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General 802.11n vs 3G Battery Life

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by whitesoxwin, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. whitesoxwin

    whitesoxwin Newbie
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    Curious if anyone has any comment on how leaving the phone connected to a 802.11n wifi network (while at home or work for example) affects battery life. More battery drain vs 3G only, or less?

    I would think turning wifi off when not in range of a useable wifi network would help battery life, but maybe someone can comment on this too. Does leaving wifi on all the time make a big difference?
     

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  2. ZeroOveride

    ZeroOveride Member
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    So I can't comment on the difference specifically with the Droid X2 as I have spotty 3G coverage where I live, but can comment generally.

    Generally speaking, and with past experience with Android devices, WiFi takes more power than 3G. In the past I would get less life on WiFi then on 3G. Remember, even when using WiFi for data, you still have the cellular radio on so it can make phone calls, so you are not only powering the cellular radio but the WiFi as well. The more you have on the more power it takes.

    Now as for leaving WiFi on when not connected can cause power issues as well. When your not connected to a specific WiFi network and WiFi is left on, it is searching for a new or existing network. On most devices this uses more power than just staying idle on your existing network. So I would suggest killing WiFi when not in use.
     
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  3. Raw Dodge

    Raw Dodge Well-Known Member
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    I find wifi to use less battery than 3g....provided you are in an area with wifi....if you are in and out of areas with wifi,it will search for it every minute unless you turn it off,in this case the 3g is better,as it doesnt have to send out a signal every minute.In my house or at work wifi is much better.....this is my experience with the dx2,dx,dinc,and original droid over the last year and half...they all behaved the same .
     
  4. whitesoxwin

    whitesoxwin Newbie
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    So it seems theres some disagreement here. I wonder if with both 3G and wifi connected, but not much data usage, the battery drain might be a little higher simply because the two radios are being powered. If theres a significant amount of data usage, maybe the 3G radio draws more power than wifi would and using wifi in this scenario actually results in lower overall power draw?

    I think everyone agrees that when wifi isnt connected it should be disabled to keep it from searching for an available access point.
     
  5. Santamoose

    Santamoose Well-Known Member
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    As far as I know, both radios are powered at the same time when using wifi, however there is no 3G data connection while connected to a wifi connection, only the basic wireless connection used for text and voice.
     
  6. i_am_booked

    i_am_booked Well-Known Member
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    i seem to find that wifi uses slightly less battery. i stay on wifi at my house and only use 3g when i have to.
     

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