The spanking-new Samsung Galaxy S3 is on its way to the shops this week, but we've already wrestled it into the CNET UK testing arena to see how it performs. One thing we were particularly keen to test is the battery, so mobile phones editor Natasha Lomas took it for a spin to see just what it can do.
The good news is it's not half bad. Natasha found the S3's battery dropped from 100 per cent to around 60 per cent after three and a half hours of streaming HD video over Wi-Fi. Crucially, the screen was set to half brightness, which, given the enormous 4.8-inch display and bold Super AMOLED colours, still isn't too bad. If you don't keep the brightness at the absolute maximum, you'll find you'll be able to get a much better time.
A similarly pleasing performance was found when Natasha booted up the Antutu battery benchark test with the phone giving an overall score of 597. That probably won't mean anything to you, but to put that in context, the S3's battery performed better than its predecessor the Galaxy S2, as well as phones such as the HTC Incredible S and the LG Optimus 2X. We couldn't get the test to run on the HTC One X, the S3's great rival.
It's good to see the S3 beating the S2 -- while the S2 has certainly proven to be extremely popular thanks to its extremely bright Super AMOLED Plus screen and dual-core processor, the poor battery life means many of you have complained about not being able to get a full day of normal use out of it. Hopefully the improvements on the S3 will mean you can only worry about charging at night.
If you do want to keep your battery going for as long as possible, there are a few things you can do to help. Firstly, turn down the brightness on that massive screen. Keeping wireless networking switched off will also be a big help, as will disabling 3G networks unless you absolutely need it. Of course, you won't be able to do a whole lot with your phone like that, but it will keep it alive in case you need to make any emergency calls -- and Android makes it all very easy to manage with widgets.
What do you make of the S3's results? Is the increase over the S2 enough or should smart phones be able to last a week on a full charge? Let me know in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.
Update: We fully charged the batteries on our S3 and One X and set them streaming the same video over Wi-Fi with their huge screens at maximum brightness. After more than three hours, the S3 dropped to 68 per cent and the One X to 31 per cent.
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