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Tested: Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra boasts even better battery life

The S24 Ultra offers even longer battery life in most use cases, except one key test.
By
January 30, 2024

There’s not a whole lot new in the hardware department of the latest Samsung Galaxy S24 series, but that doesn’t mean Samsung hasn’t eeked out improvements from the existing setup. I’ve run the new Galaxy S24 Ultra through our lab test suite this week, and it turns out the new model is quite a bit more frugal with the same 5000mAh battery than its predecessor, resulting in better battery life.

Our battery test runs through a series of the most common mobile workloads. Automated web browsing, 4K video playback, 4K30 video recording, taking pictures, and hosting a Zoom call. We then extrapolate the total run time based on the battery drain.

Looking at the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s battery life versus the Galaxy S23 Ultra, the newer model wins across almost the entire test suite. The most significant gain is 4K video playback, which clocked a staggering 45% improvement. Other metrics show smaller but similar improvements, with gaming, web browsing, and 4K recording all lasting 16% longer with the S24 Ultra. Given the consistency of the improvements, it looks like the more efficient Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy processor provides a chunk of this uplift in battery life. During its announcement, Qualcomm noted that the Snapdraogn 8 Gen 3’s CPU is 20% more efficient than the 8 Gen 2’s, so this lines up.

It’s not a clean sweep, however. Zoom produced a very similar result on both phones, possibly because it’s a little more demanding on networking and other components. The biggest concern for prospective Galaxy S24 Ultra customers is that we saw a decline of 33% in camera capture minutes. Most likely, the new advanced image processing techniques in the S24 are the culprit. The trade-off is better-looking pictures, just less of them.

Last year's model already lasted more than a day and the Galaxy S24 Ultra has even better battery life.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra still took over 1,400 photos on a single charge, more than you’ll likely ever take in a day. But when mixed in with a heavy daily workload, the most eager shutterbugs might find they won’t make it to bedtime with as much juice left in the tank as the S23 Ultra.

Overall, last year’s Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra was already a solid battery performer, and the new Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra looks to be even better on the whole. With a 10% average gain across all our tests, users could be looking at anywhere between an extra 30 minutes to an extra hour or more of screen-on time with the Galaxy S24 Ultra, depending on your typical workload. Either way, that’s a big win for Samsung’s latest premium flagship.

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Samsung Galaxy S24
Samsung Galaxy S24
Seven-year update commitment
Neat AI features
Robust battery life
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Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus
Bright, sharp 1440p display
Excellent update commitment
Handy Galaxy AI features
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Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Powerful, flexible cameras
Excellent update commitment
Brilliant flat display