Samsung responds to divisive Galaxy S9 battery life test results

If you spent a whopping £739 on a shiny new Galaxy S9 in the UK, you’d probably expect the same experience as if you shelled out $720 in the US – but testing appears to reveal that European S9 owners are getting fobbed off with inferior battery life.

That’s according to online hardware magazine AnandTech, which has shared the results of its comparative battery testing of US and UK Galaxy S9 variants.

Just how much worse off are we? Put down that pint, because you might just choke.

Browsing the web on Wi-Fi, the American Galaxy S9 clocked up a respectable 10.48 hours of battery life. But the European version that’s available here in the UK managed a measly 6.8 hours – a discrepancy of nearly four hours.

The results were so alarming that the site actually redid its tests, but alas, the runtimes were the same.

Why the chasm? Here’s our hot take, or read on for a statement issued to us by Samsung.

The most likely explanation lies in the fact that the US Galaxy S9 deploys a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, while the UK and European variant comes with Samsung’s own Exynos 9810 chipset.

It seems pretty clear from these tests that the Snapdragon is the more efficient of the two, as power management is largely the responsibility of a device’s SoC (system-on-a-chip). Software is also an important factor, but as both devices run Android, the fault appears to lie with this year’s Exynos offering.

There’s a couple of important caveats, though.

Firstly, 10 hours is one hell of a drain test and ordinary folk won’t spend that amount of time glued to the web over Wi-Fi.  Most phone users will browse the web over both 4G and Wi-Fi, as well as sending texts, playing games, taking selfies, and – oh, that’s right – charging their phone from time to time.

Still, as a comparative metric, it seems fair enough. The results really couldn’t be more damning, yet unfortunately they roughly align with our own experience, which saw us reaching for the charger not long after work during our Galaxy S9 review period. Over 10 hours of battery life and we imagine we’d have made it to bed.

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Make no mistake: the S9 is a superb phone, probably the best one on the market right now. If battery life is your primary concern, though, this offers plenty of food thought and a compelling reason to perhaps go large with the Galaxy S9 Plus.

Here’s what Samsung had to say in a statement to Trusted Reviews.

“Battery discharge time is dependent upon each user’s specific usage habits and preferences, including installed apps and settings, as well as other environmental factors. Both processors go through strict and rigorous testing considering real life usage scenarios, in order to provide the same top-of-the-line experience regardless of processor. Samsung is committed to delivering consistent battery performance over the lifecycle of the phone to provide users with an optimal experience,” the South Korean company told us.

We just have to hope Samsung doesn’t opt to shill the UK again by equipping our Galaxy Note 9 model with its seemingly sub-par chipset.

Do you feel duped by the UK Galaxy S9’s inferior battery life, or is that just how it is? Tweet your thoughts to us @TrustedReviews.