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Does mobile data drain the battery?General

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  1. JohnJSal

    JohnJSal Well-Known Member

    I know if applications are running in the background, then they will use the battery, but assuming no background data is being used, does simply having 3G/4G on use the battery?

    I always thought it did, but there's a message in the power saving section of the S4 that says enabling/disabling mobile data will not drain the battery.


  2. jhawkkw

    jhawkkw Chinchillin' Moderator

    Using the data radio has gotten more efficient than it use to be, but the data radio still uses more power than the wifi radio. As a result, leaving it on will use more power than leaving on wifi. This goes up the more data transferring going on as well as how the signal strength fluctuates. Bad signal will use up more battery, as well as CDMA/LTE Hybrid phones switching back and forth between those two radios.
    JohnJSal likes this.
  3. bobby2478

    bobby2478 Well-Known Member

    I've wondered the same thing. I know on all devices, if you have a weak signal and your 3G or 4G antenna is trying to connect this drains battery fast. And on my old device, 4G would kill battery much faster than 3G, and I had a toggle to turn mobile data (3G) on/off, and a separate toggle for 4G on/off.

    Now on Samsung, there is only a mobile data on/off toggle, but nothing specific to 4G. Maybe this is related to new carrier software that doesn't turn on your 4G radio, and thus doesn't have you search for a 4G signal, unless you are in a 4G area. If you are in a area with very weak or non existant 4G, it doesn't turn this on and as such isn't burning battery.
  4. JohnJSal

    JohnJSal Well-Known Member

    Thanks. So having mobile data on instead of turning it off still uses the battery?

    Again, I'm assuming no background data use, no signal fluctuations, etc. Just the simple fact of having mobile data active.
  5. jhawkkw

    jhawkkw Chinchillin' Moderator

    Correct, it will still use more battery than leaving it off just simply because they need to use juice to power it and keep it on. The extra drain might be minimal if signal is great and there is literally no data transferring going on because of how much more efficient these chips are compared to just 2 years ago.
    JohnJSal likes this.
  6. bobby2478

    bobby2478 Well-Known Member

    Your last sentence is exactly why I've been looking for a 4G data on/off toggle, and haven't been able to find one. Not sure however with the new chip design if you can enable/disable the 4G radio independent of the 3G radio, or if they are on the same chip meaning it's an all or nothing type of deal?
  7. JohnJSal

    JohnJSal Well-Known Member

    This is mainly why I asked, because for some reason my phone doesn't have a mobile data toggle at all!
  8. bobby2478

    bobby2478 Well-Known Member

    Are you sure? From your notification panel, tap the button to the right of the gear (looks like a box with 3 squares and a couple arrows inside it). This brings up expanded toggle options, and there you should see a mobile data on/off toggle

    EDIT: To clarify, I'm on a Sprint GS4 in the US, not sure if the availability of this option is different for other carriers and/or regions.
  9. jhawkkw

    jhawkkw Chinchillin' Moderator

    Yeah, it really is a curious move to remove this toggle.:confused: And if I remember correctly, it is unlikely the stock rom will be able to offer this feature. I remember that people wanted a widget or toggle on the Galaxy Nexus before 4.2 to quickly turn off mobile data, but couldn't do so because to do so require doing something that simply having root couldn't accomplish. Therefore the only way was to use a custom rom. :(
  10. JohnJSal

    JohnJSal Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I asked in another thread and apparently T-Mobile S4s don't have it. It's bizarre and hopefully they add it in an update.
  11. sincarafan

    sincarafan Well-Known Member

    I dont know if this will be useful for some, but if you use the juice defender app it will actually automatically turn off mobile data when your phone isnt being used and on when you need it. This helps with battery drain and I've noticed a difference.
    JohnJSal likes this.

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