Galaxy Note 3 battery tests show its strengths and weaknesses

by: Bogdan PetrovanOctober 17, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 jet black battery aa 2

Great battery life is one of the leading selling points of the Galaxy Note series. The Galaxy Note 2 is among the few devices you don’t have to charge every night (power users need not apply) — will the Galaxy Note 3, with its slightly larger 3200 mAh battery, outdo its predecessor?

Korean website Playwares did some interesting tests, revealing that, when it comes to battery life, the Note 3 (SM-900, Exynos 5420) is a bit inconsistent, depending on how you utilize it. To standardize its benchmarks, Playwares set the devices it tested at a similar brightness, using a professional color analyzer. The results are below.

Web browsing

With AMOLED screens, the brighter and lighter the image they display, the more power they consume. Problem is most websites have white or very light backgrounds, which takes its toll on the battery, and this is visible in Playwares’ Wi-Fi browsing test. The Note 3 ranks mediocrely, both in the standardized brightness test (around 230cd/m2 for white) and in the full brightness test. Curiously, the Note 2 outperformed the Note 3 by 2h:40m in the full brightness test.

note 3 wifi browsing battery test

Video playback

Things are much better in the video playback test. Playwares tested the devices at a standardized brightness of 280 cd/m2 (R/G/B) and at maximum brightness. The Galaxy Note 3 lasted significantly more than the Galaxy Note 2, and left the other competitors in the dust in both tests. For instance, the LG G2 lasted a little over eight hours at full brightness, compared to almost 15 hours for the Note 3.

note 3 video playback battery test

3D gaming

For the final test, the Korean website ran the Egypt HD benchmark from the GLBenchmark 2.5 suite. The Galaxy Note 3 did very well, though it lagged behind the Note 2 by almost an hour.

note 3 3D gaming battery test

The conclusion is clear: the Note 3 delivers the excellent battery life the series is known for, but web browsing is still its Achilles’ heal. For more on the Galaxy Note 3, check out our full review.

  • venky

    Note 2 still the best smartphone money can buy :D

    • simpleas

      lol, i own the Note 2, but If it wasn’t for the contract, i woulda switched to 3. Im coming for you Note 4!

      • Ivan Myring

        Sell the 2, but keep the sim and buy an unlocked note 3

      • JT

        Hell, do like i did. I just used my mom’s upgrade to get mine. So now I got my note 3.

        • Leonardo Rojas

          Mommy always helping. Beautiful moms. Give her a kiss right now!!

          • JT

            Ya since two weeks before the note 3 came out. I broke my note 2.

    • w1z

      I own it since Dec and dont regret any single day till now :3

  • Dynamite

    Where is iPhone 5S ?

    • pjlk

      I dont think thats a good comparison with Galaxy Note 3. 4 incher vs 5.7 incher. haha.

    • vosg

      Nowhere. Really.

    • box14380

      I don’t think iPhones must be included here because that dumbass run a different OS and has small screen compare to 5.7″ 1080p which happen to be very taxing on the battery.

    • w1z

      Its on Only place where you see iPhone articles lol.

    • smokebomb

      Jogging from 2012 to catch up to its competition.

  • MasterMuffin

    How about changing your mobile webpage’s background to black? It would help many people like me who have a Note or an S device and I think that black webpages often look cool because they’re different :)

    • Ivan Myring

      Install the AOSP browser on your note. Inverted rendering FTW

      • MasterMuffin

        I miss that feature, it used to be in Chrome for Android :/

  • Mike Cash

    We are also talking about the octacore version of the note 3 versus the quad core version of the note 2 that will be a huge difference in battery life. If you ran the snapdragon 800 vs. The note 2 I bet the 3 will come out on top.

    • zourite

      Octa is crap.

      • Mike Cash

        Totally agree, at this point it is just overkill and slurps battery compared to the SD800 architecture which is a lot more efficient and plenty powerful.

    • w1z

      Seems like you own a Note 3. Feels bad being second right? :P

      • Failbot

        I own a Snapdragon 800 Note 3. Amazing battery life. Feels great having the best phone in the world.

        • Replicant Jason Booth

          for a whole month at least lol

        • w1z

          I own your Predecessor. I have even more better battery life :p
          ujelly :*

    • ♜Donzzy™

      I’m happy I have my snapdragon version.

  • Harkirat Singh

    Get prepared to be amazed at the results of Note 2 when it gets updated to 4.3.3 ;) :D

  • zourite

    Web browsing IS ok in fact.
    One should NOT compare Note 2 vs Note 3 at full brightness : the latter has TWICE the former’s !
    It’s quite easy for the N2 to perform well with such a dim screen :-D

  • bestMKracer

    we all want sharper and more brighter screen and now we are paying ng the price though sammy could have given us a larger battery like 3500mah

    • Failbot

      Sure, if they made the phone bigger. Amazing as is, I wouldnt change a thing.

  • Leonardo Rojas

    Not bad. This app can help, though: Screen Dimmer by Haxor Industry. It works really good. Fine tune your screen brightness n.n

    • smokebomb

      Screen filter is a good app. I use it to avoid waking my gf up when I use my smartphone before going to bed.

  • Leonardo Rojas

    Btw, have you seen the 3D Mark ranking of smartphones? The Note 3 is topping the list. I wonder how much of its score is inflated by Samsung’s tricks, also, what game is that insanely heavy to really need half the GPU power from these top 15 devices… Only for future proof ? Does OpenGL 3.0 will tax on the GPU something extra?
    No game is that heavy as the 3D Mark tests, do the tests make sense then?o.O
    Sorry for the off topi,c >-<

    • Luqmaan Mathee

      Well most other manufacturers cheated in benchmarks also.

  • Leonardo Rojas

    Nobody answers my tricky questions!!!!! :C

  • Ronan

    I haven’t seen that much of a difference in battery life between Note 2 & Note 3 as I happen to own both. Both last me a full day of heavy use. Note 3 on benchmarks is 4 times faster but in real life usage you won’t notice that. Note 2 is still so good I kept it as a backup and would recommend to my friends looking to buy a new phone as they can get a better deal on it now that Note 3 is out. Note 2 is still pending an update to Android 4.3 which grants it at least a couple more years of service before becoming obsolete. Note 3 is an awesome device which is overbuilt for future proof as I haven’t seen any app or game that use all it’s power to make a noticeable difference between the two devices. I find the 3 more comfortable to hold than the 2 even though it’s bigger screen. All in all both are awesome phones and you can’t go wrong with any of the two.

    • Failbot

      The GPU in the Note 3 (Snapdragon) is far far far superior to the Note 2, as is (obviously) the 3GB of ram vs 2. You notice.

      • Ronan

        Note 3 is 4 times faster as I mentioned before. But you can run the same apps and games on both and you won’t notice a difference to make you say Note 2 is outdated.

    • aditya

      Hi,I was wondering if you could help me.Which model of the note 3 do you own? I am from india and only N9000 Version is being released here.Kindly suggest.

  • w1z

    Love my Note 2 :3

  • Viking (Holland)

    Very cheap review.. I have the note 3 myself and for sure it’s performance is better than the note 2.. like the note 3 of my colleague..
    Korean site Playwares : for sure they used only 1 note 3… that’s not a test !

  • Pritesh Patel

    Guys please suggest to me that which phone is better in Note II or Note III as I confused between that 2 models