A closer look at the Galaxy S5’s power management features

Samsung made some bold claims about the battery life of the upcoming Galaxy S5, and while history shows that battery claims like this one rarely prove to be true, Samsung might actually deliver on its promise here. Ultra Power Save has been explained and it’s more intriguing than we would have guessed.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 was announced with a slightly larger battery than its predecessor, and despite packing a larger screen the phone is supposed to be able to deliver far greater levels of battery life. The GS5 is capable of dramatically limiting performance to save power in two different ways; there’s a normal power saving mode and an Ultra Power Saving mode that claims to be capable of 24 hours of battery life using just 10 per cent of the battery.

These battery saving techniques are different from what we’ve seen on other Android handsets, due to new technologies Samsung is using to help with navigation and individual app optimisation.

Samsung’s power saving mode is derived from some of the same techniques we’ve already seen on Qualcomm-based handsets before, with a little something extra tossed in. The Galaxy S5 runs a Snapdragon 801 processor, which when combined with Qualcomm’s battery saving software, will cause the chipset to run significantly slower and idle for several hours with almost no battery consumption. On top of this, Samsung is working with Lucid NavExtend to offer greater battery life when using location based services. Since location based services are used in a lot of Android apps and services, this will go a long way to delivering a better experience on the S5.

Samsung will also be using Lucid’s WebExtend and GameXtend services as well, but it’s not clear exactly how those services will be used and whether or not the benefits will be limited to specific apps. For example, if WebExtend works on the browser Samsung provides and now Chrome, users will need to choose their apps carefully.

The Ultra Power Saving mode is a different story, with a less complicated technical explanation. This mode puts the display in black and while, limiting the processor and the screen’s power usage to as little as possible, without robbing you of critical functions. You’ll have access to some basic apps, like the ability to send text messages, make phone calls, and browse the web with Samsung’s browser, but there’s not yet a complete list of what apps will be available. This mode limits your phone significantly, but it also makes sure you have a phone when you need it most. Most importantly, it looks like this feature can be set to activate automatically when your battery life drops to a specific percentage, so you don’t have to worry about when to turn it on.

Even without these impressive battery sipping promises, the Galaxy S5 claims to be able to last through 10 hours of web browsing and 11 hours of video playback. If that turns out to be true, then the Galaxy S5 could set a whole new bar for what we expect from Android phones in the future.

For more on the upcoming phone, see our hands-on with the Galaxy S5, and our feature which answers all your Samsung Galaxy S5 questions.