Microsoft battery life test gives Edge a leg up on Chrome and Firefox

There's no doubt that your choice of browser can have a noticeable impact on your battery life, and now Microsoft is hoping to leverage that fact to convince you to use Edge. Now that the Windows 10 Creators Update is here, Microsoft has pitted its Edge browser head-to-head with Firefox and Chrome in a battle for battery supremacy, and the results are fairly substantial.

In a test of streaming video from Vimeo at fullscreen until the battery died, Microsoft found that Edge lasted 77% longer than Firefox and 35% longer than Chrome. In hard numbers, Edge made it to the 751 minute mark, while Chrome and Firefox came in at 557 minutes and 424 minutes, respectively.

As part of the setup, Microsoft used three identical Surface Book laptops running on Windows 10 Pro build 15063. You can get a closer look at the full methodology from Microsoft, but a number of features like location and the ambient light sensor were disabled, while the volume was muted and the cache for each browser was cleared.

There's always reason to be skeptical of first-party tests like these, of course. That said, the Creators Update does introduce a range of improvements to Edge, and these results largely echo findings from a similar test conducted last year. Given browser choice is usually driven by many other personal preferences, however, it'll be interesting to see if Microsoft's case for battery efficiency can win over any stalwart Chrome or Firefox users.

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

  • It always comes down to extensions and customization for me. Right now, Edge is too far behind for me to use it as my main browser.
  • As much as I like edge this tests are marketing ****. Google is making the same tests and they come to another solution. Why? Because they test where their browser could perform better/last longer.
  • I'm missing the tests where Chrome comes out on top with battery life.
  • What tests? I have seen zero evidence Chrome beats Opera or Edge in battery life. Even with their new update to Chrome it still cant match Opera and Edge. 
  • There are no tests with the outcome you have described.
  • If Edge was not recovering websites all the time I would use it as my main browser on my Surface Pro 4.
  • Yeah, it was doing that all the time on my Surface Pro 2 with uBlock Origins disabled prior to the creators update. So much so, I couldn't use it to support sites I like. However, after the creators update, everything appears to be working smooth now. Just really wish they'd separate it from the OS and update it via the Store.
  • I use Edge full time when on my SurfaceBook. Really like it a lot.
  • Same here once AdBlock plus was released on Edge.
  • same here, I've been using it since adblock was supported. To be honest; after creators update and addtion of the new features, I can recommend Edge to anyone over chrome or opera; unless they have some specific requirement that can only be fulfilled with those browsers.  
  • This is pretty old news, I wonder why its being reported again.
  • It's not old news, it's a new test with the latest version of Windows 10 and Edge.
  • using Edge give you a leg under Chrome and Firefox users
  • This reminds me of MS ad for Windows Phone booting faster and then this happened:
  • Meanwhile, in the security realm,3394...
        Uh.... NOT SURPRISING at all!
        EVERY OS, EVERY BROWSER, EVERY MOBILE PLATFORM ON THE PLANET has security holes in them that can be breeched.
        DON'T assume that there are no problems with Chrome, or Edge, or Opera, or etc. - ASSUME every browser has holes you don't even know about even after going to BlackHat conferences, things hidden even beyond the CIA Wikileaks hacks and such.
        The SINGLE MOST POWERFUL thing you can do?
        DISABLE JAVASCRIPT, PLUGINS, and FLASH when browsing sites in general!!!
        Only activate Javascript when going to known, reputable sites for a brief period that you need, then turn it off.
         THE SECOND most powerful thing you can do?
         AD-BLOCK PLUS or equivalent.
         THE THIRD?
         Fake the browser ID - if the attacker thinks you're surfing on a years old phone, or Chrome when you are using Firefox, etc, this makes them send you the wrong hack - a hack for a different browser.
         The forth? Update that OS weekly. Fake browser ID + adblock + javascript/plugins/flash off has kept me from infections despite 'dangerous' sites.
  • Wow, impressive results. 
  • Edge still sluggish and some sites dont work as well on it vs. chrome...
  • I use Edge and like it, but they really need to decouple development from the OS and accelerate releases. They also need to release it on OSX (where developers are and need to test) and Android. Cortana could be the app/platform they use sync all setting between various platforms, including favorites.
  • ^THIS, big time this! I REALLY hope it's in their plans! And hopefully mostly acheived by this time next year at the latest.
  • Where Edge REALLY uses less battery, is when you get frustrated trying to get pages to load, then you say screw it, and pull up Chrome.  So of course Chrome uses more battery.  -10000 downvotes, here I come!  Speaking of wanting to use Google services, I think that's why they're trying to get full W10 on phones, so people can use Google services like they would on a PC.  "Look, we solved our app gap!" I'd download Chrome on my L950 if I could.  Downvote me all you want, deep down, you'd do it too...
  • It also uses less battery when surfing and watching movies for hours on end.
  • I don't care about it being more energy efficient than Chrome, I just want it to WORK.  It's way better than it was when it first came out, but still fails to load too often, or work properly with a site.  Once again, Microsoft focusing on the wrong thing.  And why are you using Edge to watch movies for hours on end?  First, I wish I had that kind of time.  Second, is there a video service that you use that doesn't have an app?  Or is Edge a better/more efficient experience over their app?
  • You internet network provider is poor.
  • Soooo, are they giving preference to Chrome users?  Because I try to always use Edge (despite my grumblings here), and when it fails to load a page properly, I open it up in Chrome, and it works fine.  Same with my L950 on WiFi or Cellular Data.  When Edge fails, I go to Monument browser to get through it.  Yeah, blame the ISP.
  • I could believe it. To each his own experience but mine was good. Creators Update finally made Edge useable for me where in previous builds it was crash-prone, buggy and ponderous. It's now at a point where I have been able to delete Chrome from my computer and no longer have to deal with its resource glut.
  • Edge has come a long way. We would have to give it to MS for creating Edge. Its fast, lightweight and I have been using it as prime web browser for consumption. It lacks moderately on the development side I would say, but it would catch up. Its young. Not having F11 to full screen is a "SHAME". I don't know how they can still not add it. 
  • I want to see them do this on the SP4. I'm still kinda bitter about battery life on it.
  • Yeah it's still not even half as useful as Chrome so... That's not hard. And considering it's not cross platform, chances of winning over anyone from Chrome are even slimmer.
  • I've been using Edge for over a year as my primary browser, and even replaced Chrome on Android with Samsung's browser.
  • I have used edge on my Surface Pro1 since windows 10, its got better and is worth using, its fast and i haven't had websites that won't work on it lately... Also it takes a little time to familiar yourself with it like anything new.
  • First, streaming a video is by no means representative for browser use. Second, this program (edge) does not run on a platform I use (Android and Linux), so without the option to sync bookmarks etc on the platform I use to browse, that browser which is incapable to do so is non-existant. Third, and this is anecdotal, when I was on Win 10, occasionally, Edge was a whipping my notebook fan terribly, whereas Chrome showed the same content staying completely silent.
  • One thing I find interesting is that I can't get to windowscentral using edge browser. This is on multiple systems. tomshardware doesn't work either. Can't figure out which setting it is though. But when Edge does work, its pretty good.