3G vs WiFi when at home - which uses less power?

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  1. nstallion

    nstallion Well-Known Member

    There was a similar thread on this but it got no real answer. I'm just wondering which uses less power when not really doing anything, idling I guess you could call it. The only data being transferred would be incoming email and whatever other background data traffic might be going on.

  2. brettlewis

    brettlewis Well-Known Member

    When you have wifi available, use wifi. It will use less power, It is faster, and it wont use your data.
  3. alm

    alm New Member

    brettlewis, is this true?

    I purposely did not charge my phone last night. When I went to bed it had 40% battery left. I had wifi on, and when I woke up today the battery had 15% remaining. This was only about 8 hours of idle time. I don't think the battery should be used up that quickly while doing nothing (no syncing, all apps closed).

    I had guessed this was because I left wifi on. I'm going to try this again tonight and turn off wifi to see how the battery is used overnight.

    Anyone else have any thoughts on this?
  4. westside

    westside Well-Known Member

    I've observed wi-fi is much more efficient on the battery. Went most of the day at home on wifi last weekend with very little discharge.

  5. brettlewis

    brettlewis Well-Known Member

    Yes, wifi is much more efficient. You may Of had other processes on. Was you screen left on? Maybe try to turn down your brightness.
  6. famac!

    famac! Well-Known Member

    Verizon's 3G network is fast enough for web browsing that i have no need to switch to WiFi. I stay on 3G constantly.
  7. brettlewis

    brettlewis Well-Known Member

    Infacft wifi has first priority. If there is wifi available 3g willturn off to save power
  8. wsbsteven

    wsbsteven Well-Known Member

    Not sure it does that to save power but more likely to save Verizon money by having less usage as well as wifi is in most cases faster.
  9. CRPercodani

    CRPercodani OFWGKTA VIP Member

    If you have wifi on it might but it is not good to keep it on when no wifi networks are available. But wifi does use way less battery then 3G so if you have it, use it.
  10. eclipsed4utoo

    eclipsed4utoo Well-Known Member

    my wireless network at home is about 8x faster than 3G(2000 kbps(Verizon) vs. 17000 kbps(me)). that's the main reason I use wifi at home over 3G.
  11. mswhite60

    mswhite60 Well-Known Member

    When you turn on WiFi, do you have to do anything to tell the phone to not use 3G while WiFi is on? Pardon me if this is posted elsewhere, but the answer might be handy in this thread.

    Thanks -

  12. eclipsed4utoo

    eclipsed4utoo Well-Known Member

    from my observations, no. When I turn on wifi, the icon seems to take the place of the 3G icon. So maybe the phone only allows one on at a time?
  13. jer.lawrence

    jer.lawrence Well-Known Member

    Thanks for this thread, I'm shocked to know that. I would have thought that the Wi-Fi used MORE power, and so I always turn it off at night.

    I, too, have the 30Mbps/5Mbps FIOS at home, so I'd much rather be using that anyway.
  14. marcdurham

    marcdurham New Member

    I bet 3G uses more power because it's got to transmit further, WiFi will only go a few hundred feet but 3G goes all the way to a cell tower. So it's little transmitter needs more power to transmit.
  15. brettlewis

    brettlewis Well-Known Member

    If you have wifi use it. It iis not dwitched to save verizon money, its switched to save you money. 3g takes out of your data and the overages are killer. Point is, wifi is fast, will save you power, and will save you money
  16. eclipsed4utoo

    eclipsed4utoo Well-Known Member

    for those with the unlimited data plan(which I am sure most people got), does it really save us money?
  17. CRPercodani

    CRPercodani OFWGKTA VIP Member

    You have to get the "unlimited" plan, they don't offer any plans with certain amounts of data.
  18. famac!

    famac! Well-Known Member

    If all you are doing is web browsing and the occasional download, you will never come close to the 5GB cap of Verizon's "unlimited" plan. Personally for me, there is no need for WiFi. Browsing is super fast on 3G so i just have WiFi turned off permanently.
  19. mswhite60

    mswhite60 Well-Known Member

    The do have limited data plans. I have one. :( It was an employer decision, but when I blasted through the limit on day one we saw how silly it is.

    Changing that today.
  20. quixand

    quixand Well-Known Member

    That's not true.
  21. quixand

    quixand Well-Known Member

    Again, you're wrong.

    The unlimited phone plan is just that, unlimited. The 5G "limit" you heard about is specifically for TETHERING ONLY.
  22. ginigma

    ginigma Well-Known Member

    If someone wants to do a test, turn on WiFi and 3G and leave the phone sitting around doing nothing for a long time. Then go and check the Battery Use and see what uses more (Wifi or Cell Standby). That should be a good indication of what uses more power.

    I'd do it, but I don't think I can leave my Droid alone for a long time without using it. :rolleyes:
  23. wsbsteven

    wsbsteven Well-Known Member

    I'm going to do a test. I'll run pandora for an hour on a fully charged battery then recharge and do it with 3G. I know the sample size is kinda small but maybe it will produce some kind of result.
  24. aquastorm

    aquastorm Well-Known Member

    From my experience and this is true with most phones as well as the Droid WiFi is much more battery hungry than 3G. Reason being that a WiFi connection is active at all times even when you aren't streaming anything a 3G connection is less battery intensive when it is actively streaming content.
  25. wsbsteven

    wsbsteven Well-Known Member

    Part one of the test is done. Here are the usage stats after 1hour of Pandora One streaming with the volume on the lowest audible setting over wireless:

    Top 5 Battery Users
    Mediaserver 58%
    Wi-fi 20%
    Phone Idle 8%
    Cell Standby 6%
    Android OS 3%

    90% Battery Remaining

    Part Two of the test. Here are the usage stats after 1hour of Pandora One streaming with the volume on the lowest audible setting over 3G:

    Top 5 Battery Users

    Mediaserver 72%
    Phone Idle 10%
    Cell Standby 8%
    Android OS 4%
    Pandora 2%

    90% Battery Remaining

    Just as I expected, I need a larger sample size but so far it seems like 3G is better on the battery. A 4% increase in Phone Idle/Cell Standby with 3G but the Wifi used 20% more. The thing is, 20% more of what? I don't know how many mAH were used so I need a larger sample to get a more accurate result.

    I'll see if I can get a 4 hour sample tomorrow. I can't go much over that as Pandora will time out after 5 hours and I don't want an interruption.

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