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Old August 16th, 2012, 10:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default HSPA+ and 3g switching issue.

Hi all,
Just got a GSM galexy nexus and signed up for the $30 tmobile plan online and so far I love my phone and the no strings attached, direct from google experience. My only issue I am having is my phone constantly switches from "H" to 3G when it is not using data. Now in theory this would be a great way to save battery, conserve data, etc. However I have noticed it delays my internet experience on my new phone. What I mean is it takes about a second or two for the phone to realize that i want HASP+ speeds after opening a webpage. Now That doesnt seem to be a big deal but after the page is done loading it goes back to 3g and the process is repeated every time i navigate to a new page. This happens with anything data related, apps, browsing, etc. My first question is has anyone else noticed this on their phone? And my second question would be is this a phone setting or a network thing that T mobile controls. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Old August 16th, 2012, 11:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I had asked the regional manager about this when I went to a local T-Mobile store to make my second payment. I was told this is normal behavior (my boyfriends G-Nex on T-Mobile does the same thing).

When you see it switching and if you look close enough you can see the teeny weeny up and down arrows on the bars. It is using your data (could be Google synching, or Google now preparing to give you the weather the next time you open it. There's lots of different things that run in the background that use your data in order to give you the information you need when you need it).

Edit: forgot to answer the rest. As before, normal behavior. This is indeed intended to save battery.
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Old August 16th, 2012, 11:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I had asked the regional manager about this when I went to a local T-Mobile store to make my second payment. I was told this is normal behavior (my boyfriends G-Nex on T-Mobile does the same thing).

When you see it switching and if you look close enough you can see the teeny weeny up and down arrows on the bars. It is using your data (could be Google synching, or Google now preparing to give you the weather the next time you open it. There's lots of different things that run in the background that use your data in order to give you the information you need when you need it).
Ok i see what you are saying and that is what my question was it seems to only switch after it uses data. Did they say there is a way to always enable HSPA+ its very annoying having to wait for it to re establish a data connection to HSPA+ every single time data is being used.
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Old August 16th, 2012, 11:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Also I saw a friends mytouch say it is always using 4g or hspa+ so thats why i didn't know if it was a phone setting.
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Old August 16th, 2012, 11:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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No, you can't. If you kept it on HSPA all the time your battery would be toast before the day was half over.
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Old August 16th, 2012, 11:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Mine very rarely has the "3G" symbol displayed. I think 3G and "H" are basically the same, different grades of the same connection. Maybe in your area you just don't get a strong HSPA signal? If you happen to travel or anything, maybe try the same actions out and see if your phone acts the same.

I believe if the goal were battery savings, it would switch to Edge (denoted by the "E").

If I look at the "About Phone" page on mine, it does tend to switch through HSPA+, and HSDPA:8 and 9 a lot. These are all denoted with the "H" symbol, though, so it isn't obvious when it does it. If it was switching to UMTS instead, then you'd notice it more because the symbol would go between "3G" and "H".
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Old August 16th, 2012, 11:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by aurora40 View Post

I believe if the goal were battery savings, it would switch to Edge (denoted by the "E").

The phone going from H to 3G to save battery when it's not using HSPA is common knowledge and normal behavior.
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Old August 16th, 2012, 11:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The phone going from H to 3G to save battery when it's not using HSPA is common knowledge and normal behavior.
Well, in spite of common knowledge, my phone does not exhibit the behavior the OP describes. When in use it is always on "H" unless the connection degrades and it drops to "E".

It does not switch to "H" as a website loads, then switch back to "3G" once the load is complete, repeating as I navigate to different sites.
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Old August 16th, 2012, 11:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If you're phone isn't switching to H as your actively surfing, and change to 3G when a page is finished loading then something is wrong. Unless this is carrier specific behavior, I would definitely look into it.
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Old August 16th, 2012, 12:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The phone going from H to 3G to save battery when it's not using HSPA is common knowledge and normal behavior.
OK I understand the logic behind that and for someone that came from CDMA lte it may not be common knowledge. So is the time it takes to switch between the two and the frequency it takes also normal because if it is IMO I don't think it is a great implementation
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Old August 16th, 2012, 12:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Honestly, I think it works great all things considered. The battery drain on this phone compared to what I'm use to on my OpV (3 days on a full charge) is quite noticeable. If the HSPA was on all the time, I think I would have to consider a different phone as the battery drain would be entirely too much.
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Old August 16th, 2012, 02:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The switching is called Fast Dormancy.


Check out this video at XDA
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Old August 16th, 2012, 03:34 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Petrah View Post
Honestly, I think it works great all things considered. The battery drain on this phone compared to what I'm use to on my OpV (3 days on a full charge) is quite noticeable. If the HSPA was on all the time, I think I would have to consider a different phone as the battery drain would be entirely too much.
Completely agree. I have a VZW CDMA Galaxy Nexus and I have to say that the battery life on the GSM model is so much better. So I am glad that they have this implemented because it does indeed save battery life.

But I am on wifi a lot at work and home so its all good.
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Old August 16th, 2012, 06:20 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by daystrom View Post
The switching is called Fast Dormancy.


Check out this video at XDA
Nice find! It's interesting in that video, the GNote shows the "H" icon as it falls back through the connection modes. It does flash the "3G" icon briefly, so the phone clearly supports that icon. When it is "idle", the "H" icon can still clearly be seen.
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Old August 17th, 2012, 04:38 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The switching is called Fast Dormancy.


Check out this video at XDA
Wow ok thats interesting, I will be doing some research on this. Any idea how to view that on a galaxy nexus?
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Old August 17th, 2012, 05:54 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Any idea how to view that on a galaxy nexus?

