy browsers. We use phone for different reasons such as videos, music, browser, texting etc.. get better battery test..

19. Vyshak75

Posts: 79; Member since: Mar 03, 2016

I am sure they will change the test before iphone 8 as it uses OLED display.

25. Victor.H

Posts: 1062; Member since: May 27, 2011

Heavy does not mean "only browsing test", it is a synthetic test that accounts for all types of performance.

33. ph00ny

Posts: 2033; Member since: May 26, 2011

I called it. I knew your tests were heavily skewed against OLEDs and that was the reasoning behind your test results which didn't line up with any of the competitor.

65. almostdone

Posts: 448; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

gsmarena does a more "true to life" test. iPhoneArena does anything it can to skew the test in favor of the beloved Apple.

37. Carlitos

Posts: 669; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

If that's the case then why not use the more efficient night mode on Samsung Browsers. And it's not like it's some hidden features it's right in front of you. You can quickly access it. Through the quick menu. If I'm someone who is "heavily browsing" I would be having the browser in night mode simply because it's less strain on the eyes. Also leading to less battery consumption. Idk PA your test seem pretty BS and lackluster

43. bobby84

Posts: 595; Member since: May 13, 2016

@Victor I speak for everyone when I say, most people on this site browser YouTube and other phone sites and have a vast knowledge on the phones that interest us. When we hear something that don't make sense or is inconsistence we will point it out. I can assure you that your battery drain test is incorrect according every single site on the web. You can visit every carrier site; Verizon, ATT, T-Mobile, Sprint all which have the s8 and the note 8 with longer battery lifes. Youtube video drain tests and other sites like consumer reports etc. Every single one of them rank galaxy's higher that any iPhones and you have a test where iPhone wins by a wide margin. It doesn't make sense!This is the only site where iPhone beat a galaxy in battery life? and it won by a wide margin. This is how you lose creditability, especially when Samsung phones has a more efficient processor, more efficient screen and bigger more robust battery holding 95% capacity after 2 years. As well as when you stated note8 has only 518 nits of brightness when displaymate got 1245 nits. Even youtubers comments that the screen gets so bright in dark rooms they felt as those they could get blinded.

48. slow00

Posts: 97; Member since: Mar 08, 2017

victor, half of iphonearena articles end with the phrase " take this with the proverbial grain of salt" you ask to take your battery tests with the proverbial grain of salt..i am not talking about your camera tests which have broken all records of what s next ?

61. ColinW

Posts: 412; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

It is impossible to design a battery test that truly reflects what users can expect to achieve in daily use. However, it is possible to design a test that covers the different types of usage to give users an idea of what to expect not only from one particular model, but how it performs against others. A test like yours favours one particular type of usage that is much less battery intensive, so use of this type will lead to what seems like a good battery life on most phones. What is more important is how well a phone will last when the usage hits the battery harder, as the differences between phones is are far more noticeable. Your tests and comments in reviews gives the impression that models like the iPhone have much better battery lifes, but you fail to mention that under heavy load they eat battery far faster. If you just did a browser test you may (for example only) get a 5% variance between models in battery life over one cycle, but using a more intensive test the difference is 40%. This is why your tests are so misleading. A good example is the iPhone. Your tests give the illusion that they have great batteries, but generally they perform far worse and combined with really awful recharge times have one of the worst overall battery packages of any comparable phone.

74. xeroxchap

Posts: 68; Member since: Oct 11, 2016

Tch... Tch... finally almost everyone can see through BS of iphonearena and Victor H

78. phichart

Posts: 335; Member since: May 03, 2014

and how you tests are outdated. We (mostly) use facebook, instgram, gaming, listening music, playing video on youtube. not only stand by time... you buy an expensive phone and you don't use anyting? only standby time? hahaha and your display test are also s**t

10. Cat97

Posts: 1895; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

It depends if the chipset is the Exynos 8895 or Snapdragon 835. There is a huge difference in favor of the Exynos. The authors should specify which model they test. You can see much more accurate tests on other sites, where all the details are specified, as well as stand-by drain which is measured and taken into account.

16. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Most reviewers sugar coat Samsung review to keep the comment section at bay. It happens all the time, because Android users are some of the biggest cry babies on the planet. If you don't believe me, look at this comment section.......

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