Results: Battery Life
Sporting a hefty 8220 mAh battery—a significant 1000+ mAh upgrade over previous Galaxy Note/Tab 10.1 offerings—on paper, the Note 10.1 2014 should perform solidly in our battery life tests. Based on personal use, though, which includes two synced Gmail accounts, some light gaming, lots of browsing, and some YouTube viewing, I can say that the Note 10.1 2014 easily lasts a day and a half to two days.
Let's see how our battery benchmarks rate the Note 10.1 2014 compared with other popular devices.
Basemark OS II
The Basemark OS II battery test scores are derived by repeatedly running the devices until enough data has been collected to determine the drain rate of the device.
Apple's iPad Air scores the best by a slight margin, followed by the two Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) tablets. Surprisingly, the LTE version does better than the Wi-Fi version in this test. Since we know they have the same battery and display, we suspect the difference comes down to Qualcomm's SoC versus Samsung's. It should be noted that the LTE model had cellular data disabled for testing, and the cellular component of the Snapdragon 800 would add to the LTE model's power usage. An active LTE connection would likely reverse the scores.
BatteryXPRT 2014 is a specialized battery testing application for Android devices that provides users with an "expected" Lifetime score, as well as an overall Performance score. The test has two variations: Network-Connected and Airplane Mode.
At the time of this testing, the stable version of BatteryXPRT 2014 had not yet been released, so these scores are taken from the final Community Preview.
In BatteryXPRT 2014, we get a demonstration of the Snapdragon 800's power efficiency versus the Exynos 5 Octa, with a whopping 16+ hours on the Snapdragon 800 version versus 15+ hours on the Exynos model.
In terms of performance, the Wi-Fi Note 10.1 does much better than its LTE counterpart, also beating the rest of the competition.
GFXBench's battery test measures battery life and performance stability by logging frame and battery discharge rate as the on-screen T-Rex test runs for 30 consecutive iterations. 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). Both tests are run at the device's 50-percent brightness level in the free Community Edition, while the paid Corporate Edition can be set to 0 percent, 25 percent, 75 percent, 100 percent, or whatever the device's native slider is set to. We very specifically calibrate all units to 200 nits before doing any battery testing.
On GFXBench 3.0, the Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) LTE does slightly better than the Wi-Fi model in terms of battery performance, but neither model show any sign of throttling, as the lowest scores of the 30-iteration run match the single-run scores.
The Snapdragon 800 is a good performer when it comes to battery efficiency, while the big.LITTLE configuration of the Exynos 5 Octa isn't far behind. With that said, all of the Android-based tablets fall short of the iPad Air's exemplary performance.