Email this link to your gmail account, and load it up in YouTube.

Fast Dormancy -- Save Your Battery from 3G Drainage - YouTube

If you subscribe to the XDA vids, you'll get them sent to your gmail.
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Old August 17th, 2012, 06:41 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Email this link to your gmail account, and load it up in YouTube.

Fast Dormancy -- Save Your Battery from 3G Drainage - YouTube

If you subscribe to the XDA vids, you'll get them sent to your gmail.
Lol not the video itself the diagnostic screen she is looking at.
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Old August 18th, 2012, 07:58 AM   #18 (permalink)
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HSPA+ is hardly a battery hog. Unless you somehow have a different sort of HSPA+ in the States, of course. But my phone never switches to 3G unless there just isn't a HSPA+ signal available. Still, my battery only loses about 1.5% an hour (or about 25% with the screen on) even though I hate dumbing down phones and have all the fancy stuff switched on and syncing is frequent.

To be fair I do live right in the middle of a big city so there's no shortage of masts.
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Old August 18th, 2012, 10:52 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Lol not the video itself the diagnostic screen she is looking at.
Oh, oops lol. Sorry bout that.
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Old December 3rd, 2012, 01:32 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Yes I dug this out if the thread graveyard. I utilized the search function though

Okay here we go. I have a few questions surrounding the topic of this thread.
And I'm sorry if some of these were answered in the video linked above, I haven't watched it yet.

This data/network scaling that's going on to save battery, is this something that's a GSM thing or specific to certain phone?

I've also noticed that say I'm in a bad h+ area and icons are blue but I have no bars, then it will switch to edge and be completely full bars. Does the service indicator work in conjunction with the network that's present? If so and I'm showing no bars and h+ blue, how do I actually have service to make calls? If that makes sense. Like with lte on older phones the data and service (cdma) indicator is separate. I'm relatively new to gsm do I apologize if this seems "obvious" per say.

I'm just trying to understand how the data and service indicators work. Any info well be great. If it's shared in the video I apologize, in gonna watch it when I get off work.

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Old December 8th, 2012, 04:47 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Skippity bee bop
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Old December 9th, 2012, 03:30 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I have the Straight Talk AT&T plan and my phone almost never switches to 3G. No wonder my battery life sucks.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 11:07 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I have the Straight Talk AT&T plan and my phone almost never switches to 3G. No wonder my battery life sucks.
It doesn't "idle down" per say when your not using it?
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Old December 9th, 2012, 09:34 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I don't notice it idling down. I don't sit and look at it a lot when I'm not actually using it but I did when I first got it. I admired it often even if I wasn't playing. lol
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Old December 10th, 2012, 06:30 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I don't notice it idling down. I don't sit and look at it a lot when I'm not actually using it but I did when I first got it. I admired it often even if I wasn't playing. lol
lol. Well what i mean is that when I first wake my phone up and unlock the screen, my data icon will show E, G or 3G. It will move between those until I open up something that requires "full speed" data from which the icon jumps up the 4G (H+) and from there it should move around from H+ to H to 3G and sometimes to E or G. Your phone doesn't do this? I thought something was wrong with my phone when I first got it and noticed it and didn't really think anything of it. Then I came across an article that was talking about it and then it all made sense so I tested it out and 4G wouldn't show until I opened a web page or something.

It's a great option as the actual idea technically "should" save you battery.
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Old December 11th, 2012, 08:16 PM   #26 (permalink)
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I'll try to check when I'm in an area with 3g. Right now I'm at home and we barely have edge here.
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Old December 11th, 2012, 10:25 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I have the Straight Talk AT&T plan and my phone almost never switches to 3G. No wonder my battery life sucks.
Well, like I mentioned, my phone never shows "3G" except for an instant. I have no issues with my phone going 2-3 days since the 4.2 update. Though obviously I'm not using the screen a lot during that time, but it is always connected to the cell network (never use wifi).

I don't think showing 3g vs H is an indicator of wasting battery or anything.
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Old December 11th, 2012, 10:28 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I've also noticed that say I'm in a bad h+ area and icons are blue but I have no bars, then it will switch to edge and be completely full bars. Does the service indicator work in conjunction with the network that's present? If so and I'm showing no bars and h+ blue, how do I actually have service to make calls? If that makes sense. Like with lte on older phones the data and service (cdma) indicator is separate. I'm relatively new to gsm do I apologize if this seems "obvious" per say.
Yup, they are different connections. I believe you'll see that on a CDMA phone that is on the edge of Evdo and 1x/RTT. The signal strength may go up when it drops back to 1x.

The same happens with Edge/HSPA. If you are on the edge of a decent HSPA signal, the meter will show no or one bars. When it falls off and switches down to Edge, it may be able to get an excellent signal for that. They aren't necessarily on the same frequency, so Edge will often be stronger. I think both ATT and TMo have Edge in the 850-900MHz ballpark? So it will have better in-building strength and whatnot.
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Old December 11th, 2012, 11:40 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Yup, they are different connections. I believe you'll see that on a CDMA phone that is on the edge of Evdo and 1x/RTT. The signal strength may go up when it drops back to 1x.

The same happens with Edge/HSPA. If you are on the edge of a decent HSPA signal, the meter will show no or one bars. When it falls off and switches down to Edge, it may be able to get an excellent signal for that. They aren't necessarily on the same frequency, so Edge will often be stronger. I think both ATT and TMo have Edge in the 850-900MHz ballpark? So it will have better in-building strength and whatnot.
Thats what I was thinking. Glad to see its confirmed. Thanks
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