A Brief Battery Life Comparison between the Honor 20 Pro and Galaxy S10+
Battery life is always a pressing concern for smartphone users, with survey after survey showing that consumers still want long-lasting batteries out of their new devices. While this sounds like a simple feature, squeezing more out of a phone’s battery requires improvements in hardware as well as software optimizations, meaning tremendous investments. Another great route that is thankfully being embraced by modern flagships is, well, offering a bigger battery. The Honor 20 Pro and the Galaxy S10+ might sit at very different price points, but both offer huge 4,000mAh and 4,100mAh batteries respectively and top-of-the-line silicon in the form of the Kirin 980 and Snapdragon 855.
While they sport similar battery capacity in terms of mAh, they also offer different screen technologies (LCD for the Honor 20 Pro, OLED for the Galaxy S10+), and vastly different Android experiences. In order to see how these devices stack up despite their similarities and differences, we took them through a set of battery life tests, after a factory reset and with no additional apps or services, for this brief comparison.
First, we ran both devices through PCMark’s Battery Test at maximum, medium (50%) and minimum brightness, on a Wi-Fi connection, and with the volume turned off. PCMark is a holistic benchmark that has become an industry standard, as it measures performance by simulating real-world workloads using Android’s own standard APIs in areas like web browsing as well as photo, video and data editing. The battery life test simply loops the standard PCMark Work 2.0 benchmark until the device’s battery level hits 20%, at which point it reports back the estimated battery life as well as other statistics such as the average benchmark scores. Here, we must again keep in mind the fact that these two phones offer different screen technologies. While the tests ran at the same brightness percentage, the different brightness scales and minimum/maximum brightness of both devices mean that the tests were not running at the same effective luminosity across both devices. With that caveat out of the way, let’s look at the results:
|Minimum Brightness||Medium Brightness||Maximum Brightness|
|Honor 20 Pro||16h 58m||12h 55m||7h 50m|
|Galaxy S10+||14h 28m||10h 30m||8h 16m|
Interestingly enough, the Honor 20 Pro surpassed the Galaxy S10+ at both the minimum and medium brightness settings; when both devices were cranked up to maximum brightness, the S10+ and its top-of-the-line AMOLED display managed to surpass the Honor 20 Pro. Even at their maximum brightness setting, both of these devices scored tremendously solid scores, almost surpassing the 8 hours and 30 minutes mark. Given that these tests take place on a Wi-Fi connection, without audio playback and without triggering the digitizer for touch input, we can’t expect the same level of battery performance out of day-to-day usage, but given that both devices were tested on equal footing, it at least gives us an idea as to how these devices compare.
For our second test, we cranked up the brightness of both devices to 100% and then took them through XDA’s UI simulation, in particular, our composite Play Store test. This test loops a three-minute automated run through the Play Store, first opening the app and navigating through the Top Charts, various app listings, side panels, and settings, and then closing the app. Like with PCMark, it does not trigger the digitizer, and the test takes place on Wi-Fi. We ran the test for 1 hour and 20 minutes a total of three times per device; below we present the average battery drained per device (rounded to the nearest integer), as well as a line graph showing the slightly different slopes in a given run.
In this particular test, the Honor 20 Pro outperformed the Galaxy S10, having drained just 22% compared to 25% for the S10+. From this, we can expect the Honor 20 Pro to sit at a battery level of around 12% by the time the Galaxy S10+ has run out of juice. It’s not a tremendous difference, but if the other tests are anything to go by, that gap probably grows larger as we turn down the brightness level on both devices.
Our final test involved a simple but familiar use case, and that’s local media consumption. Both devices used VLC Video Player to play the same 1080p video file at minimum and maximum brightness and 33% volume. The scores below are the averages obtained from a total of three two hour samples per device per brightness setting.
Similarly to the PCMark thread, the Honor 20 Pro performs better at its minimum brightness, draining just 8% in 2 hours. Again, extending these results, by the time the Galaxy S10+ hits zero, the Honor 20 Pro could have as much as 10% remaining at minimum brightness. However, at maximum brightness, we see the reverse: by the time the Honor 20 Pro hits zero, the Galaxy S10+ could have as much as 12% remaining. Both devices perform well in the end, offering well over 10 hours of local video playback.
Our results show the Galaxy S10+ and Honor 20 Pro trading blows once again, with Samsung’s iconic flagship trumping the Honor 20 Pro in two of our tests, but only when both devices are cranked up to maximum brightness. The 20 Pro manages to stand out in the other tests, but not to a degree that allows us to crown it a clear winner. In this brief comparison, we also did not control for equal effective luminosity across both devices. Nonetheless, we hope that the above results prove useful for those of you who keep their phones at maximum brightness or enjoy binge-watching the latest viral show late at night at minimum brightness.
If you are interested to see more comparisons between the Honor 20 Pro and Galaxy S10+, check out our recent performance comparison, our in-depth camera comparison or our low-light photography throwdown!