[Review] Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra gaming & battery performance

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been to a social gathering where I don’t quite want to make small talk or make new friends.

Those times are when I wished I could game without my phone dying on me within the hour (ah, the struggles of using phones of yesteryear).

Newer phones with bigger batteries and better processors might make that issue a thing of the past, though.

With the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra in hand, I decided to put its gaming performance to the test. 

Just how long would it take to drain its 5,000mAh battery from 100% to 0% if I was gaming non-stop?

Game on

To try and get results that were as accurate as possible in my non-professional, non-lab tested experiment, I simply charged the phone to 100% and closed all background apps before running a game.

Then I went into the Gaming Hub and ensured that no notifications would get through (maybe that would help reduce battery consumption too?).

It was time to lock in.

Hour 1

My two games of choice were Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail (HSR). One, because they were games I actually enjoyed playing, and two, I know for a fact that they’re quite demanding games.

I started with Genshin Impact, bumping up all its settings until they were overclocked. This meant 60fps with pretty much every feature on “High” or “Very High”.

Off I went, exploring the open world, engaging in battle, doing some quests, and living my best RPG life.

We out here

Halfway through the first hour, my hands and wrists were aching before the phone was even warm.

The S24 Ultra weighs 232g, just 2g lighter than its predecessor, so it’s still quite a heavy phone. I really started to feel it with both my arms unsupported, slouched over in my chair, and trying to keep a grip on the smooth metal back.

Resting my arms on my table helped take off the tension a bit, and having an ergonomic, easy to hold phone case would have been much more comfortable too.

I ended hour 1 with 78% battery left.

Hour 2

Going into hour 2, I wasn’t expecting much to change yet. After all, the S24 Ultra seemed like a beast, taking on my challenge easily.

I had moved locations, leaving my wonderfully air-conditioned bedroom to brave the fan-ventilated living room.

This was when I felt the phone actually start getting hot. I’m not sure if it was because of the change in temperature, my continued Genshin Impact gameplay, or a combination of both.

The heat was right around the camera housing, and though it was growing noticeable, there was still zero lag or screen tearing, not even a stutter.

Hour 2 ended with 59% battery, and it seemed like the battery consumption was quite consistent so far.

Hour 3

Halfway into hour 3, at 50% battery, the phone was getting quite hot to the point where it was uncomfortable to use, but to my amazement, there was still no lag. I was loading areas and domains just fine, and could even co-op online.

Normally, online co-op is intimidating when your device or network isn’t strong enough, because your teammates will be left waiting for you to load in and you’ll end up feeling like a burden. With the S24 Ultra, I was the one who would often end up waiting for everyone else.

Since I was at the midpoint for battery life, I decided to switch games to HSR (also on overclocked settings) to see how the phone would handle that.

Hour 3 ended with the phone being at 39%. Interestingly enough, the phone had cooled down after I switched to HSR, and maybe because I moved back to my air-conditioned room too. 

And this was without me even taking a break between switching games, so the phone had been running non-stop for three hours by now.

Hour 4 

I don’t have much to report on how the S24 Ultra performed around hour 4, because it kept on trucking. 

I had found a comfortable position to game in by this time, which is why I’m no longer complaining about the weight of the phone. However, I could feel myself getting fatigued by this point, unlike the unwavering S24 Ultra.

Bit by bit, the battery had trickled down to 18% by the end of hour 4.

And guess what?

Still no lag!

Hour 5

This is where things started getting crazy, and not because the S24 Ultra was acting up or anything. The complete opposite, in fact. 

It was still going as steadily and smoothly as ever. I swear that I had yet to see a noticeable lag in my gameplay, even though the battery had dipped well below the 20% mark.

TechRadar tested the S24 Ultra against a top-of-the-line dedicated gaming phone, and reported that the Samsung came up on top in every metric.

Hard to believe at first, but I wouldn’t be surprised after seeing the S24 Ultra in action myself.

Though the phone was at 11% by the end of hour 5, it was just warm and had no stutter, performing as though its battery was still full.

Hour 6

I wasn’t ambitious about the phone lasting much longer past the fifth hour. Based on my track record, it seemed like I was draining the battery at an average of 20% every hour, so surely it wouldn’t last more than five hours… right?

This was the only time when performance dropped a bit. Running around in the game was okay, but whenever I clicked into stuff and the game had to change its UI or load menu screens, it would get a bit choppy.

23 minutes into hour 6 (a whole 23 minutes more than I expected the phone to last!), I called it quits with the phone at 2%.

And right up until it hit 2%, I was still engaged in battle. I only lost the battle due to skill issues, but it was better than losing because the phone suddenly shut down. 

Verdict

About five and a half hours of high performance gaming across two demanding games on a full charge is no joke, especially considering how optimal my experience was right up to the very end.

Powered by a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy, the S24 Ultra supports ray tracing too, but there aren’t many mobile games that support that yet. Maybe with such games, the performance might take a harder hit faster, but until then, I have to say:

If you had the S24 Ultra with you at a boring event, rest assured that you’ll get lots of use out of it, gaming or not, with probably more battery to spare to Grab or Waze home after.

Pros Cons
Large 5,000mAh battery that has good lasting power Phone is quite heavy to hold for extended periods
Bright, gorgeous, HD display
Powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset for consistent performance
  • Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra has a starting price of RM6,299, and you can learn more about it here.
  • Read our full reviews of the phone here, our thoughts on its AI features here, and its photography prowess here.

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