The real reason “4G Uses More Battery”

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The stronger the signal, the less battery power your phone uses to detect and collect that signal. Lets consider how the mobile network operates.


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This tower-switching continues seamlessly as you move. Each time your network connection switches from a 4G tower to a 3G tower or vice versa your phone must jump from using its 4G radio to the 3G radio.

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This jumping back and forth from 3G radio to 4G radio and back again uses a LOT of battery power, much more than if your phone could simply use one radio or the other without switching. But the reality, as noted earlier, is actually more complicated. We all use our phones a lot more now than we used to back in the 3G days pre Our mobile phones were originally meant to allow phone calls and texts. Nowadays they often also function as our primary entertainment hub for web browsing, watching video, streaming music and podcasts and, of course, playing games.

This means in any given period of time, we can consume a lot more content in the case of video, at higher resolution by using 4G. Theoretically, 4G should allow us to spend less time on our smartphones, and therefore consume less phone battery power. Power consumption also varies by chipset, for example, iPhone 7s with Intel modem have less than half of the 3G talk time of phones with a Qualcomm modem. By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service , privacy policy and cookie policy , and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

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Does 4G consume more battery than 3G if I don't use it for data? Ask Question. Each generation of G consumes more battery [ 4G compared to 3G or 2G or 3G compared to 2G ] than the previous one when used for data, since more complex algorithms are required to process higher data speeds My question is if I don't use mobile data at all instead use Wi-Fi , but leave the mobile on 4G, will the battery consumption be the same or more as compared to 3G and on similar lines 3G Vs 2G , given identical usage and signal strength?

I haven't found anything that talks of this, but I suspect power consumption would be higher. You don't find much on this because it varies by chipset and device The answer, unfortunately is to test and see what is best in your situation, there is no all in one answer. Thanks, but to narrow down, if I consider that chipset , band etc are all the same and hence don't alter the equation, what is the verdict?


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  • Testing unless done in a professional setup is pointless, especially user testing. Apart from which: Avoid fully discharging your battery On much older types of batteries, the advice used to be to discharge them completely. This is not the case for modern smartphone batteries. Completely discharging the battery on your device may reduce its life. Minimise hot and cold exposure.

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    Extreme heat and cold can damage your battery. For example, don't leave your smartphone in the glove compartment of your car on very hot or cold days. A common myth is that batteries last longer if they are put in the freezer. This is not correct and can damage your battery.

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    Click here to find your closest Samsung Service Centre. Note that any faults resulting from removing the battery yourself are not covered by warranty. For new and existing orders: Monday to Sunday 8am to 10pm.

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