Battery consumption - home network or 3G?


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  1. BobD

    BobD Member This Topic's Starter

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    I have a Motorola Droid with VZn. At home I can start up WiFi and connect to my home network. What I am wondering is if it is better to leave it connected with 3G or to connect the home network as it relates to battery consumption. Which one is easier on the battery?

    Bob D
     

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  2. obutto

    obutto Well-Known Member

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    I would say wifi. This is because the phone has to transmit signals to the VZ network, and this will be very hard on the battery. You are trying to transmit in far distances, rather than with wifi which is readily available in a short distance. Wifi will also transmit things faster putting less strain on the phone's battery

    Shitty explanation, but I hope you get some of the basic concept I tried to put out.
     
  3. vincentp

    vincentp Well-Known Member

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    From what I understand, WiFi actually drains the battery significantly more than using standard 3g connection. I'm not an expert on this or anything, just something I've heard many times.
     
  4. BobD

    BobD Member This Topic's Starter

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    I figured there might not be a consensus on this. I guess I'll stick with WiFi as I know I get quicker response, but I still can't tell if the battery is being sucked dry by this or not.
     
  5. darth_cholo

    darth_cholo Active Member

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    i wonder how leaving your wifi enabled when away from the network source affects battery life.
     
  6. colnago

    colnago Well-Known Member

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    I work from home, so I had a chance to use both WiFi and 3G a lot. From what I could remember, Wifi seemed less taxing, even when it was active, and the phone was mode. Conversely, at mom's for Thanksgiving, where phone was fighting for any type of signal, I burned through 80% of my charge, in 4 hours with no use, where my battery is usually good for 20-24 on light usage. I think its dependent on signal strength, irregardless of connection...just my theory.
     
  7. UncleMike

    UncleMike Well-Known Member

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    I have found that if I turn WiFi on at home, where my 3G connection is poor, and often drops to 1x, my battery (seems to) life improves. Which is better, or how much of a difference you'll really see depends on relative strength of your 3G and WiFi signals.

    I think it's pretty safe to say that in the absence of WiFi, leaving your WiFi enabled can only drain your battery faster than if it was disabled.
     
  8. minyangmao

    minyangmao Well-Known Member

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    I would vote that whatever the stronger signal is, stick with that, because it does seem that the key factor in battery-consumption is the "searching for signal" aspect of either 3G or wifi; thus if you're at home with a strong wi-fi signal and poor 3G signal , probably wifi. If BOTH signals are strong...well I have no clue =)
     
  9. BobD

    BobD Member This Topic's Starter

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    I wonder if there is an app that will kill the wifi if you get out of range on a particular one. In my case I would like it to kill the app as soon as I get away from my home network. I know that it switches to 3G once I leave the house, but I don't always remember to turn off WiFi.
    Bob D
     
  10. minyangmao

    minyangmao Well-Known Member

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    the app "Locale" does this based on where your GPS location is (home, versus not home, versus work)...but when I tried it on my Droid it really sucked at pinpointing where I was...
     
  11. addyct

    addyct Active Member

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    Wifi.
    If you have Wifi where you are, and you are going to be there more than a few minutes, connect to it. It uses less battery life, and (usually) is much faster than 3g.
     
  12. addyct

    addyct Active Member

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    When you enable and connect to Wifi, your phone will automatically disable the cell network data connection and drop the connection strength (which is why you will have full 3g connection, enable Wifi, and suddenly have 1 bar. Thats all you need).
     
  13. ctlongley

    ctlongley Member

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    This is actually the closest response to being right. The fact is that there are a number of considerations with regards to which is going to drain your battery faster. The biggest factor is exactly that mentioned above - how weak the signal is from the phone to the network, whether it be Verizon or an 802.11 access point. Weak signals means that the phone is often times having to retransmit significant portions of the transmission due to signal loss and as a result drains your battery.

    The mileage will vary for each phone under each circumstance - background services, link quality, and actual usage will ultimately determine how quickly your battery is going to drain. If you are having major issues, consider adjusting the time which your phone polls the network for new emails, updates, etc.

    And yes, I do have a background in telecommunications and RF propagation so I am not just making this stuff up.

    Cheers
     
  14. d1pham

    d1pham Well-Known Member

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    Wifi. Use the search function this has been covered before.
     

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