Samsung’s flagships need to start getting battery life similar to its mid-range devices

When the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ got announced, Samsung confirmed what the leaks had already told us, that the company’s new phones would be shipping with rather small batteries for their respective screen sizes. Like me, many had probably wondered how the battery could be smaller now that it had to power bigger displays. But I decided to give it a try, even though Samsung’s official stats said that in terms of battery life, the new phones wouldn’t be much better than their predecessors, with the S8 even having lesser endurance in most respects compared to the Galaxy S7.

Again, I decided to give it a chance, and I used the Galaxy S8 for a couple of weeks before our review was published. Well, guess what? Battery life didn’t turn out to be so good. The Galaxy S8+, tested by my colleague Martin, certainly managed to return respectable battery life, but even that was on Wi-Fi and not on mobile data. But hey, why should I, or any of us here at SamMobile complain? We’re paying over 800 Euro for a device that can barely offer 4 hours of screen time on a full charge, unless I turn off things like AOD or even automatic screen brightness. Or, to put it in other words, paying so much for a device that doesn’t even match its direct predecessor in terms of battery life and falls way behind Samsung’s mid-range phones like the Galaxy A (2017) lineup.

It’s not to say I don’t love the Galaxy S8. I like what Samsung’s offering here. That display is beautiful, the camera has gotten notably better (my girlfriend is especially happy about the selfies), and I even think that iris scanner is awesome (if a little slow at times). But why has battery life taken a backseat? Why is such an important feature still neglected? They say we want phones with sleek designs and large displays, but shouldn’t the battery inside these devices be large enough to be able to power those displays comfortably?

Samsung has made so many jokes about Apple and how iPhone users are “wall huggers,” and that is exactly what the company turned its users into with the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, and now, will do the same with the Galaxy S8 and S8+. It’s like every time Samsung innovates with its displays and design, it puts battery life on the low priority list. Wireless charging and fast charging, which are great features in general, can’t make up for the fact that I must worry about taking a battery pack along or be judicious with how I use my phone when I’m out and away from a wall socket.

The newest Galaxy A lineup costs around 500 Euro, and from our experience on at least the A5 and A7, we can see that battery life is way better than any flagship Samsung phone. How and why is this a thing (not just with Samsung, but with other manufacturers as well)? Galaxy A lineup users don’t get all the fancy features, but they can still live free of fear that their phones will run out of juice at any moment.

I would say slim designs and beautiful displays are important, but if a flagship can’t even offer 4 hours of screen time in this day and age, it’s almost tantamount to a slap on the consumer’s face. Like Samsung itself said, we’re living in a display-centric world, so why are our displays so handicapped by poor battery backup?

Opinion 18
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2 months 4 days ago

Insightful article, skipping the s8 and will wait for a flagship that in my eyes is a no compromise device. Barely tweaked back camera, failing to deliver an on screen fingerprint reader, therefore moving it to the worst place possible and now battery life!, no wonder Samsung is throwing in the kitchen sink with pre-orders (VR, controller, high-end headphones, free Google Play, back rubs, etc…

2 months 4 days ago

Consumers seem to care about looks first and foremost (no wonder influenced by silly bloggers masquerading as tech journalists who are just after pretty pictures), so as long as that’s the case, that’s what manufacturers will give you.

2 months 4 days ago

I hope common sence is invited back to the decision making table at Samsung and they prioritize battery life for the Note 8 onwards.

2 months 4 days ago

It should have been 4000mAh like the A9 and C9pro for the S8 and 5000 mAh like the A9 pro for the S8 + even if slightly thicker period.
Hope they put at least 4500 mAh on Note 8.

2 months 4 days ago

it’s probably abhijeet that wrote this article using another author’s account lmfao
fun fact: did you know that S6 lasts 3x more than ishit 6? (see geekbench battery test video)

2 months 4 days ago

No this wasn’t Abhijeet.

2 months 4 days ago

Having upgraded to the S8+ from the S6 Edge i am more then happy with battery performance so far, same apps same average usage and it’s lasting a hell of a lot longer, though that’s hardly surprising given how bad the S6 battery life was. Oh and i turned up screen resolution to 2k as soon as i got it so not been saving on power usage with lower resolution or anything like that.

2 months 4 days ago

My S7 Edge has great batthery life. All on (AOD,BT,WIFI,Mobile data) and stil 1,5 -2 days of batthery. Only reason i wont buy S8 is batthery and fingerprint. Everything else is great. Spot on.

2 months 4 days ago

This is one luxury that Apple gifted to other manufacturers.
Till S5, Samsung was beating Apple in battery life and cared less on looks.
After the beating they got for S5 plastic design, they did S6/Edge with puny battery but gorgeous design and was forgiven. S7/S7 Edge did better, but at max on par with Apple flagship. Note 7 tried to squeeze as much battery as possible in a superb design and bombed. And people would have still forgiven if it had a lesser battery size without issues.
S8/S8+ hence does a balancing act without taking any risks. Unless Apple flagships this year humiliates others with superior battery life & make it one of its selling points this trend may continue until next year.

2 months 4 days ago

Personally the slim design is horrible to hold, i prefer the S5/6 type thickness and have a bigger battery. Its simple battery development (like cars) is too costly to push the next big jump, so they stick with the same old crap.

2 months 4 days ago

What are you talking about?
If the slim design of the S8 is horrible to hold which is 8 mm thick what is the 6,8 mm S6 then? Thick?
Yeah logic backwards, that makes sense.

2 months 4 days ago

this is so true,…

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