Surprise, surprise! The Note 4 defies expectations by acing our battery life test, becomes the longest-lasting QHD phone


When Samsung execs took up to the stage during the company's Galaxy Note 4 announcement event and made it clear that the Galaxy Note 4 will not come with a significantly larger battery, we were a bit worried. After all, a Quad HD display is pretty much guaranteed to require more out of the battery, and we had proof -- just look at the LG G3 and Oppo Find 7. Neither of those had horrid endurance by any means, but they weren't exactly industry-leading, either.

The 3220 mAh cell of the Note 4, however, despite offering an absolutely tiny 20 mAh bump from the 3200 mAh unit found within the Note 3,exceeded even our more generous estimates. We were expecting a battery life that was largely identical to its predecessor, but that's not at all the case -- the Note 4 clocked the impressive 8 hours and 43 minutes in our custom battery life test, which is a significant improvement over the 6 hours and 8 minutes the Note 3 managed a year or so ago.

So how do we test? Put simply, we run a script with varying loads that attempts to replicate real-life, non-stop usage, with the screen set to 200 nits. This means that the average Joe should be able to squeeze nearly 9 hours of screen on-time with the Note 4 going through a typical daily routine of calls, texts, browsing, and games. On average. In other words, expect the Note 4 to hold fast for at least a day and a half, and even more if you go easy on it and make sure to remember to turn on its excellent Ultra Power Saving Mode when low on charge.

Speaking of charge, we were also very happy to see that Samsung has delivered a device that supports truly quick charging -- the massive cell of the Note 4 needed just 95 minutes to charge. That's an absolute record for a juicer this big, and yet another piece of great new for those of us who consider the battery aspect of a smartphone to be a big deal.

We've got to hand it to Samsung -- it did good with the Note 4.

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 iPhone 6
5h 22 min (Poor)
HTC One (M8)
7h 12 min (Good)
Sony Xperia Z3
9h 29 min (Excellent)
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
6h 32 min (Average)
Huawei Ascend Mate7
9h 3 min (Excellent)
OPPO Find 7
4h 30 min (Poor)
LG G3
6h 14 min (Average)
Samsung Galaxy S5
7h 38 min (Good)
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
6h 8 min (Average)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
8h 43 min (Excellent)

minutes Lower is better
Apple iPhone 6
147
HTC One (M8)
207
Sony Xperia Z3
235
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
171
Huawei Ascend Mate7
170
OPPO Find 7
88
LG G3
120
Samsung Galaxy S5
122
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
135
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
95

Story timeline

Related phones

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)

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146 Comments

1. iluvsonynokia

Posts: 161; Member since: Aug 27, 2013

wow haters favourite is good in battery backup well done sammy

4. AnTuTu

Posts: 1603; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

Note 4 proved again why Note series stands out of the rest. It is just going to get better and better over the years. Well done Samsung...

5. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

What I am wondering is where all the haters are that keep saying Android is inefficient or even the authors when they say iOS is "well optimized"? Here is a phone that has about 10% more battery than the iPhone 6 plus with almost 50% more pixels on the screen and a bigger screen, lasting about 30% longer. That, on top of an OS that is more capable and dynamic without the upcoming addition of project volta. The term iPhoneArena is looking more and more true every day. They mentioned "well optimized" like 20 times per article on the iPhone release and reviews, yet not once in this article.

18. dmakun

Posts: 382; Member since: Jun 06, 2011

This comment is on point. +1 to you sir. My thoughts exactly.

22. KonaStang4.6

Posts: 285; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

I've gotten almost 12 hours out of my iPhone 6+ so yeah. Not trying to start a flame war, but these battery tests are flawed. I know that the Note battery is a beast but people don't want to recognize that the iPhone batteries aren't as bad as they are being portrayed.

31. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

12 hours of light usage? Heavy usage? My z2 tanked a 4 hours drive with screen on, GPS navigation and blue tooth connect with a speaker. And there are days I don't use it a lot and last three whole days with 20% before I put it on charge. It's hard to gage what you are saying 12 hrs when you don't mention your usage :)

32. Ashoaib

Posts: 3276; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

if your iphone churn out 12 hours in your hands then note 4 will easily last 17 hours with your type of usage, bcoz note 4 is 38% more as per above test.... no flaw in above test hours 12+38.08% = 17appx

45. vuyonc

Posts: 1089; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

No battery life test caters to real life usage perfectly. Tests usually work for comparison.

