4G Galaxy S III a “huge battery sucker”


blog Thinking of picking up the 4G version of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S III handset? We can’t blame you — the Galaxy S III was already one of the hottest handsets of the year, and the 4G speeds add extra sugar to what was already a very tasty package. As of yet, we haven’t had the chance to test the 4G version of the Galaxy S III, but according to Gizmodo, buyers should beware of battery drainage issues. The publication reports (we recommend you click here for the full review):

“As you’d expect, the 4G — while wonderful — is a huge battery sucker. The Galaxy S III 4G still packs the same 2100mAh battery as the non-4G model, meaning that you can expect to be looking for a charger sooner than you’d probably like to after a few hours of 4G browsing.”

We can’t say we’re surprised by this, given the fact that a similar handset, the HTC One XL, also sucks battery pretty rapidly. But it is slightly disappointing if true, and is perhaps reflective of the fact that the LTE standard which supports 4G speeds is not quite mature yet, meaning today’s chipsets don’t deal with it as efficiently as they could. We’re curious to hear from readers with 4G Galaxy S III’s — have you had battery issues? How bad are they in practice?

Image credit: Samsung


  1. We went through the same teething problems when we got the new 3G handsets, so its to be expected. That along with spotty coverage is the reason I wait a good year before converting..

  2. I can confirm this with the HTC 4G phones as well.
    Turn 4G off and it runs all day no problem, turn it on and you have to recharge multiple times a day.

    • @Marcus

      That’s only relevant if you’re in a 4G area all day though. I spend most of my time in 3G areas and it is set to LTE/WCDMA Auto. I tried turning LTE off and it made little difference.

      So yes, inside a 4G area, turning 4G off makes a difference, outside it, not so much. And if you’re gonna be turning 4G off INSIDE a 4G area….why didn’t you just get the One X….

      • I’m in a somewhat unique job where my role lets me see a very large variety of devices… I’m also located on the outskirts of the Perth CBD/East Perth so while we do get signal it can be patchy.

        Personally I use a Android phone on the nextG network, and its good enough.

  3. That inevitable comparative question: how does the iPhone 5 compare? Does it also need charging by the minute?

    • I picked up an iPhone5 last week from Telstra. Over the couple of days I’ve found that I’ll use about 70-80% of my phone’s battery over 12-14 hours. Bare in mind though I am a light user. YMMV.

      As an example, today my phone came off charge at 7:30am. As of 2:45pm is has 76% charge, but it may have only had 5 minutes of actual use (SMS messages)

    • I know somebody with an iPhone 5 and apparently the battery struggles to last the day where the iPhone 4 she had before would last ~3 days.

      • @Karl

        These people seem surprised. I’ve been watching the iPhone 5 battery thread and they’re very naive- they’re so used to 2 or 3 days of battery and they’re surprised when making a smaller battery and putting in 4G lowers battery life substantially. I’ve seen posts like ‘OMG I’ve been using my phone for only 3 hours on time and its already at 75%!’ Or worse ‘Something wrong with my iPhone only getting 10-12 hours out of it’…..

        The rest of us chumps have been putting up with battery life like this for years. Welcome to the club Apple sheltered people- looks like Apple have become mainstream…. oh wait….

        • Sorry if I appear surprised, I promise I am far from it :) Been an iPhone user since the iPhone 3G, so was fully aware of what to expect. :)

          • @Ben

            Some seem sensible, like yourself. But it’s just funny watching some of them take their phones back after getting ‘only’ 12 hours…..and then they say Telstra/Optus whatever are ripping them off cause they said there’s no problem, that’s normal.

            Its amazing what sense of self-righteousness people come up with after being somewhat sheltered….

            Its true of old dumbphone owners too- they can’t understand why a massive screened, hugely powerful, multi-talented smartphone can’t have 7 days battery use like ‘my old Nokia’…..

          • I was lucky to get 12 hours out of my iPhone 4.

            Seriously, I don’t think the iPhone 5 has *worse* battery life than any other iPhone, its just the usual “if you play with me I will go flat” that all smart phones have.

            When I got my iPhone 3G it would go flat in 4 hours. By the time I switched to the 3Gs my 3G was getting 8 hour days. What changed? I wasn’t playing with it every 20 seconds. Same thing with the 3GS to 4 transition. and again from my iPhone 4 to my HTC One XL.

            As soon as I get used to the phone and stop looking at it and poking it every 20 seconds the battery life becomes perfectly usable. The iPhone 5 problems are just people that are playing with it more than their old phone.

          • I agree. Its always a crazy time when new iPhones launch too, as all the issues, no matter how trivial or rare will become huge social media frenzies. Sometimes it’s justified (iOS 6 maps really do suck, hence “Mapgate”) and sometimes its not (purple lens flare, scuffs, battery life and so on).

  4. i’ve got a SGSIII 4G, and whilst im not in a 4G area, mine lasts 3 days and a bit, but i’ve turned on power saving and disabled all the “fancy” features i care nothing for. tweak the settings and stop getting facebook updates every 5 seconds and i bet it will last a lot longer.

    • I’m getting a “full day”, but I’ve been using BetterBatteryStats and disabling anything that causes a high number of Partial Wakelocks.

      I found that location services for Google Now/Latitude were slaughtering my battery, disabled those, and I get from 5am till 11pm easily (including 1-2 hours morning and afternoon bluetooth music playing on the bus)

      If I disabled 4G (even switch right over to 2G), disabled syncing I’d get more than a day, disabling mobile data/GPS/Wifi/BT would stretch me into the “a few days” category.

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