The new Galaxy S9 and S9+ are a reflection of their predecessors, the S8 and S8+. This is true to the extent that their batteries have the same capacity: 3000 mAh for the S9 and 3500 mAh for the plus version. So the question is, how has the battery life responded to the increase in power? We analyzed the S9 and S9+ battery in detail.
The autonomy of Samsung’s new flagships leaves something to be desired
Let’s face it, we expected this. By the time the data on the battery capacities of Samsung’s new flagships was leaked, doubt spread like wildfire. The press and users already know what happens when you put a more powerful processor with the same battery. It’s almost the inverse of what happened from the Huawei P9 to the P10, as the P10 increased its battery life, but decreased its power.
But let’s see how the new hardware has affected the battery life in the newest member of the Galaxy S series.
The S9 offers 12 hours of autonomy at half gas without any problems
The S9 features a Snapdragon 845 processor in the U.S. (Exynos 9810 in all other regions) along with 4 GB of RAM and 3000 mAh of battery power. We tested the Exynos processor, which gave the S9 and S9+ the best overall performance we have ever tested. With more power than the Galaxy S8 and the same battery, the S9 is able to stay for 12 to 16 hours with just over 4:00 hours of screen time. These are values for daily use with videos (more than hour), games (more than hour), lots of messages and emails, some geolocation, use of specific apps and plenty of internet browsing.
The optimized mode (recommended by Samsung) with automatic brightness and screen resolution at FHD+ was used to obtain these results. When you play games, the mode changes to optimize the game by increasing the resolution to WQHD+ and the screen brightness by 10%.
In somewhat unusual scenarios where I haven’t used the smartphone much, the battery life exceeded 18 hours, but with only about 2 and a half hours of screen time. The most I’ve stretched the screen time while watching movies and videos amounted to nearly 6 hours.
The processor may be more efficient than the previous one, but it is also more powerful, and the power consumption has inevitably increased. The reduction in battery life is significant when we see that the S8 could handle 6 hours of screen time in standard use.
S9+ autonomy is more of the same, 3 hours of screen time with maximum resolution
Both the S9 and S9+ have the same processor, but in the plus version it comes with 6 GB of RAM and a 3500 mAh battery. In terms of battery life, there is no difference in hardware or battery capacity. The S8+ battery basically offers autonomy for a 12-16 hour journey, just like the S9. In this case the difference between it and its predecessor is somewhat more pronounced. The S8+ could reach 5-7 hours of screen time with WQHD+ resolution activated.
As you can see in the screenshots from my colleague Luca Zaninello, screen time doesn’t exceed the 4-hour barrier with WQHD+ resolution. When Luca used the Pixel 2 XL in the sam way, he got 7 hours of screen time.
Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ PCMark battery life benchmark
|Razer Phone||10:43 hours||4,000|
|Nokia 8||9:25 hours||3,340|
|Samsung Galaxy S9||7:15 hours||3,000|
Does it at least recharge quickly?
Yeah, yeah. The battery can be charged as fast as it gets drained (note the irony). Seriously, at least the fast charge is still as good as ever. In the first few minutes of charging, the percentage goes up quite quickly, but it takes about an hour and a half to reach 100%. One important point is that the charger is as small as they come and is easy to carry, especially if you compare it to The Dash from OnePlus. The following chart compares the charging time to the charging percentage: the more horizontal the curve, the faster the device loads.
Conclusion: It lasts a day without many luxuries
Samsung’s top-range device can survive a day of use in 2018. But I don’t mean 24 hours, I mean the time from when you wake up until when you go to sleep. And that’s in optimized mode. If you want higher performance or to maximize the screen resolution, the battery life is drastically reduced.
Samsung equips the S9 and S9+ with several energy-saving options that can stretch the stored energy a bit further, but they require sacrificing some premium options like maximum performance or fabulous screen resolution. This is a shame for how much you need to spend on a flagship in 2018.
What do you think of these findings? Would you still be interested in purchasing the Galaxy S9?