Edge takes top spot in Microsoft browser battery life test (again)

Microsoft Edge may still be behind in the race when it comes to its share of the browser market, but Microsoft's latest ad attempts to show it can go the distance against Chrome and Firefox. Using Surface Books powered by the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Microsoft once again placed Edge head-to-head with Chrome and Firefox to see which would come out on top in its battery life test (spoiler: it's Edge).

The test was conducted by streaming one video across all three browsers on identical devices until the battery died. According to Microsoft's results, Edge lasted 63 percent longer than Firefox and 19 percent longer than Chrome. In terms of time, Edge managed to go 16 hours and 8 minutes, while Firefox came in at 9 hours and 52 minutes. Chrome, meanwhile, hit 13 hours and 31 minutes.

It's worth noting that there are some caveats to these tests that will probably make them hard to replicate in real-world use. According to Microsoft's methodology, the test was conducted on Windows 10 build 16299, and a number of settings were tweaked to reflect a setup that it's doubtful you'll see actually in use. These include enabling quiet hours, disabling Bluetooth and the ambient light sensor, and, perplexingly, setting the volume to mute. Still, the settings were applied to each device, so the test should reflect a level playing field for each browser.

This isn't the first time Microsoft has released a battery life test like this; it released a similar video just after the release of the Creators Update in April 2017. And both of these most recent tests largely echo the results of yet another battery test released in 2016. It's always healthy to remain skeptical of first-party battery tests like these, but battery life isn't the whole story when it comes to browsers. Ultimately, picking a browser involves weighing the pros and cons related to a range of personal preferences. And if you're on Windows 10 S, well, you have no choice in the matter, anyhow.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • Got surprised. Was expecting Chrome to lose.
  • Where is Opera? Weren't they invited to the party.
  • People like to claim that Edge is irrelevant because of the market share. Opera has about 1/4 of the Edge market share. But even if Opera had more or a market share it uses the same engine as Chrome. If they are the same, then why would you expect a different outcome? Even at that, why test every browser out there? Or are you playing for the "Microsoft is hiding something" angle to try to cast FUD on the results?
  • Last I checked Opera had a battery saver mode.
  • I use Opera since it's better supported (Chrome engine), but none/little of the Google spam. I wanted to use Edge, but MS really needs to find a way to win the (dev) hearts they lost with IE (badly). 
  • Edge may win the battery war, but not the security which is more important...
  • Why not?
  • Edge is really good right now, and i hope it will become better in 2018 and next years :)  and i like how you can pin site's to your taskbar :D 
  • Says who?
  • http://www.tomshardware.com/news/pwn2own-2017-microsoft-edge-hacked,3394...
  • I am unsurprised this site's biggest troll will post such links. If you read the article (I know, reading is hard for you) it states that only one group tried to hack Chrome while multiple teams tried to hack Edge. Many teams vs. one team makes for a bad sampling size (I know, math is hard for you) and proves nothing. Hacking Chrome does not get you as much street cred as opposed to a successful hack of the product from the big, bad Microsoft. It is kind of like how people such as yourself rage and act as if it were a huge violation of trust and personal security if Microsoft were to collect crash data, but then claim is it perfectly OK for Google to use your data in any way they see fit, and even encourage them to take more data.
  • They were allowed to hack whoever they wanted. Edge just made it much easier than other browsers so more people targeted it. I never said there was anything wrong with Microsoft collecting data. I only ever pointed to the hypocritics that they do it too and actually put ads into the UI of Windows.
  • "people such as yourself rage and act as if it were a huge violation of trust and personal security if Microsoft were to collect crash data"   I dunno, something about a company that would go as far as allowing themselves to lose customers than to provide an opt-out.
  • Oh look, it is the other troll. It is funny, the people who hang out at sites like MacRumors, talk about how much they like their Apple products, how much they hate Microsoft, then come here to troll. Why not stay with your product of choice? See, I go to the Mac sites, read, but don't comment. But you, order66, come here to troll like the common trash that you are. So any point that you try to make has no pull here. Especially when you have the nerve to criticize Microsoft like you did, when Apple has been caught multiple times telling people that they do not collect data, when they really do. I remember a few years ago Apple had a switch to not send GPS location data back to the collective. But they were sending that data back, and rather than not send the data they removed the option. But then again, with as many times as you have been caught lying like with that "I am a WP, no I am a iPhone, no I am an Android user" bit, anything you say is just the ranting of a useless stain on the underwear of humanity.
  • I thought Edge is 'secure'. No?
  • Edge is truly awful. Just a glorified IE.... Ugh!!!!!
  • cool story
  • Glorified IE what?
  • Hardly. Edge engine is much better. It needs work but I really like it.
  • Ya it has a lot of potential.  I use it exclusively.  Has improved a lot.
  • Indeed, Edge isn't even as good since it's just another dumbed-down UWP "app".
  • It is certainly not like IE and I would certainly not call it glorified.  Not that I like Edge, but at the end of the day, people can use what they like if it works for them.   
  • Were those Chrome books..;), j/k looked like and probably was the SB2 .
  • My main issue with Edge is the bookmark manager. I can't even use it. I use Bookmark OS instead
  • I just can't get used to the Edge UI. Im sticking with Opera and Firefox.
  • My guess with regards to the settings is that Microsoft already knew that Edge would win based on other testing and so they tried to find a configuration that would lead to the maximum battery life and thus the maximum difference in battery life between Edge and the other browsers. The percentages are still going to be the same either way but if you can say that Edge lasted for over 2.5 hours longer then that is going to sound better to those who don't try to look past the surface numbers.
  • Why would a browser affect hardware anyway? It's not like its initiating a dial up connection wherein a modem would draw power.
  • well, since your using a car as avatar, put a 200kg driver in the same car it would consume more fuel then a 60 kg driver. your distance reduced accordingly . Software not optimized puts more calculations and stress on CPU, thus consuming more battery power to do the same thing  
  • So why not come out and say... We have better programmers than Google.
    Or just say UWP is better optimized.
  • But what version of Chrome and Firefox were they using? Did they use the pre or post Firefox Quantum. These browser streaming videos are pointless anyway. YouTube is probably the only site actively streamed through a browser on a computer. For everything else there is an app or program.
  • Edge should be avoided. It is extremely insecure and was easily the most insecure browser at Pawned. Edge was penetrated over and over again basically at will. The only browser unhackable was Chrome but really using any other browser besides Edge and you would be far better off. So if you Edge and do not like Chrome you should be using Firefox or try one of the others as you will be far more secure.
  • Do people really swicth browsers based on these type of tests? What I mean by that is that I have my favorite. I will use my favorite until I have a reason not to. That reason would likely be user experience changes, speed or lack of support for my chosen browser. I feel like this trying to argue for Android to an iPhone user or iPhone to an Android user. You like what you like. Anyone arguing security of one over the other is being a bit pickey. They all have security holes that are patched all the time. That's why we have updates right? I'll try other browsers but haven't switched the one I use regularely in a decade.