Report: Android 6.0 Marshmallow nearly triples Nexus 5 battery life

Battery life is one of the most important metrics by which we measure how useful a smartphone is day-to-day, so getting it right or wrong is a big deal.

Fortunately, Google’s next major operating system update could solve battery life woes for the next generation of Android devices.

According to German blog Computerbase, Android 6.0 Marshmallow – otherwise known as Android M – offers significant battery improvements compared to Android 5.1.1 Lollipop.

The website compared both operating systems running on a Nexus 5 (2013) handset in standby mode.

After 24 hours in standby, the Lollipop lost 12.5% of its charge.

That’s in contrast to the Marshmallow Nexus 5, which saw a paltry 4.5% loss of charge over the same period.

Interestingly, that ratio continued perfectly over 48 hours, with the Lollipop handset slipping by 24% compared to a 9% fall from the Android 6.0 device.

The data was then extrapolated to predict a 200 hour standby time for Android 5.1.1, compared to a 533 hour standby time on Android M.

It should be noted that the Android M software running on the Nexus 5 was a developer preview edition.

As such, it doesn’t necessarily accurately reflect the battery life capabilities of the final software release, expected this autumn.

It’s also worth noting that these tests were run on handsets in standby mode, so we’d expect vastly different results from phones with the screen on and apps running.

But why is the battery life seemingly seeing such significant improvements with the latest operating system?

It’s probably down to a new feature called Doze, which Google announced earlier this year at its annual I/O developer conference.

Doze works out whether you’re using your device or not, and sends it into a sleep mode during periods of inactivity, reducing battery drain.

Related: Android M vs iOS 9

Of course, we’ll have to wait for the final software release to really see how much impact Doze will have on battery life.

Google is expected to launch Android 6.0 Marshmallow proper later this year, with the software reportedly set to debut on two new Nexus handsets – the LG Nexus 5 (2015) and the Huawei Nexus 6 (2015).

Do you think Google has finally cracked the battery life conundrum? Let us know in the comments.

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