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Wi-Fi pointless with good 3G connection?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by tsunamikitsune, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. tsunamikitsune

    Thread Starter

    After a week or two with my Droid, something just occurred to me. With Wi-Fi on, it's constantly searching for a signal when I'm away from one, right? Even though I have a perfectly fine 3G connection, it's still wasting my battery away.

    So, if my 3G connection is fine in most situations, is there really any point to having Wi-Fi on? I understand the usefulness of it if my 3G signal is bad, I want to get my phone on my home network, or if I don't have an unlimited data plan, but am I right that it's just a waste of battery outside of those situations?

    Leafgreen likes this.
  2. Ziani

    Ziani Android Expert

    yep...waste of battery....just put it on your home screen and toggle on and off as required.
    tsunamikitsune likes this.
  3. SoFLO

    SoFLO Guest

    Exactly. If I have solid 3G I won't use Wi-Fi however if I'm in a building like my college and get almost no signal then I turn on Wi-Fi. Pick and choose the places depending on the circumstances.
    Leafgreen likes this.
  4. Leafgreen

    Leafgreen Newbie

    This was exactly my question. Thanks for asking and answering. :)
  5. tcope

    tcope Well-Known Member

    For what it's worth... I don't have a data plan to I leave my Wifi on all of the time. If I use the phone for voice 20 minutes a day on average I can go at least 3 days without recharging. This is with WiFi connected about 90% of the day.
  6. tsunamikitsune

    Thread Starter

    Thanks for confirming my realization. I'm slowly learning how to be an efficient Droid user. :p
  7. Demache

    Demache Android Expert

    I only turn on Wifi at home, where the 3G signal isn't as good and its a lot faster. I've just made a habit of turning off wifi when I leave and turning it back on when I get home. It also supposedly takes less battery if you use wifi instead of 3G (which makes sense).
  8. tsunamikitsune

    Thread Starter

    I thought that, also, but how do I turn 3G off? Does it automatically turn off when I connect to Wi-Fi? Because I would often wake my phone from standby and notice the 3G logo appearing before the Wi-Fi icon kicks it out.

    Can anyone shine some light on this? What's the most efficient use of Wi-Fi and 3G?
  9. xmastree

    xmastree Member

    I think Demanche has the right idea. Turn off Wi-Fi when you're out of the house/office or wherever you use it.

    Another thought, my Magic has a setting to only use 2G networks, which apparently saves the battery. I guess it's slower though.
  10. bluenova

    bluenova OK Computer

    No Wi-Fi uses the most battery, then 3G/HSDPA, then GPRS/EDGE.
  11. Deleted User

    Deleted User Guest

    Wifi doesn't cost any extra, so there is that advantage.
  12. xmastree

    xmastree Member

    What about turning off the GPS receiver? That must be worth doing.
  13. Smg

    Smg Android Enthusiast

    Proof would be good because i seem to get the opposite infact i am nearly always near a Wifi point so i tend only to use Wifi when i need it the rest of the time i just use 2G because 3G seemed to kill my X10's battery i will try both out on the Galaxy S when i get it.

    Plus Wifi is faster than 3G so if you can use Wifi instead of 3G why not? I don't understand when people say i have a unlimited data plan so i might as well use 3G instead of my Wifi point? lol
  14. xmastree

    xmastree Member

    Unlimited data plan?
    I have an 'unlimited' data plan but it's limited to 25MB/day. I don't think any providers actually offer unlimited in the literal sense of the word. There's always a fair usage policy.
  15. Smg

    Smg Android Enthusiast

    Yes i know that but what i am saying is some people seem to use 3G just for the sake of they are paying for it on their contract so why not, But i am saying if your near a wifi point then why not use wifi it makes more sense to me?
  16. bluenova

    bluenova OK Computer

    I do use Wi-Fi at home ;).

    It could differ from phone to phone but certainly on the Hero Wi-Fi uses the most battery. Sorry I can't really offer any proof only my personal opinion of someone who uses Wi-Fi and mobile data in 3G and 2G.
  17. bluenova

    bluenova OK Computer

    GiffGaff offer true unlimited mobile data, there is no fair use policy the only restriction is no tethering. They are the only UK company I know of that do not have a fair use policy.
  18. takeshi

    takeshi Android Expert

    Depends on how your WiFi sleep policy is set. By default, no, it's not (WiFi inactive if the screen is off). And, as stated below, I've found that WiFi consumes far less of the battery for the same amount of data on the Droid. Not to mention it's generally faster.

    Try it out and see for yourself. You can't beat first hand experience with most things.

    Depends on who you ask. It's a highly subjective matter. I leave it on all the time and my battery life is great. On top of that, my WiFi is set to never sleep.

    Not in my experience. 3G certainly uses more battery on my Droid.

    Your GPS receiver is only going to drain the battery while it's actively used.

    If you have an app that periodically checks your location and have no ability to prevent the app from doing so, you might see some benefit from shutting the receiver off. However, like BT and WiFi, I leave GPS on all the time.
  19. Diesektor

    Diesektor Newbie

    If you turn on wifi would you need to turn off your 3G connection to conserve battery or does it just automatically use the wifi signal with it turned on?

    *Can anyone answer this please? I haven't been able to find a definitive answer with search and google. Also, If I do need to turn 3G off, I will still be able to make recieve calls/texts right?
  20. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants

    I use wifi at work/home. On a 20 meg down connection 5 meg up, it is hella faster. Especially when using my ftp apps.

    Tapatalk. Samsung Moment. Yep.
  21. Martin L

    Martin L Member

    My legend turns off 3G/2G automatically when it connects to wifi. Clever stuff, however the latest upgrade seems to not automatically turn it back on once I turn wifi off... :rolleyes:
  22. Chains

    Chains Lurker

    I use my phone exclusively with Wifi enabled, in fact it's on all the time with the attempt to kind of stress test the battery. With the recent purchase of the droid incredible, I've been making fring calls, and 100% pandora streams with heavy browser usage, mail, and ssh'ing to manage ESX boxes.

    I've gone a full day and a half before needing to recharge, and of which I needed to plug in the phone anyways to the laptop to move some vm files around with.

    If the understanding is that wifi takes up more battery life than 3G connectivity, why is it that the radio is being pushed with less distance to a router than it is to send voice/data to a cell tower miles away?
  23. TheSultan

    TheSultan Android Expert

    There is a lot of talk of carriers going to "tiered" or "buckets" of data use plans. If/When they begin doing that, watching your data usage on 3g (or 4G) will become much more important.

    Also, I can get on average about 7Mbs download speeds on my WIFI at home, and only about 3MBs download on 3g in the exact same location---so most of the time 3G is fine, but occasionally I'll switch over.

    As for watching usage, if you're interested, I use an app called "3g Watchdog" to show me how much I'm using the data network--interesting to see.
  24. Demache

    Demache Android Expert

    It actually should not be taking more battery life. The transmitter has far less power and therefore should not be consuming the battery nearly as fast.

    Sent from an HTC Eris

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