Battery level indication on Samsung’s flagship phones has a frustrating issue

Earlier today, as I was using my Galaxy S20 Ultra, I noticed that its battery was almost depleted. The phone told me there was only 3 percent charge left, and like any sane person, I reached for the charger so the phone wouldn’t die out on me. Well, the phone did die out, and it did so as soon as I plugged in the cable, even though there was still 3 percent battery left according to the battery level indication in the status bar.

You might think this was a fluke, but it wasn’t. All of the flagship phones Samsung has released in the last year have the tendency to A) shut off before the battery goes down to 1% and/or B) eat through the last 1-5% of battery charge much, much faster than normal. The latter happens more often, but I’ve seen both issues crop up on the flagships I’ve used since (and including) the Galaxy Note 10+. The new Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is affected as well, and so is the Galaxy Tab S5e, according to my colleague Adnan.

People will tell you that you shouldn’t let your phone’s battery level go so low in the first place, and while it’s advice I’ve never followed, I usually do end up charging my devices well before the battery percentage falls below 10%. But when I don’t, I expect the phone to show me the correct charge level instead of dying out much before it should.

It’s unclear why those issues occur – perhaps all that super fast charging isn’t too good for the battery and these phones are not able to keep proper track of the battery’s true charge level as a result? Probably not, because devices like the Galaxy Tab S5e charge at 15W and still suffer from the same issues. Whatever the case may be, it’s frustrating, and I hope Samsung can look at and solve the underlying problem.

Does your Galaxy phone – flagship or otherwise – have the same problem? Does it happen often, or is it too rare for you to care? Let me down in the comments!

Categories: Phone
Tags: Galaxy Note 10Galaxy Note 20Galaxy S20Galaxy Tab S5e

View Comments (34)

  • The worst this happened to me was the battery went down to 10% and shutdown... 😒 This is too Apple like.

  • What happens to me is that whenever I activate the maximum power saving because I have less than 5%, the battery starts draining very fast. But only happens when max power saving is activated.

  • I’ve been having this issue since the S9+, S10+ and now Note10+ 5G, glad to see it’s not normal.

  • With my S8 I never had that issue, but since I have the Galaxy Note 10+ this happens a lot when I only have 5% of battery. Plug the phone and for some odd reason it shut down.

  • I belive it's a software error or something, not due to fast charging. My J6 lasted a long time prior android 9 update maybe at the last 5%. But now each and every time the last percentages die off within less than a minute! Side note, mine charges very slowly at around 5W maybe.

  • My S20 Ultra 5G has the exact same issue. From 8% it'll drop to 5% within 2 seconds and after another second to 3% and finally 0. Super fast charging only works with screen turned off. If I use the phone while it's charging the battery will actually discharge. It's been like this since day one.

    • Do Samsung's still not fast charge while using the phone? That is very disappointing. My last Samsung was an S7 Edge and I had it on there. Was very irritating and such a pleasure to have fast charging any time with my OnePlus 6T.

  • I think for some reason, may be experience from Note7 Samsung is not allowing their devices to get charged 100%. Remember the software update they had pushed which cut off charging at 70% in replaced Note7

  • I've started seeing this behavior on my S9 recently. The last 5% suddenly started dropping really quickly.

  • Can confirm the same happening on my Note 9. After 15 percent mark, it becomes really unpredictable. Could die anytime.