Results: Battery Life And Performance
Basemark OS II
Basemark OS II comes with a demanding battery test that almost completely drains the phone from 100% power to calculate a final score that represents its power and longevity.
The N1’s large, non-removable 3610 mAh battery provides excellent run-time and leads the pack by a significant margin. It scores about 30 percent better than the iPhone 5s, which is known for its endurance.
What’s bad for performance is a boon for battery life. The Note 3’s overly aggressive frequency scaling algorithm helps it outlast the higher-clocked Nexus 5. It also lasted about 20 percent longer than it did when running Samsung’s benchmark-gaming version of Android 4.3.
BatteryXPRT 2014 for Android estimates battery life. It’s modeled in part after the MobileXPRT benchmark, which consists of ten real world test scenarios encompassing various photo operations and encryption.
BatteryXPRT 2014 can be run in two different modes: Airplane mode, which estimates battery life for a device with no Internet connectivity, and Network mode, which estimates battery life for a device connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi or cellular data connection.
Both the Note 3 and N1 perform well. Samsung's offering lasts the longest in Network mode (an hour longer than the N1 with ColorOS). When connectivity is turned off, however, the Note 3’s advantage over the N1 drops to about 18 minutes.
Operating system choice impacts the N1’s battery life by a small amount, as ColorOS lasts seven percent longer in Airplane mode and 12 percent longer with Wi-Fi turned on than CyanogenMod.
The N1’s brilliant battery life loses some of its luster when we take performance into consideration, though. While it outlasts the Nexus 5 by four to seven hours, the N1 is also 33 percent slower. Considering the large advantage in battery life, this might not be a bad tradeoff.
Even though the N1 with ColorOS lasts longer than the alternative OS, CyanogenMod performs 37 percent better. In this light, CyanogenMod appears to be the better choice for performance per watt, since it provides a big speed boost for a 12 percent battery life hit.
GFXBench 3.0 measures battery life and performance stability by logging frame and battery discharge rate as the T-Rex test loops at least 30 times. The results are given in two scores: estimated battery life in minutes and the number of frames rendered on the slowest test run (to gauge if a device is throttling).
Looking at battery run-time in isolation, the N1 makes a lasting impression. With ColorOS installed, the N1 runs for 4.7 hours. That's nine percent better than the 4.3 hours from CyanogenMod.
Once again, taking performance into account affects our perception of the battery life results. The iPhone 5s might only run for 1.9 hours, but it maintains a minimum of 41 frames per second without even a hint of thermal throttling.
If the iPhone 5s is the hare, sprinting towards the finish line, then Oppo's N1 is the tortoise, plodding along at 39 percent of the hare’s pace. However, this tortoise stays in the race nearly 2.5x longer. To gauge who truly wins the race, we need to calculate the “distance” each device travels. In this case, the distance traveled is really the total number of frames rendered and velocity is analogous to frames per second. Thus, the total number of frames rendered is simply FPS times battery life.
The overall winner then is the Note 3 with 312,780 frames rendered before its battery gives out. Behind the Note 3, the finishing order is: iPhone 5s (285,360), Oppo N1 (269,760), Nexus 5 (204,240), Xiaomi Mi3 (159,720), and Meizu MX3 (98,670).
These results illustrate the complexity of battery life discussions. There are numerous variables like battery capacity, screen size/efficiency, CPU speed/efficiency, GPU speed/efficiency, etc. that factor into the equation, making it nearly impossible to guess overall performance by looking at the specs for any single piece of hardware.