It is not a secret that Chrome browser is anti-battery life. The default browsers that come with Windows and MacOS are widely reported to beat Google’s offering. In the latest campaign, Microsoft is tried to quantify the difference by testing common websites such as Wikipedia, Amazon, and Youtube on different browsers. Astonishingly, Microsoft’s Edge lasted for 7 hours, whereas Chrome lasted for only 4 hours.
Between these two extremes, Firefox hit 5 hours bard, and Opera in battery saving mode made to 6 hours.
The Lower Draw Means Longer Battery Life
Microsoft, however, has gone a step further and measured how long each system runs by measuring the power it draws from Wifi, CPU, and GPU. The results were again in the favor of Microsoft, that drew 2.1W, Chrome with 2.8W, Opera in 3.1W and Firefox at 3.2W. The lower draw means longer battery life.
According to Ars Technica, Microsoft is also making some networking changes in Edge and the Anniversary update to speed up the initial connection to a server and to allow larger data packets to be used sooner. Edge will also more aggressively re-request data that appears to be timing out. These changes mean that the Wi-Fi connection can be put into low power mode more aggressively.
Edge’s rendering engine does a good job of showing pages, and aspects like the power consumption are certainly desirable for mobile users. But in spite of these changes, many of us will continue to use Chrome. Edge is currently deeply feature-deficient when compared to Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. The Anniversary update takes some important steps toward rectifying the problem, with pinned tabs and support for extensions. These types of steps help Edge move toward being a practical day-to-day browser.
For mobile users, at least, Edge will be well worth checking out. If Microsoft’s figures are representative of normal Web usage—and they certainly reflect our own experiences—then there are enormous gains to be had from using Edge instead of Chrome or Firefox. With Edge going some way toward filling the feature gap and having a substantial lead in power efficiency, it’s going to keep you browsing for much longer than the alternatives.