Wifi on = Cell Signal Weak + Fast Battery Drain


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  1. avongil

    avongil Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    So I think I figured out why sometimes my Droid stays on for 1.5 days and sometimes after 6 hour of just being idle the battery is drained.

    When wifi is turned on an connected to a network, the cellular signal is way low and it just drains the battery.

    Is this happening to anyone else? Or should I get an exchange?
     

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  2. efdisaster

    efdisaster Well-Known Member

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    I thought maybe I just had worse signal at home or something, since this is the first day I've hung around here and used the phone a lot, but I'm definitely also noticing that once Wi-Fi connects, I have little to no cell signal... and the 1x/3g symbol disappears. I could've sworn I saw the Wi-Fi symbol and a 3g symbol next to each other the other day.

    Haven't really been paying too much attention to battery life, but if today proves to be noticably bad, I'll be with you on that point, too
     
  3. aaron19953

    aaron19953 Well-Known Member

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    When you connect to WiFi, your phones data connection stops so that you're only pulling data from one source.. so yes, your 3g or 1x icon will disappear..

    Second, Wifi (in my experience with WM phones) will ZAPP you battery quick..
    My touch pro would last maybe 3 hours with wifi on.. Not sure if it's the same on the droids though.

    -=< aaron >=-
     
  4. Freebyrd

    Freebyrd Active Member

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    Using the WIFI "on/off" widget will help with this. Just a quick touch and WIFI is on or off.
     
  5. efdisaster

    efdisaster Well-Known Member

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    more concerning to me than the battery drain is the fact that I have 3 or 4 bars of 3G signal with wi-fi off and one to no bars of "mystery signal" when I turn wi-fi on... I can't receive a call. I tested it.
     
  6. Dan_Droid

    Dan_Droid Banned

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    In my experience, my phone lasts 12-18 hours on a full charge with Wifi turned on, GPS turned off, and moderate to heavy data usage.

    Wifi uses less power than 3G in most cases because it is a less powerful signal and the transmitter doesn't have to transmit as far. When your wifi is on it is only transmitting a few hundred feet at most to your wifi router, whereas with 3G it has to transmit a mile or more to the nearest cell phone tower.

    Do you have GPS turned on? That drains the battery VERY quickly, especially if the Maps app is also running, because it is constantly updating your current position in the background.
     
  7. GorillaTheHutt

    GorillaTheHutt Well-Known Member

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    i leave wifi and gps on all the time, but only turn bluetooth on when i need it. i have wifi at home and work so during the day i'm pretty much always on wifi. i'd say i'm a moderate user of the phone in general. i never have a problem with it lasting a full day. i'm not trying to gloat, this is just so there's another point of comparison.
     
  8. avongil

    avongil Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Battery life is the lesser concern. I'm ok with 6-8 hours of life with wifi on. With it off, I get like 1.5 days, so I think this is more than acceptable. By the way, I think this is what most peoples battery issues stem from. Having wifi on and weakening the cell signal, thus draining the battery.



    The real usability issue is in low signal areas as pointed out by efdisaster. if you turn on wifi, then you cannot make phone calls.


    The big drawback of the Verizon network is that you cannot be on it's Data network and make a voice call at the same time. So, if you want to talk to someone and look up something on the Internet, you are out of luck unless you are in a high signal area AND have wifi. Quite the criteria that has to be met!

    Anyone else think this is a major disadvantage? Or dare I say... Design flaw?
     
  9. Dan_Droid

    Dan_Droid Banned

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    I'm not sure I understand what you mean. I have wifi on right now (and I have all day), and just a few minutes ago I made a phone call just fine. I also made several other calls earlier today while wifi was on. No problem at all. Of course I'm in a major city with several cell phone towers nearby, but I'm not sure why that would make a difference.

    I haven't noticed any significant decrease in my cell phone signal when my wifi is turned on. I also haven't seen anyone else talking about this issue. In fact, the wifi/3g signal thing doesn't even make sense. Aren't they two totally separate frequency bands and two totally separate radio transmitters (one for wifi and one for voice/3g)? Why would one affect the other? Are you sure your phone isn't just broken? Have you called Motorla/Verizon tech support or tried to exchange it wherever you bought it?
     
  10. avongil

    avongil Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Dan,

    That's one of my questions. Is anyone else experiencing this?
     
  11. Barbara

    Barbara Well-Known Member

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    I haven't had my wifi on all day but I have had it on for a couple of hours. My phone was charged to 100%, it's been on for almost 13 hours and it is at 40% battery left. I've done a lot of texting today and received some emails but I haven't done much else except look at things and check things anytime something comes up about the phone on this forum. Oh, and I downloaded the update for Golf Card.
     
  12. avongil

    avongil Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Do this:

    Note your signal cellular signal in settings.
    Turn on wifi and connect to a network.
    Note your cellular signal in settings.

    Im looking for some data on how much the cell signal drops when connected to a wireless network.

    We can talk all day about how long everyones phone lasts, and how great it works in scenario A through ZZZ. But to really know what's going on requires data. Your phone might work 90 % of the time, but the issue here is when there is a weak cell signal and your wifi is connected.
     
