Battery Life and Charge Time

One of the primary advantages of larger phones is the additional space for battery capacity. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 battery clocks in at 12.4 Whr while the iPhone 6 Plus weighs in at 11.1 Whr. The Motorola Droid is a bit of an exception, built specifically with battery capacity in mind – it includes a ~14.8 Whr battery.

First up is our PC Perspective Wi-Fi browsing battery test.

The PC Perspective Wi-Fi browsing battery life test uses a custom script on live web pages to cycle through a set of 30+ pages. We are using desktop-class webpages here though obviously Flash isn’t a factor. On a 30 second rotation, you may notice that some of our results are lower than manufacturer estimates; the key is to compare the devices relative to each other.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 performs admirably here in our Wi-Fi browsing test, pulling in nearly 9 hours in our very rigorous browser script. There are two phones that best it, the Apple iPhone 6 and the Motorola Droid Turbo. The Droid Turbo does it with a larger battery and smaller screen, giving it an advantage in usage efficiency. Apple's iPhone 6 has the advantage of the Safari browser + iOS combination to lean on, pulling over 9.5 hours in our testing. Notice how much lower the Nexus 6 is than the Note 4 – Google's own flagship smartphone based on a similar design to the Droid Turbo lacks considerably here.

For our gaming battery life tests we use the GFXBench 3.0 integrated battery benchmark that loops through the T-Rex scenario 30 times and records battery drain to build an accurate estimate of total battery life. We start the test with the batter under 90% capacity but over 50% capacity.

The gaming battery test measures how efficient the GPU portion of the SoC can be in comparison to the battery size. The winner again is the Droid Turbo rated at nearly 3.5 hours of 3D gaming runtime. Behind it at just under 3 hours is the Galaxy Note 4, followed by the Apple iPhone 6 and then the Nexus 6.

Equally important as battery life with these larger phone with bigger batteries is charge time. Thanks to technologies like Qualcomm's Quick Charge 2.0 and other lesser known options, most flagship phones today ship with a fast charger that can push more than 5V to the phone, improving your ability to get juice into the goose. Or the phone in this case.

Though our testing is early in this, we are measuring power draw at the wall as well as power draw in software on the phones to see how quickly you can get useable power into the device. I report time (in minutes) to reach 80% charge, 90% charge and 99% charge, leaving 100% charge out because that can vary drastically with reporting and specific battery characteristics.

With only one data point its hard to make any direct comparisons yet, but the fast charger was drawing as much as 17.8 watts at the wall, pushing nearly double the output we get from a standard 5V, 2A charger for modern smartphones. The result is the ability to get back 80% of your battery in just 56 minutes, and that is with the phone powered on, on Wi-Fi and cellular networks. Reaching 90% takes an additional 12 minutes and getting to that 99% mark will take just over an hour and half.

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