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Is the Galaxy S9's battery too small?

There are a lot of areas where the Galaxy S9 goes a step above the S8. It's got stereo speakers instead of a mono one, the Snapdragon 845 should offer quite a bit more speed, and the rear camera has a ton of new features – such as a variable aperture and 960 FPS slow-motion video.

However, despite these improvements, one area that Samsung left untouched with the S9 series is battery capacity. Just like the Galaxy S8 and S8+ before them, the S9 and S9+ have 3,000 mAh and 3,500 mAh units, respectively.

It remains to be seen how these batteries fare with Qualcomm's new silicon, but even so, some of our forum users aren't too thrilled about Samsung's decision here.

I just can't understand why in today's day in age we can't have a battery that lasts 2 Days in a flagship phone pointless. At least put a bigger battery in new models. Totally unacceptable will not buy the S9 or the S9 Plus.

Floki_vwo

Manufacturers keep pushing for thinner (and thus, weaker in my opinion) phones, so don't expect huge batteries. On the flip side, I think if a phone came out with a battery that lasts a week between charges, many of these same people would then complain it doesn't last a full month between charges.

Mooncatt

Then again, some folks don't see this as an issue.

What's wrong with the size? It seems pretty normal for me. They can only pack so much battery in a small space and the market wants think phones... so ... something has to give :P.

Almeuit

The new chips are also 30% more power efficient. It's just like how the S8 has a smaller battery than the Note 2 or 3 but has a longer rated battery life on tests. Battery life isn't always about having more mah.

chanchan05

Now, we want to hear from you – Is the Galaxy S9's battery too small, or is it just fine?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