  13. gshocker

    gshocker Member

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    I generally leave the wifi on all the time as at the office and and home I have wifi. I am sitting at home where the signal usually hangs at 1 bar or no bars but I can still make and receive calls. I turned off the wifi and saw the signal shoot up to three bars. I am going to check into this as it is a bit strange I had not thought of that before. If I turn the wifi back on the signal drops again.
     
  14. Barbara

    Barbara Well-Known Member

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    It stays the same whether wifi is on or off.
     
  15. Barbara

    Barbara Well-Known Member

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    Look under Settings> About Phone> Status> Signal strength

    See if it changes in there.
     
  16. avongil

    avongil Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Example:

    Before Wifi = -81dBm on EvDo rev. A
    After Connected = -78dBm
    Delta = 4 - (more than 1.3 x stronger)


    --- Works just fine right here, right now.

    I'm going to test this in a known poor reception area, and see how the wifi affects the cell signal.
     
  17. Dan_Droid

    Dan_Droid Banned

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    With wifi OFF, my signal strength is fluctuating between -68 and -74 dBm.

    With wifi ON, my signal strength is fluctuating between -68 and -74 dBm.

    Not sure what those numbers mean exactly, but they look pretty similar to me ;)

    FYI, I'm almost exactly in the middle of the coverage area of two cell towers (one is about a mile to the northwest, and one is about a mile to the northeast). My phone frequently switches between them when I am at home, because I am on the edge of each of their overlapping service areas.
     
  18. avongil

    avongil Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Dan, its the power of the radio signal...

    dBm - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The lesser the number (these are very weak so they are negative...), the weaker the signal. So -100 is weaker than -60.

    I might be wrong, but I think in certain instances the Wifi is reducing the signal and killing the battery. Id really like to keep this thread alive for a little while an see what we come up with.
     
  19. Dan_Droid

    Dan_Droid Banned

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    I'm interested to see what you come up with. But from my experience, wifi seems to have no effect on voice calls or vice versa. I'm not sure what would cause that to happen since they are two totally different technologies. What area are you in? How far away from the nearest cell tower are you? How far away from your router are you when you use wifi? All these things can affect how quickly your phone loses its charge, but I'm not sure how or if it can affect your actual signal on either wifi or voice calls.

    If you aren't able to figure this out and keep having problems, I'd recommend you swap out your phone at wherever you bought it for a new one and see if that helps. You could just have a dud phone or battery. How long have you had your Droid?
     
  20. Clementine_3

    Clementine_3 Well-Known Member

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    I'm in a weak signal area, the very edge of decent coverage. I checked with no wifi and got -97/-98, turned wifi on and checked again and it was -97. Turned wifi off and checked again, -96.
    Also, what is "asu"? It's next to the dBm info? It's 0 if that is telling me anything.
    Oh, I forgot to add that I notice no huge battery drain when I do use wifi and can make/receive calls with no issue.
     
  21. avongil

    avongil Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    In Easton PA 12:53:

    Before Wifi = -86 dBm on EvDo rev. A
    After Connected = -87
    Delta = 4 - (negligible.)


    In Easton PA 12:45:

    Before Wifi = -86 dBm on EvDo rev. A
    After Connected = -93
    Delta = 4 - (more than 2x weaker.)

    ---


    The bars on the top, don't always correlate to the signal.

    What I have learned from this experiment. Absolutely nothing!!!

    Results are inconclusive. Turning on Wifi usually does weaken the reception of the cdma signal, but I cannot tell by how much. So I think this will only be an issue when the cdma signal is on the edge of acceptable.
     
  22. efdisaster

    efdisaster Well-Known Member

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    My numbers at home are about the same as your Easton numbers... somewhere in the -80s with wi-fi off and then somewhere in the -90s with it on...

    AND I totally agree that the "bars" don't seem to correlate, BUT they seem to be a better indicator of whether I can receive a call. One bar or none means the call won't connect 90% of the time.
     
  23. snorkel

    snorkel Active Member

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    From using my droid over the last two weeks I have noticed the following.

    The signal bars you see on the home screen are for 3g data only.
    when you turn on wifi the 3g indicator will go away and you will only see the
    signal strength for the voice which is 2g NOT 3g. Depending on where you are you might see more or less bars when wifi is enabled.

    Same thing happesn when you place a voice call, 3g indicator goes and you see signal strength for 2g voice.

    Verizon's marketing of 3g is very very deceptive, what they are not telling everyone is when you make a call it is not 3g! 3g is data only.

    I can sit in my living room and have full bars of 3g while browsing the web, then make a call and have 0 bars and very very poor call quality. The calls don't drop, but you end up say "What" and can you hear me?

    I guess it's possible that mine is defective, but I took it into the store and they looked it over and said it's fine.
     
  24. snorkel

    snorkel Active Member

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    That mystery signal is 2g. When wifi is on the bars show 2g signal strength.

    Exact same thing happens when you place a call, bars then show 2g.

    3g is data only NOT voice.

    On my droid, I will be sitting in the living room with 4 bars of 3g, place a call and bam....NO bars. Exact same thing happens when I turn on wifi.

    I am not totally sure, but I believe the droid has two cellular antennas, one for 3g data and one for 2g voice and the 2g one appears to be defective or less capable than the 3g one.
     

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