Galaxy S8+ gets high marks in battery test, but that might not tell the whole story

Phone Arena's benchmarks show that it beats every other Android phone, but there's a catch.

While Samsung has been singing the praises of the Galaxy S8 since its unveiling last week, it’s been pretty tight-lipped about one important thing: battery life. So, we’ve been concerned. But Phone Arena got a chance to test the larger of the two phones, and as it turns out, there’s no reason to worry. Probably.

In its benchmark testing, Phone Arena found the Galaxy S8+ got exactly eight hours of battery life on a single charge, putting it near the top of the list for Android phones. The S8+ has a 3,500 mAh battery, roughly the same size as the Pixel XL and the OnePlus 3T, but it gets nearly a full extra hour of battery life. In fact, the only phone that bested the S8 in Phone Arena’s testing was the iPhone 7 Plus.

However, there's a catch. As with any battery benchmarks, your mileage will vary, but with the S8+, battery life could vary vastly between users. For one, Samsung sets the default resolution at Full HD+ 1080p (2220x1080), which isn’t quite as crisp as it could be. You’ll be able to change it to QHD+ (2960 x 1440) in the settings, but the higher resolution will presumably have a noticeable impact on battery life.

Furthermore, Samsung discourages users from setting their phones to full brightness, warning that it could have a detrimental effect on battery life. Granted, most people probably won’t need their phones to be that bright, but it’s odd for a company to specifically suggest a lower brightness.

Phone Arena’s testing still represents the so-called sweet spot for most users: 1080p and brightness set at 200 nits. But power users who want to push their phones to the limit will probably get significantly less than eight hours of use.

Lasting impression: Next to screen size, battery life is probably the most important thing people consider when buying a phone, so eight hours from the S8+ should make most users very happy. However, Samsung has made some curious choices with the resolution and the brightness, so it’ll be interesting to see just how much of an impact the display has on battery life when used at its full potential.

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