Samsung Galaxy S III vs. Note II: Sizing up

GSMArena team, 12 October 2012.
Pages: «1234567»

Battery life endurance race

The Samsung Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II both use virtually the same chipset, though the one in the Note II is clocked higher. There is a tangible difference in screen sizes too, the bigger 5.5" Super AMOLED screen is more energy-intensive.

To make up for it, the Note II has nearly 50% more juice in its 3100mAh battery than the Galaxy S III and its 2100mAh battery.

The screen doesn't come into play in the first test - the call test - and neither does the faster clock speed. The Note II can last nearly 17 hours of talks on a 3G network, which is considerably more than the 10 hours 20 minutes that the S III scores (updating it to Jelly Bean doesn't help).

That's 65% better, more than the difference in battery capacities, so we might be seeing a more efficient modem or antenna on the Note II.

Talk time

  • Motorola RAZR MAXX (ICS)
    21:18
  • Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX
    20:24
  • Motorola RAZR i
    20:07
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II N7100
    16:57
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    12:30
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    12:14
  • Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam
    11:58
  • Samsung Wave 3 S8600
    11:07
  • HTC One X (AT&T, LTE)
    10:35
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    10:20
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III (JB)
    10:15
  • HTC One V
    10:00
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    10:00
  • HTC One X
    9:57
  • HTC One S
    9:42
  • Samsung I9103 Galaxy R
    9:40
  • HTC Sensation XL
    9:30
  • Nokia Lumia 710
    9:05
  • Motorola Atrix HD
    9:04
  • HTC Vivid
    9:02
  • HTC Rhyme
    8:48
  • Apple iPhone 5
    8:42
  • LG Optimus 3D Max P720
    8:42
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia neo V
    8:41
  • Meizu MX
    8:39
  • Samsung Galaxy S II
    8:35
  • Nokia Lumia 800
    8:25
  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus
    8:23
  • HTC Desire V
    8:20
  • Samsung Captivate Glide
    8:20
  • Sony Xperia T
    8:15
  • HTC Rezound (LTE)
    8:10
  • Samsung Galaxy Note (LTE)
    8:02
  • LG Optimus Vu
    7:57
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    7:41
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    7:41
  • Samsung i937 Focus S
    7:25
  • HTC Evo 4G LTE (LTE)
    7:21
  • Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G
    7:14
  • Sony Xperia acro S
    7:09
  • Samsung Rugby Smart I847
    7:09
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro
    6:57
  • Nokia N9
    6:57
  • HTC Radar
    6:53
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos
    6:53
  • BlackBerry Curve 9380
    6:52
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    5:54
  • Nokia Lumia 900 for AT&T (LTE)
    5:53
  • Sony Xperia ion LTE
    5:52
  • Sony Xperia P
    5:33
  • Nokia 808 PureView
    5:16
  • LG Nitro HD (LTE)
    5:16
  • HTC Titan II (LTE)
    5:10
  • BlackBerry Bold 9790
    5:00
  • Pantech Burst
    4:46

The Galaxy Note II maintains its lead in the web browsing test, with an advantage of just over two hours over a Jelly Bean-running Galaxy S III. If the S III is running Ice Cream Sandwich the gap is even bigger - three and a half hours. Running the newer Android release has clear advantages.

