GSMArena has completed its round of testing regarding S3’s battery life. Before we get into the results, lets just recap that the S3 has a 2100mAh battery capacity which has to power a 1.4GHz quad core CPU and a 720×1280 4.8″ screen. As mentioned in my earlier post, I do not expect a huge margin of difference between the S2 and S3 when it comes to web surfing or videos. In talk time, there will be a good margin as the screen is mostly turned off during a call. As S3 is running on ICS, I feel that it is more accurate to be comparing with the S2 running ICS. As such, I will be making comparisons to the S2 ICS. Continue reading to find out if what I predicted came true.
First up, the talk time. S2 scored a pretty good 8h 35m but the S3 scored about 20% more to end up with 10h 20m of talk time. This is an excellent score that is bested by only 3 other phones: Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX, Galaxy Note and Wave 3. Just as a point of interest, S2 running GB and S2 running ICS had similar scores in this category which seems to say that there is no power improvements to be had in talk time from switching GB to ICS.
The second test is on web surfing. In this category, S2 due to its AMOLED characteristics of draining the most power when displaying predominantly white pages, it only managed 5h 04m before fully draining its 1650mAh battery. How does the S3 do? S3 managed to score about 4.3% more in this test, increasing the time to 5h 17m. This was expected as I had expected that the more powerful CPU would be draining the battery faster, resulting in similar or only slightly better scores. In contrast, running GB on S2 resulted in a 4h 24m score which would put the new S3 at about 20% better off. Running ICS on S2 seems to take away almost all of S3’s advantage here. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that ICS optimizes power usage during web surfing. S2 users should migrate to ICS as soon as possible.
The last test is video playback. S2 had scored a respectable 7h 49m in this test but again here, the S3 blew S2 out of the water with a 10h 1m result. This is a whopping 28% increase in battery life compared to S2. The GB running S2 managed to score 8h in this test and ICS seems to have slightly increased the battery drain for the S2 in this test. As video playback generally stresses the GPU, it is reasonable to conclude that the S3’s GPU and the S2’s GPU are similar, if not identical. However, the software seems to have been better optimize as the higher resolution and larger screen did not seem to drain the battery any faster. Another possibility is that the Super AMOLED’s Pen Tile RGBG matrix drains less power that Super AMOLED+’s conventional RGB matrix.
In conclusion, S3 will deliver better battery life due to its bigger 2100mAh battery capacity. However, this difference is mostly seen when it is not taxing its quad core CPU. When the quad core CPU is running full capacity, you may get battery life similar to S2 or just slightly higher. My predictions were partially right. The quad core CPU does drain more power, however the larger and higher resolution screen seems to be draining about the same power as the screen in S2.