56 Comments
  • S8 gets great battery life and I expect the S9 would be even better.
  • 2 and a half hours SOT from Internet browsing/youtube is not what I'd call great. Swapped to a mate 10 pro and can't believe I accepted such poor battery life before. I'd say the s8 was a better phone overall but couldn't accept that battery life. I know chipset efficiency can make a difference but its not going to find double the SOT.
  • I'm getting 4 hours SOT on a standard S8. Sorry about your experience.
  • The Mate doesn't push nearly what the S8 or 9 pushes so it does pretty well.
  • How about somebody try it before we decide?
  • The S8+ definitely lasts me more than a day. According to Accubattery Pro I'm averaging less than 10% battery use while screen is on, about 1.5% on average with the screen off.
  • I get great battery life on my s8+, never have to charge before bed, and I'm often a heavy user. So if the S9+ is as good or better than I don't see it being a problem.
  • Yes, its way too small, but to be fair so is everyone's.
  • I just went through buying a new device, fell in love with the gorgeous S8, returned it in a day and bought a Pixel 2. Why? Poor battery, but it's not the size of the battery, it's how you use it. Samsung has so much bloatware, inefficient software, and data collection apps forced on their customers, along with lack of maintaining the device OS over an extended period of time - I am sorry if you are a Samsung fan, but the phone hardware is great - best in the business, but the software side is absolutely terrible
  • So you only gave it one day. Usually the first day battery life isn't going to be that great due to all the setting up that is being done. FYI...Google is collecting your data as well.
  • I call bullshit on this.
  • Yeah the software is so bad that Google inevitable integrates said functionality into stock Android.
    Yeah the software support is so bad that samsung managed to push out security updates out every month on the correct month for their flagships.
    Yeah it's such a shame it doesn't have 8.0, which is notoriously buggy and so bad that most OEM's are skipping it for 8.1
  • Wow! You gave it an ENTIRE day!
  • The S8 and S8+ (currently using one) get good to great battery life only when you turn off the Always On Display. Enabling it seems to interfere with Doze mode which is responsible for putting apps to sleep. Having a larger battery not always equates to better battery life, it's the OS/firmware optimizations. Biggest example being the Pixel 2XL getting better battery life than the S8+ due to optimizations.
  • I agree; let's get some hands-on experience before rushing to judgement. Two day battery life is fully possible depending on optimization. As a matter of fact, HTC just pushed out a software update last week (version 2.42.617.6) that has resulted in stellar battery life. I just did three full days on one charge with moderate use, and ended at 25%. I used the phone hard yesterday, and had no reason to charge it because it was still at 76% at the end of the day. Don't know what they did, but it demonstrates what CAN be done.
  • Either we need new battery technology that lasts longer or bigger batteries which follow the safety regulations Samsung put into place. I don't think relying on an "optimized" SoC is a great way to go, I want at least 2 days of regular battery life with a flagship.
  • 2 days of battery life for what? Don’t you sleep?
  • I don't think that's an unreasonable expectation though. Phones are only getting more expensive, we should expect more. If I'm spending good money on a Flagship, especially anything over $700 I expect the absolute best, not a phone that barely gets me through the day.
  • It’s not unreasonable and I get it. But I don’t care how much the phone costs or how great the battery life is, it’s still going on a charger when I go to bed So yeah, give me a full days battery life with some to spare. 2 days? Sure if it’s safe, but I don’t really need it
  • They only get more expensive because of the technology used.
  • Nope! Sometimes I don't get to sleep. I'm the on-call engineer and there are times when I don't get back home until the next day. Having a phone that will do 2 or 3 days on one charge is a good thing, and I'm glad HTC pulled it off with the U11. I used it pretty hard yesterday and went to bed with the battery on 76%. I'm wrapping up day two right now and the battery is at 58%.
  • You're far from the typical use case
  • I think the idea is that it would be extremely difficult to run out of battery in one day. That would almost eliminate battery anxiety.
  • This is why I love a replaceable battery. I have a setup with a 10 watt hour oversized battery and matching back and case that I use when I need max endurance, and the stock compact battery when svelte is more important. The fact that you are stuck with the compromise that the manufacturer makes is one of the reasons I will avoid the glued phones as long as I can.
  • Two words...battery case
  • The active has a 4K battery. Fantastic. No reason not to out at least 4K in the phone's. Form factor is great. I have no problem with small bezels. I need functionally over form. 4K is where it is at. I find it funny that when you get a 30% improvement in efficiency they make the battery smaller or leave it the same.
  • Small phone=small battery :)
  • If it lasts a day (for me) then no.
    If it doesn't then yes.
  • From all the information I've gathered the 845 processer is suppose to be 30% more power efficient. I get all day plus on my s8+ with 20% left in the tank late evening. That's 6 to 7hrs SOT. Well anyway I pre-ordered the s9plus with the forever program with Verizon. I will post my battery power after I experiment with it!
  • To be honest Qualcomm always boasts about "more efficiency" and "battery optimizations." I want to see it in real life before I take their word for it.
  • Look at the S8 vs the S7 or 6.
