I’m very fond of benchmarks, as it gives me a clear score of performance over various aspects of a device such as battery life, video editing, data manipulation, and so on. Before I updated my Exynos 8890-powered Samsung Galaxy S7, I performed some tests using Futuremark’s PCMark for Android Benchmark app, my choice because of the fact that they subject your device to real-world tests rather than synthetic benchmarking apps like AnTuTu which can be fooled by the likes of OnePlus 3T and such.
For all tests, I made sure that all apps are closed, Location OFF, Flight mode ON, Device maintenance reports 100%, and temperature is regulated (30-40°C). In addition to the said rules, for the more exhaustive Work 2.0 battery life test, I made sure that the device is on a 100% charge before starting the test and setting the brightness on manual mode and the slider to 44% to simulate 200 nits brightness requirement for accurate results. Now, I know, the Galaxy S7 default brightness slider doesn’t have an indication of percentage, so I downloaded an app called Lux Lite Dash which essentially gave me that functionality.
The 44% brightness setting is based on SamMobile’s detailed analysis of the Galaxy S7’s display. According to it, “the screen has a maximum brightness of around 454 cd/m2 (nits) in manual brightness setting, and 683 cd/m2 in auto brightness.” Now obviously we won’t use auto brightness since the Work 2.0 battery life test needs a constant 200 nits brightness. 44% of 454 is 199.76, which has a difference of only .24 than 4.3 if I set the brightness to 45% (204.3).
By the way, as you might already know, the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge defaults to FHD resolution upon Android 7.0 Nougat update, so you might want to check that out.
Basically all these tests implies that the screen resolution alone greatly affects performance and ultimately, battery life. A lower resolution screen offers better performance and longer battery life, at the expense of losing some sharpness. I’m not that bothered by having my device on 720p to be perfectly honest. For the question if it’s worth trading that mesmerizing Quad HD resolution for more than an hour and a half of battery life, I’ll leave it up to you.
If you ever prefer to stick to WQHD, note that the Android 7.0 Nougat update on the Galaxy S7 stills offers a greatly improved performance (4780 vs 4232 Work 2.0 performance score) and almost an hour and a half of battery life compared to Marshmallow. So there, update now and make your device faster than ever!