Various devices have power saving modes that are great for extending battery life. On the surface, they sound great because everyone wants to use their phones for as long as possible without having to sit next to a wall outlet while charging. Power saving modes can really limit what is possible in reality. So it may or may not be worth it, especially considering that the added time on batter life may not be worth it.
Note: Power Saving Mode is different than the more intense Ultra Power Saving Mode.
This test will be conducted with the Galaxy S6 Edge to show whether or not Samsung’s Power Saving Mode has a real advantage when activated.
I mostly use my phone for social media, web browsing on Chrome, and the camera here and there. In terms of outside connections, I have Bluetooth on at all times for my Gear 2 Neo with WiFi and GPS being activated when available and necessary. Although this test is being done with the Galaxy S6 Edge, the battery only differs from the Galaxy S6’s by 50mAh.
I used my phone normally in its regular full power mode and then switched to Power Saving Mode for the next day (after charging). I kept switching between these each day for eight days and what follows are my results. Again, I switched to the opposite mode after charging and not an actual 24-hour day as some days go past 24 hours.
Day 1: Full Power
On the first day, I decided to test on full power for a baseline. Totally normal day and normal use. I had been using Power Saving Mode before this and one of its changes include turning off the capacitive buttons. When I turned Power Saving Mode off, they never came back for some reason. I then toggled the switch on and off a few times and they eventually came back returned. I assume this is a bug, but figured I’d mention it in case the bug actually kept Power Saving Mode partially on.
Overall, I got pretty great battery life. It was actually the best battery life I have ever had with this phone so far.
Total time: 28hrs
Screen on time: 4hrs
Day 2: Power Saving Mode
This is the first Power Saving Mode day. I expected a little less battery just because yesterday was unusually long lasting for no apparent reason. However, due to the day running long, my charging time was different. This meant it went two nights before charging from lengthy standby time. The only good thing was my phone was now basically dead first thing in the morning making future testing more accurate.
Using Power Saving Mode here did add a few more hours of battery life with roughly the same screen on time.
Total time: 35hrs
Screen on time: 4hrs
Day 3: Full Power
The third day was a much better test as the phone was charged in the morning. Interesting enough, it lasted almost as long as the others. A little worse screen on time and lower total time.
Total time: 31.5hrs
Screen on time: 3.5hrs
Day 4: Power Saving Mode
Again, the phone was charged in the morning. I was trying to keep my use roughly the same each day so the only deciding factor is Power Savings Mode. It seemed to be adding a few more hours of life. On this day, however, I had to go out for hours on the eve of Canada Day. The time was noticeably less as it was not on WiFi and had bad signal for a few hours.
Total time: 25hrs
Screen on time: 4hrs
Day 5: Full Power
On Canada Day, I was out all day. Not the best signal and WiFi networks were few and far between. I took lots of pictures today between all of the traveling done for the holiday and there was much more use than standby time.
Screen on time was definitely lower with all of the activity. I would imagine this was because of the power-hungry camera that uses a ton of battery and switches the display’s brightness to its upper limit when turned launched.
Total time: 18hrs
Screen on time: 2.5hrs
Day 6: Power Saving Mode
Signal was a bit iffy on the sixth day and I was mostly on WiFi. I took a few pictures, but not as many as the previous day and did most of my work with Samsung’s Multi Window. Running two apps simultaneously on the display is sure to deplete battery life.
Total time: 15.5hrs
Screen on time: 3hrs
Day 7: Full Power
Multi Window was used a lot on the seventh day for work-related purposes. I had low cell signal for most of the day, but also mostly on WiFi overall. Other than that just a normal day with normal use.
Total time: 20hrs
Screen on time: 3hrs
Day 8: Power Saving Mode
This last day was more like the first couple of days where basically WiFi was used the entire day. Chrome and YouTube were the apps used most.
I could’ve “cheated” and not used it for a couple minutes longer, saving me battery and allowing it to have just enough to get though the night. It would’ve added an extra 8hrs of total time making the results to be around 20hrs total standby time. I decided that was pointless and I’d just do the extra couple google searches draining the battery into low range.
Just a quick bonus story. I ended up plugging it into a quick charger as I went to brush my teeth etc before I went to sleep. Obviously not that long, but when I came back and unplugged it the battery read 20%. It went up 15% in only a few minutes. Very impressive and giving me easily enough battery to last the night.
Total time: 13.5hrs
Screen on time: 4.5hrs
Overall, the testing was pretty fair. I had a few days on each mode where I did nothing much all day and a few days where I’m working the phone’s processor.
Here are the totals:
Standby Time: 97.5
Screen on Time: 13
Standby Time: 89
Screen on Time: 15.5
Interesting results, right? I expected Power Savings to be ahead in standby time and only a little difference in screen on time, but the results show the opposite. In a normal week, I actually got more standby time with full power, but, despite that, a few more hours of screen on time with Power Saving Mode on.
However, on the eighth day, which was a Power Saving Mode day, I did say that it would have been possible for me to get roughly 7-8 hours more standby time, thus making the standby time on both about equal. Personally. I think over a month the results would become very similar. It seems much more dependent on how you use your phone overall.
In terms of actual use, I didn’t notice much difference when Power Saving Mode was on. The phone felt basically the same with only the buttons losing sensitivity. A few other differences is the home screen apps refresh a little more often when exiting an app and the camera launches a little bit slower.
Due to the added battery life, I’d recommend using Power Saving Mode most of the time; the results show it can really go either way. The only time I definitely don’t recommend having it on is when you are playing high-powered games or apps that would use lots of power. Another time to keep it off is if you are using the camera to take shots of things that are moving whether it be cars, animals, or children. I was in a car trying to take pictures of rare cars driving around me and Power Saving Mode added just a touch of delay when you press the capture button. I would always end up only getting part of or totally missing the car because of this. Very frustrating and a mistake I won’t make again.
Are the results what you expected? Tell us in the comments below.