  • Using the Mate 10 (non-pro). Best phone you can buy. My opinion of course. 4K battery. I do not play games or watch movies on my phone. That's what my 80" TV is for. I already went 4 days between charging....FOUR DAYS! Beat that Samsmug! Hate your curved screens!
  • Using the mate 10 pro. After having a 4k battery with a blazing fast charger, yeah it spoiled me.
  • Battery life will be fine..but that's the problem. I don't think at this point in time Samsung should be settling for 'fine' battery life
  • All batteries are too small with anything labeled Samsung and running Android.
    They're the kings of bloat and Android is the most inefficient, sloppy OS out there.
  • I admit my S8 battery is weak, but I am very happy with my S8+ battery. All day hard use with 10-20% left over at end of day. When you condemn all Samsung phones for their lack of battery longevity, I am guessing you have not tried them all.
  • Don't fall for Qualcomm's ( and any other chip maker) "marketing" claims of 30% more efficiency. The vast majority of the time what they are actually saying is it's 30% more efficient AT a given task(s) AND performance level. So in reality they ship the chips with the higher performance. That comes from architectural improvements and higher clock's. But you're never going to actually get a chip ( nor should you) that has it's performance limited to the level of the previous to get the actual 30% efficiency that is"claimed". Claimed in quotes because it's not actually what they're claiming.
  • Ugh, I hope a company can disrupt the processor technology. I know Huawei and Samsung have their own, but here's to hoping Google goes the Apple route on this.
  • 89caps - Why would Google want to go the Apple route on this? The A11 can't keep up with the 835 as it is, and battery life is better with the Snapdragon (depending on the OEM's software). We own both the iPhone 8 Plus with the A11 Bionic, and the U11 with the SD 835. The U11 consistently outperforms the 8 Plus, and has better battery life in both heavy use and standby. I'm just not sure what Google would have to gain.
  • Then you need to have your iPhone looked at because it blows the doors off any Android
  • Yes, the battery on the regular S9 should be bigger. I’m good with the battery size of the S9 Plus, although very few would turn down an additional 200-300mah.
  • As long as a phone gets me through the day and I only have to throw it on the wireless charger while I sleep I don't care how big the battery is. I haven't had to worry about battery life since my Nexus 5.
  • I agree with the first guy. Now just because a battery is bigger that doesn't necessarily translate into better battery life, but usually it does. If we're going to fork over so much money for these Flagship phones customers DESERVE the absolute best. We can have super dense displays (that are overkill), processors that give "more efficiency", more features than the average customer, and even seasoned users, know what to do with, but somehow when it comes to battery we only get "good enough." Something doesn't add up.
  • We don't DESERVE anything. If you purchase it as built then you deserve that.
  • Please! The presenters at MWC had to keep it plugged in to the charger for the emoji presentation! That spoke volumes to me...
  • I thought the cable was for projection purposes. Either way, I wouldn't leave things up to chance on a world stage.
  • Or you can wait for the S9 Active with its 4000mah battery.
  • How to root Samsung Galaxy S9 Device?
  • The best way to root any Android device is SuperSU Pro. Right now any Android user can easily use this great tool for any Android version. Samsung Galaxy S9 is still not released to the public. However after the release of this great device, SuperSU Pro is ready to root that Android device. Because SuperSU Pro is now compatible to all Android versions inducing the new Android Nougat and Oreo version. Moreover any Android user can easily download the latest version of SuperSU Pro free of charge via https://www.supersupro.co/
  • Yes, most phones have at least 3300mAh at the minimum, I'm sure this is a ploy by Samsung to get people to buy the S9+ which is a typical crApple dick move, to be fair, the regular Pixel 2 has a smaller battery than the S9, but the Pixel 2 will probably outlast the S9 due to the great optimisation that Google does with their phones thanks in part to the Pixel 2 running true, pure and stock Android without the useless battery sucking bloat that Samsung packs into their phones.
  • So glad I got the Huawei Mate 10 Pro with a real deal 4000mah battery. Even though I usually charge every night (old Nexus 6p habit :) ), it's a great feeling to NEVER have to worry about making it through a full, intense day.
    Most days I have 50-60 percent left in the tank at night.
  • It has almost nothing to push at least compared to all the features the Galaxy has.
  • Yes it is...Mate 10 series has a 4K battery...I can go FOUR DAYS between charges doing normal things....no games or movies. Beat that Samsmug. Just another fail for you!
  • Yes, Samsung is such a failure. They sell multiples of what other companies do because of their hardware and features.
  • No excuse for not including a bigger battery. Huawei did it with the mate 10,why can't Samsung do it with an even bigger phone like the s9+
  • I just got it really and like the S9 ...
    I would prefer a thicker body with the 4000 MAH battery as in the S8 Active - BUT it is a great phone- I have been waiting for speakers like these since first cell phones . I am lobbying and want to build up demand for Galaxy S10 PRO with 4000 MAH batttery [ $100 or so more ] using battery from Active but looking more like regular S10 . Flat screen would be nice on S10 Pro but battery is the thing.
    For Pros who use their phone like a Laptop but don't want a huge phone. Narrow width on S9 makes it surprisingly easy to fit in pocket even with a small case.
    People love their phones and want to use them unrestricted for 8 to 12 hours a day. Most people do NOT care if their phone is 1/16 " to 1/8" thicker ESPECIALLY in the "non-removable battery Era ".
    Build demand for S10 Pro and Samsung will do it.