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Galaxy Note 4 Battery Life vs iPhone 6 Plus and Others

Samsung's Galaxy Note phones have a well-deserved reputation for delivering long endurance. The new Galaxy Note 4 looks to keep that streak going, packing a high-capacity 3,200-mAh battery. While good, it’s runtime isn’t best in class.

On our battery test, which involves continuous surfing over 4G at 150 nits brightness with background data and other radios turned off, the Note 4 lasted 8 hours and 43 minutesWhile the new phablet's staying power is long enough to provide all-day power for most normal users, it's behind several competitors, including the Galaxy S5 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Apple's new 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus lasted exactly 10 hours on our test while riding on AT&T 4G LTE, the same network as the Note 4 we tested. The AT&T version of the Galaxy S5 endured for 9 hours and 42 minutes, about an hour longer than its big brother. The AT&T HTC One M8 lasted 8:42, nearly identical to the Note 4.

MORE: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review

Though there are some phones that last longer on a charge, the Note 4 is comfortably above the 8-hour and 22-minute smartphone average and the LG G3 (7:12). It's also way ahead of the Fire Phone, which didn't even last 7 hours on our test.

We don't know precisely why the Galaxy S5 and iPhone 6 Plus lasted longer, but the Note 4's larger, higher-resolution display is one likely culprit. Where the 5.1-inch Galaxy S5 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus both have full HD, 1920 x 1080 displays, the Note 4 is one of the few phones that has a 2560 x 1440 display -- and more pixels usually means more power.

What carrier you have also plays a significant role in battery life. The Galaxy Note 4 we tested is the AT&T version, but in our experience, handsets on T-Mobile's network can last as much as two hours longer.

The Note 4 has a few battery saving features that didn't improve its endurance on our test, but would help real-world users who don't use their phones continuously. Power saving mode turns down the CPU clock, stops background data and, depending on your settings, turns the screen black and white when your phone's battery gets down to 20 percent (you can also make it run all the time).

Ultra Power Saving mode is even more extreme, limiting what apps you can run in addition to turning the screen black and white and lowering the performance. Samsung claims you can get up to 24 hours of standby power.

Like its other flagship phones, Samsung's new phablet also has a removable battery, so users can either carry a spare or purchase a third-party extended battery. More good news: with the bundled charger, the phone can go from 0 to 50 percent in 30 minutes, making it easier to juice up.

Bottom line: The Note 4 offers fairly good endurnace, but if you want marathon-like battery life you’ll need to make some tweaks.

  • ldun
    What? No love for any BlackBerry phones?
    Reply
  • lokione
    Did you use the power saver/ultra power saver modes?
    Reply
  • Nuckles_56
    What about nokia lumias as well?
    Reply
  • Mattb13456788
    This article is a bit misleading in terms of if you need long haul battery. The note offers a removable battery while the others do not. So you can swap out a brand new full battery in seconds. The others require some sort of external option that charges the battery inside the phone. Those are usually bulky and slow at charging. Long haul is not an extra hour lol. It's double battery life.
    Reply
  • BossHogg1988
    So the Galaxy Note 3 lasts longer than the note 4? The note 3 lasted almost 10hrs on the Verizon network (http://www.tomsguide.com/us/iphone-6-battery-life,news-19591.html). Is that correct?
    Reply
  • micker99
    Was this tested after the firmware update to improve battery life on the Galaxy Note 4?
    Reply
  • MidahoX
    Interesting... According to DisplayMate, Note 4 screen is 14% more power efficient than note 3. Technically, it should last longer than the note 3. PhoneArena seems to have an opposite result and their tests are automated. http://www.phonearena.com/news/Surprise-surprise-The-Note-4-defies-expectations-by-acing-our-battery-life-test-becomes-the-longest-lasting-QHD-phone_id61586
    Reply
  • sebby491
    Rubbish, literally every other review site, tech site etc puts note 4 quite a bit above 6 plus, then add the power saving modes onto that then note 4 easily wins. Apple biases like usual.
    Reply