Wireless Use and Battery Life


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  1. toasty

    toasty Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I've seen conflicting posts on here regarding how keeping the wireless active impacts your battery, with some suggesting that it drains the battery by constantly searching for and changing wireless networks, and others suggesting that it saves you battery to the extent that wireless uses less juice/processing power than the mobile data network (or something like that).

    Can anyone shed any light on which is accurate?

    Thanks.
     

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  2. LBPHeretic

    LBPHeretic Well-Known Member

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    From what I have read and witnessed on my own, using the Wi-Fi radio uses less battery power than using the 3G mobile data radio. I even noticed that my Sprint HTC Hero is noticeably cooler to the touch when using only Wi-Fi and not 3G mobile data.

    For what it is worth, I still keep my 3G mobile data radio on all the time unless I am in an area where the signal is horrendous or I just want to use the Wi-Fi radio for faster data speeds. From what I have researched, keeping the Wi-Fi radio on even while the handset is idle is better for battery life than letting it turn off. Again, this is most likely because when the Wi-Fi radio is on the 3G mobile data radio is off, so it is using less power. If the Wi-Fi radio shuts off while your handset is idle, then the 3G mobile data radio will turn back on again and resume the battery drain.
     
  3. Joehunni

    Joehunni Well-Known Member

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    From what I understand, using wifi uses less battery than using wireless network. On the flip side, having wifi turned on, I believe, will eat more battery when not connected as it is constantly searching for wifi signal. I use the stock toggle for wireless network to turn it off when i'm not using my phone.
     
  4. toasty

    toasty Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    OK, thanks for the info. So if I'm on WiFi, do I need to actually turn off the mobile data radio to see any benefit, then?
     
  5. Joehunni

    Joehunni Well-Known Member

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    I would, I just turn it off anyways when i'm not using it to save battery.
     
  6. LBPHeretic

    LBPHeretic Well-Known Member

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    My understanding is that when you are using the Wi-Fi radio, the 3G mobile data radio will automatically shut off. I guess I could be wrong. Does anyone know if you have to explicitly turn off the 3G mobile data radio? I am pretty sure it is either one or the other.

    By the way, Joehunni, when I say leaving the Wi-Fi radio on even when the handset is idle, I mean that when you are already connected to a Wi-Fi network. I did not mean that it should be left on if there are no Wi-Fi networks present to connect to. That would definitely be a waste of battery life. Thanks for helping me to clarify that though.
     
  7. toasty

    toasty Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    if the mobile network is turned off and you're not connected to a wifi network, do you still get things like text messages, email, etc. that use data?
     
  8. LBPHeretic

    LBPHeretic Well-Known Member

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    I am pretty sure text messages do not use mobile data, so you should still receive them. If you are sending or receiving a picture message it might not work when you are using the Wi-Fi radio. I forget if Sprint/HTC fixed that issue. They might have in Android 2.1.

    E-mail, and everything else should work fine using the Wi-Fi radio. These apps do not discriminate between Wi-Fi based data and mobile based data.
     
  9. Hemlox

    Hemlox Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure you would have to have one or the other on to recieve any kind of data.
     
  10. toasty

    toasty Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Yeah, that's my assumption as well. Problem is that I pass through dozens of wireless networks over the course of a day. If I've got to turn off WiFi and turn on the mobile network every time I leave a hotspot, I'm not going to be able to get anything accomplished. :)

    I guess the ideal would be to have it use WiFi when available (with mobile network off), and turn on the mobile network when necessary. Will look into whether that's something that can be done (or that is already happening when WiFi is active) and report back here. Of course, if anyone knows the answer to that question, let us all know.

    Thanks for the input, all.
     
  11. Joehunni

    Joehunni Well-Known Member

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    yeah, and no you don't need to be on mobile network or wifi to receive messages or calls.
     
  12. glen4cindy

    glen4cindy Well-Known Member

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    I generally leave my WiFi radio ON at work and at home, even though at work I don't have access to the WiFi, and I've not noticed any negative impact on battery life. I generally take the phone off of charge at 7am and return it to charge at 11PM with 30% remaining.

    I never turn off the mobile data, I let the phone handle that as it needs to.
     

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