61. tedkord

Posts: 17318; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

This test is constant use with the screen on at all times. All devices are tested under the same conditions with the brightness. I don't know anything about your 6 Plus, but I do know you didn't use it for 12 hours straight with the screen on the whole time. That said, there will be variances from device to device, and differences in usage type will also affect battery time.

75. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

You have never used your phone for 12 hours straight. Keep it moving. lol Leghorn Foghorn... Where is the Chicken Hawk when we need him...

77. synot

Posts: 277; Member since: Sep 14, 2012

You got 12 hours with the phone on ,but we are talking usage (heavy).

114. devon613

Posts: 127; Member since: Oct 13, 2011

Bs I barely get 5 on my iPhone I hate it the most for that reason I leave it on the charger cause I have to i can't even watch a movie withoUT it being dead after . I coach so I'm always traveling I'm glad I preordered the note 4 but no way u getting 12 hrs...tired of phone arena celebrating every little thing apple does i mean I have a lot 3 os's and I'm sorry the only thing that I really like is some apps that the other 2 don't have but Def can't wait for this to ship to me..

122. billl

Posts: 12; Member since: Oct 10, 2014

What 5 hour movie are you trying to watch?

119. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

With removable battery I could swap the battery and have a fully charged phone in seconds. Well, Apple fan could spent another thousand dollar for the second iPhone and swap the sim card instead. Make perfect sense.

125. billl

Posts: 12; Member since: Oct 10, 2014

Or you could bring an extra usb battery pack. But that would be crazy.

135. cybertec69

Posts: 31; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

One the Note 4 or any other Samsung phone, you can swap the battery with a fresh one "a spare battery does not take up any space in your pants pocket, jacket or bag", tell me how you can do that with an iPhone. I am a FHV TLC driver, and 90% of my clients "that have iPhones" have that dreaded do you have a charger look on their face when they enter my car, I say yes I do, LOL.

139. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Did you use your phone from 100% charge, NON-STOP until it died? I doubt it. Are you really going to sit their and lie and claim you used your phone non-stop with the display on constantly for 12 hours? Sorry, I have serious doubts. Even with my usage, I have only managed to use my Note 3 non-stop watching a movie for only a couple hours. You want us to believe you used your phone for 12 hours? Not only are ifans hypocrites, but liars too.

145. hmmm...

Posts: 81; Member since: Jun 05, 2013

I think your test is more flawed. In all testing, most things have to be kept constant (the type of programs running). I can get a week out of my feature phone or more than two days on smart phones if i only do messageng some light browsing and a few videos, but what I did with my phones does not count because many things were not kept constant for both devices.. Was your phone set at 200nits? Did you test other phones and run the exact same things? If no, how is your result better than the one here?

146. infinitemethod

Posts: 151; Member since: Sep 04, 2012

I can get almost 48 hours with my Note 4, brah.

66. Sakeem

Posts: 857; Member since: Sep 05, 2012

Well said. Maybe phonearena doesn't want to get banned from future Apple events or from having an early review device of the next iphone.

74. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

My thing is why can't I see charging times for BOTH the iPhone 6 & 6 Plus? Why are those stats omitted? What are they hiding? +1

123. billl

Posts: 12; Member since: Oct 10, 2014

Do you own an iPhone? With a name like superandroidevo one might suspect you were rocking an android. If you don't then why care? Or are you passionately defending the rights of stat watchers every wher?

93. proto

Posts: 59; Member since: Sep 12, 2012

i must correct you... Note 4 have 2 times more pixels than full hd iphone 6+. But still 2k displayes are f**king overkill even o 5,7 inch display. How good battery life should been on 1080p?

140. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

First off, phones don't need 720p, they don't need 1080p and yes they don't need 1440p. Let me ask you, in a where tech progresses fast, do you only buy phones with features you need? Every car or phone and may other things I can name, have features you don't really need. Has it stopped you from buying it?

120. kira_s unregistered

if the note 4 stuck with using a 1080p display and project volta added on, and using something similar to sony's z3 display settings resulting almost 2 days battery life, I wonder how long it will last!

121. billl

Posts: 12; Member since: Oct 10, 2014

Did the iPhone touch you in appropriately when you were young?

86. SayMobile

Posts: 157; Member since: Jan 29, 2014

Samsung Galaxy Note4 the Greatest Smartphone till date .Period.

124. billl

Posts: 12; Member since: Oct 10, 2014

Hell yeah, and if you think there is a better phone then your opinion is wrong.

137. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

Z2 and Z3 are better Note 4 when you use them underwater :P But Note 4 is a great phone that's for sure :D

27. Ashoaib

Posts: 3276; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Crispy article from Chris p

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

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