Ookla, the makers of Speedtest, conducted a 5G battery drain test on some flagship SoCs from popular brands like Qualcomm, Samsung, Google, and MediaTek. The one that stood out was the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 which recorded the lowest battery drain out of all the chips put to test.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is the flagship SoC from Qualcomm that was introduced in 2022 and refreshed in 2023. When connected to 5G, the chip recorded a battery drain of 31% which was 10% less than its predecessor Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.
On the other hand, Gen 2 recorded a battery drain of 25% when running on 4G LTE which was a 7% drop when compared to Gen 1. It is interesting to note that Gen 2's 5G battery consumption is even lower than the 4G battery consumption of Gen 1.
Speaking of Google, its Tensor G2 chip recorded a battery drain of 38% on 5G and 28% on 4G LTE. Meanwhile, the first-generation Tensor chip took a slightly bigger toll with a battery drain of 40% (5G) and 38% (4G LTE) respectively. Tensor G2 powers various recently launched devices such as Pixel Fold, Pixel 7a, and Pixel Tablet.
Mediatek's Dimensity 9200 turned out to be the second-most efficient chip out of the lot with a drain of 34% when running on 5G. Overall, the results suggest that all the chip brands included in the battery drain test have made improvements to their chips.
For instance, Dimensity 9200 made an improvement of 11% over Dimentsity 9000 in 5G battery drain, which was the highest among all SoCs tested. With an 8% improvement, Dimensity 9200 also reduced its battery usage by the highest margin when running on 4G LTE.
"To measure battery drain, we identified all devices recording 100% battery level during morning hours (6am-12pm), and compared to their minimum battery level in the afternoon (12pm-6pm)," Ookla said in a blog post.
5G is the latest generation of cellular networks that is capable of delivering peak data rates of up to 20Gbps. However, with all that speed, comes reduced battery life as current 5G networks are designed to be data-only and they are not capable of handling phone calls and messages.
Because of that, smartphones simultaneously connect to 3G or LTE networks as well resulting in faster battery drain. The 5G technology is also known to cause interference with airplane equipment which might result in diversion and delays during low-visibility landings.