Web browsing

  • Apple iPhone 5
    9:56
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX (ICS)
    9:12
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II N7100
    8:48
  • Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX
    7:23
  • HTC Radar
    7:17
  • Motorola RAZR i
    7:06
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    6:56
  • HTC One V
    6:49
  • Motorola Atrix HD
    6:40
  • BlackBerry Curve 9380
    6:40
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III (JB)
    6:27
  • Samsung i937 Focus S
    6:15
  • Sony Xperia ion LTE
    5:56
  • Samsung Rugby Smart I847
    5:53
  • Pantech Burst
    5:51
  • Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G
    5:45
  • HTC Desire V
    5:44
  • HTC Evo 4G LTE
    5:41
  • Samsung Wave 3 S8600
    5:34
  • Sony Xperia T
    5:33
  • Samsung Captivate Glide
    5:33
  • Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam
    5:28
  • Samsung Galaxy Note LTE
    5:24
  • HTC Sensation XL
    5:20
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    5:19
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    5:17
  • Sony Xperia acro S
    5:16
  • HTC Rezound
    5:16
  • HTC Rhyme
    5:08
  • Samsung I9103 Galaxy R
    5:07
  • HTC One X (AT&T)
    5:03
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro
    4:50
  • LG Optimus Vu
    4:49
  • HTC Vivid
    4:46
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos
    4:45
  • Meizu MX
    4:35
  • Nokia N9
    4:33
  • Samsung Galaxy S II
    4:24
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia neo V
    4:20
  • HTC One X
    4:18
  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4:14
  • LG Optimus 3D Max P720
    4:10
  • Nokia Lumia 900 for AT&T
    4:10
  • Nokia Lumia 800
    4:07
  • HTC Titan II (LTE)
    4:05
  • HTC One S
    4:03
  • BlackBerry Bold 9790
    4:02
  • LG Nitro HD
    4:00
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    3:59
  • Sony Xperia P
    3:59
  • Nokia Lumia 710
    3:51
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    3:47
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    3:35
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    3:23
  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus
    3:01

In some cases, anyway. When it comes to playing videos, the Galaxy S III manages 10 hours on Ice Cream Sandwich and half an hour less on Jelly Bean. The Note II beats it either way, though with the narrowest margin of the three tests, an hour and a half/two hours.

Video playback

  • Motorola RAZR MAXX (ICS)
    16:35
  • Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX
    14:17
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II N7100
    11:27
  • Apple iPhone 5
    10:12
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    10:01
  • Nokia 808 PureView
    9:53
  • Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam
    9:42
  • Samsung Rugby Smart I847
    9:34
  • HTC One S
    9:28
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III (JB)
    9:27
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    9:24
  • HTC Evo 4G LTE
    9:07
  • Nokia N9
    8:40
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    8:25
  • Motorola RAZR i
    8:11
  • Samsung Galaxy S II
    8:00
  • Samsung i937 Focus S
    7:55
  • Samsung Wave 3 S8600
    7:52
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia neo V
    7:45
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    7:38
  • Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G
    7:33
  • Samsung Galaxy Note LTE
    7:30
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    6:33
  • HTC Desire V
    6:26
  • HTC One X (AT&T)
    6:26
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos
    6:25
  • LG Optimus Vu
    6:23
  • Samsung I9103 Galaxy R
    6:21
  • HTC Sensation XL
    6:12
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    6:06
  • Samsung Captivate Glide
    6:04
  • Sony Xperia ion LTE
    6:03
  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus
    6:02
  • Sony Xperia T
    6:01
  • Motorola Atrix HD
    6:01
  • HTC Vivid
    6:00
  • HTC Radar
    5:54
  • Nokia Lumia 800
    5:52
  • HTC Titan II
    5:50
  • BlackBerry Bold 9790
    5:47
  • HTC One X
    5:45
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro
    5:44
  • Sony Xperia acro S
    5:38
  • Pantech Burst
    5:38
  • Meizu MX
    5:27
  • HTC Rhyme
    5:23
  • HTC One V
    5:20
  • Nokia Lumia 900 for AT&T
    5:18
  • BlackBerry Curve 9380
    5:09
  • HTC Rezound
    5:03
  • Sony Xperia P
    4:30
  • LG Nitro HD
    4:17
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    4:14
  • LG Optimus 3D Max P720
    3:28
  • Nokia Lumia 710
    3:27

In the end, a Samsung Galaxy S III will be good for two days of usage during which you can do an hour of talking on a 3G network, browse the web for an hour and watch an hour of video each day.

The Galaxy Note II will last nearly a day longer with a similar load.

While both devices have good battery life readings, really heavy users will be better off with the Note II, especially if they do a lot of calling. The Note II also offers more comfortable reading of web pages and a better viewing experience with its bigger screen too. And since we run tests with the screen set at 50%, the Note II's screen was brighter during the tests.

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