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Support Will using wifi actually save battery?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by cesjr02, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. cesjr02

    cesjr02 Android Enthusiast
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    Ok I'll admit it I've been watching Engadget's live blog of the iPhone 4 debut.

    Something interesting stuck out at me however. In one of the keynote slides, Jobs pointed out the iPhone actually gets better battery life while on wifi vs 3G.

    Normally I switch wifi off when I'm not using data, syncing will still access 3G when I'm at home and I'll do occasional browsing at home as well. Would I be better off accessing data using wifi when available rather than 3G?

    I guess a better way to pose the question is, does the 3G radio use more power then wifi?
     

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  2. TheBlackPrince

    TheBlackPrince Well-Known Member
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    Well with Wifi the processor has to process more data so it would use more power so I'm guessing that the Wifi radio would use much more power.
     
  3. 2hammy

    2hammy Lurker
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    wifi will actually use less battery power than 3g or 4g. the wifi is closer and does not require as much power to transmit. the cpu will do the same amount of work either way.
     
  4. cesjr02

    cesjr02 Android Enthusiast
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    My thoughts are this. While at home, if I'm connected to wifi my phone will not be constantly searching for a 3G signal, thus saving battery. However, once you're on the move it might be a good idea to switch off wifi so it won't use extra power searching for wifi hotspots.

    I might do some tests to see if I gain battery life or loose battery life using wifi at home vs 3G.

    Any other thoughts on this?
     
  5. lyons238

    lyons238 Android Enthusiast
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    WiFi seems to save power while at at home for me. My 3g signal isn't the best and pages take longer to load which I'm petty sure takes up more battery so I just stick with WiFi while at home and 3g while on the go.
     
  6. NeoteriX

    NeoteriX Android Expert
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    No need to guess. Wifi is confirmed to consume much less power than a 3G radio. If you have wifi coverage, use it.

    (this source is for Palm Pre, but the same holds true anywhere: Palm Support : Palm Pre Sprint - My battery drains quickly )

    TITCR. This guy is right.
     
  7. cesjr02

    cesjr02 Android Enthusiast
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    Would it be wise to leave the wifi toggled on all the time, or only when using it?
     
  8. IPvFletch

    IPvFletch Android Enthusiast
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    But if WiFi downloads that same data at 2-3x the speed, wouldn't you use less energy in the end? I dunno, maybe it's a wash?
     
  9. septro

    septro Well-Known Member
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    My battery usage for WiFi after leaving it on at home overnight was 2%.. I see no reason why you wouldn't leave it on. The Palm Pre was like that - it actually got better battery life with wifi left on all the time.
     
  10. p00kienrayray

    p00kienrayray Well-Known Member
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    only when using it. no need to turn your wifi on (and drain your battery) if you're not getting any wifi signal. good thing htc has the wifi toggle widget, makes it sooo much easier.

    I use the wifi and bluetooth toggle and turn them off whenever i'm not using it. that, in conjunction with turning off all the unused apps via ATK, my battery life has dramatically improved.
     
  11. Deathpickle

    Deathpickle Lurker
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    There's an app for that. Turns your WiFi on and off if your in range of a known network. I've been using it for 2 days now and seems to be saving me some battery while at work/home.

    Y5 - Battery Saver - Android app on AppBrain
     
  12. p00kienrayray

    p00kienrayray Well-Known Member
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    pretty cool app. but the toggle on my homescreen is just too easy.
     
  13. Covert_Death

    Covert_Death Android Expert
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    omg yall are dumb... Wi-Fi will save batter for heavy loads because it loads quicker, but it requires the most power run, so if your doing heavy stuff use it because it'll take a few seconds of heavy power drain vs. a few minutes or more of medium power drain. but for small stuff like loading basic web pages 3g will save you battery
     
  14. dmgoncalves

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    WiFi drastically saves battery compared with 3G because the radio is so much weaker. Think about it this way: The 3G radio broadcasts powerfully enough to reach a cell tower 15 miles away. The WiFi radio has a range of about 200 feet.

    However, the WiFi radio wastes power if you are not actually connected to a WiFi node. Therefore, it's best to turn it off when you leave a hot spot. You can use a utility like "Y5" to automatically toggle WiFi based upon your location.

    Aside: the #1 battery saver on my Droid 2 Global has been "Droid Overclock." I get over 19 hours on standby.
     
  15. Evulution

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    First, if you go under settings and uncheck the network notification box your phone won't just randomly search for WiFi hot spots.

    Second, you can walk around all day long with your WiFi and GPS radios on all day long. Your phone will drain at 1% an hour. If you have the network notification box unchecked you won't have any problems.

    Third, you can leave WiFi on all night long while its connected to WiFi. As long as you don't have any apps allowed to send/receive data in the background your phone will drain at 1% an hour.

    This stuff has been addressed here already:
    http://androidforums.com/evo-4g-tips-tricks/150799-battery-tweaks-htc-evo-4g.html
     
  16. Mr. Ed

    Mr. Ed Android Expert
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    Lol I gave up a long time ago. Let them turn it off. Someone (typically a sales person) told them to so they are going to do it anyway.

    As I have said before (not entirely sure why these old.threads get bumped)...if you bought the phone expecting days and days of standby your a goon. ......but you can achieve it by turning off all radios sync and background data.....a complete waste IMO but hey.....people have their priorities
     
  17. Palmetto Fellow

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    I stopped toggling my radios on and off trying to squeeze out an extra 3% battery life. IMHO, you aren't "enjoying" your phone if you are constantly turning things off and on all the time. That's just my opinion...and you know what they say about opinions.

    I leave my WiFi on all the time, and I leave my Bluetooth on as well. The only thing I do bother to toggle is 4G. I only use that if I am in a stationary position using up data. While driving, I've found that I drive in and out of 4G areas all the time, and this impacts data. Pandora sometimes skips a song, or just stops playing during the switch between 3G and 4G.

    It also helps to get a 3400mAh battery. All concerns about my power usage went out the window after getting one. That's the best $8 I ever spent ;)
     
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