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Does leaving the GPS/Bluetooth on drain the battery?

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by Nupe1911, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. Nupe1911
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    Nupe1911 New Member

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    I have a question if i leave my bluetooth and or gps on but lets say the GPS is not in use and the Bluetooth isnt connected to anything, will it drain my battery noticably faster?
  2. DanDroids
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    DanDroids New Member

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    Yes and yes.
  3. taypotts
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    taypotts New Member

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    I would imagine that they would. More so your BT then GPS. I left my WiFi on once by accident and Droid wasn't happy about that.
  4. Nupe1911
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    Nupe1911 New Member

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    i figured so. thanks for the quick replies
  5. angryunibrow
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    angryunibrow New Member

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    I leave my GPS on all the time, does not drain my battery.

    Only time the GPS activates is when an app needs it (ex Google Maps)

    *shrugs* have left it on for weeks, and my battery life is incredible.
  6. Nupe1911
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    Nupe1911 New Member

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    would the same go for the WIFI i have my wifi on now and i dont see the icon at the top unless i actually connect to a network...
  7. angryunibrow
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    angryunibrow New Member

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    I do not leave the WIFI on, so I can not comment on that.
    I just leave the GPS on, but WIFI I believe would begin to "search" for a signal when you are out of range...this could drain the battery a lot.

    This is also the case with bluetooth.
    I believe it searches for devices when you are out of range of your own devices.
  8. dezymond
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    dezymond RS Lead Premium Member

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    lol yes.

    it's like leaving an extra feature on, it will use more battery.
  9. lemodular
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    lemodular New Member

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  10. dezymond
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    dezymond RS Lead Premium Member

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    lol honestly tests weren't necessary, just a bit of common sense....

    you're asking the phone to use another feature. sure gps doesn't use battery when it's not in use, but when it does it's heavy on the battery. Same with wifi, even if you're not using it, you have the capability on and as soon as you wake up the screen, it's gonna search for a signal.

    it's like playing music or watching a video. do they use more of the battery? you bet ya, running those two needs more use from the memory/cpu which means the battery is draining.

    just a bit of common sense people
  11. Martin030908
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    Martin030908 Super Moderator

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    i don't want big brother pin pointing me at all times... :icon_eek: hehe
  12. barryp3403
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    barryp3403 New Member

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    I leave bluetooth on all the time because I don't want to forget to put it on when I get into my car. In NY state using your cell phone while driving without a hands free device is illegal. It really uses fairly minimal power.
    Screen time is the major drain on my phone. I have the media doc and recharge my phone at night every night since it is now my alarm clock and sleep radio and the phone has never been below about 40 to 50% power. Maybe I am just a light user.
  13. hookbill
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    hookbill Premium Member Premium Member

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    Maybe I don't know what I'm doing but I've never found a way to turn GPS on or off. What I mean is when I use the car I press navigation and I see the GPS icon come on but once I navigate away from it the GPS icon disappears. I also don't see any battery use at all for GPS.

    What am I missing people? Still got lots to learn it's only been two weeks.
  14. timlitw
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    timlitw New Member

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    On my phone leaving having blue-tooth on is the difference between 2 -3 days before needing to charge or needing to charge after 6 - 8 hours.
    I also use Screebl to keep the screen on when using and have the screen timeout set to 15 seconds when I screebl notices that it is not in use.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  15. justicw
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    justicw New Member

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    wifi WILL drain your batt. It will constantly look for a wifi connection if it is left on (even if you don't see the wifi symble at the top). With wifi on my droid only lasts about 8 hrs. with it off it will last for 2 days. I leave my GPS on and BT off at all times. I have wifi on off app and turn it off when I don't want to use wifi.
  16. androidfreekz
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    androidfreekz New Member

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    This is the most accurate statement yet. To add further clarity to the subject, how the GPS receiver works is inherently different when compared to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. If you leave your GPS "enabled" it does absolutely nothing until needed. It will set there passively until an application registers a listener saying that it would like to start receiving GPS coordinates. You can tell if the GPS is running because you will see the satellite dish icon in your icon tray. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on the other hand are not passive. They continually look for available connections, hence the battery drain. Again, if you have GPS enabled and an application is not using it... no battery drain. Wi-fi or Bluetooth you will get battery drain. They work differently.
  17. Droids
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    Droids New Member

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    I leave my wifi on 24/7 and my battery does fine. That's because I'm usually in a wifi location, home or work. I have found that Bluetooth and GPS drains it faster. So I use the Power widget to turn BT and GPS off most of the time. The power widget is just a good thing to have on the home screen. You can do your own testing that way.
  18. Sleeve
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    Sleeve New Member

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    Try this. Leave Bluetooth on all day. Check the Battery Usage feature in Settings/About Phone.

    I leave mine on all day. I use bluetooth headphones for over an hour each day.

    Mediaserver typically uses more battery power playing the music I'm listening to than sending it to my headphones over bluetooth. Six percent for the tunes, 4% for BT. I can afford 4% for the convenience of having BT on when I want it.

    As you'd expect, and find in your own results, lighting the display takes the most juice. Since the 2.0.1 update, I've noticed a big drop in display power used based on the faster screen shut off when left locked. In the two weeks prior, I'd find my phone unlocked in my pocket because the keyboard shifted open slightly. One time, my home pages were rearranged and I was sending garbled text messages. I explained to my confused recipients that my Droid was disgruntled with being in my pocket. Brain the size of a planet, and all I do all day is bounce off his thigh...

    If you haven't stumbled into the Battery Usage feature, it's fairly amazing to be able to see feature-level AND app-level battery stats. Makes it pretty easy to spot a pig, and I'm sure developers are aware it exists.

    Wifi is going to actively scan for open hotspots and consume battery, but ONLY if your device is unlocked. Unlike an overcaffeinated co-worker, the wifi is not going to bother notifying your pocket lint that you're near a hotspot. It only activates a scan based on turning wifi on, unlocking the screen, and it probably checks for coarse location changes, jumping towers, as you drive/walk around but I have no way to know that, I'm only speculating. I've also never walked out of range of my wifi then back into range with my Droid locked and in my pocket to determine if it reconnects to wifi while locked or just quickly reconnects when I unlock it. Sorta have more interesting things to do...

    GPS, I never actually shut off so that it can be available when I open a GPS-using app. It actually is off most of the time. GPS is only really in use when the satellite icon with the green radio beams is visible. The rest of the time, it's sitting idle waiting for an app to ask for fine location. It consumes zero battery while idle.

    IMHO, a lot of care went into allowing these features to be enabled, but if you use your Droid a lot you'll likely find you can't afford the battery power for their added up effect of being on all day. That'll increase based on how often you have the screen unlocked and you're using your Droid. It's designed to assume that if you're interacting with it and you have BT and wifi on, you're interested in knowing about BT and wifi devices near you. That's going to use battery power.
  19. Martin030908
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    Martin030908 Super Moderator

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    Menu > Settings > Location & security settings > check/uncheck "Use GPS satellites"
  20. coolkidd
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    coolkidd New Member

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    Just so you know (if anyone asks)... Turning On the GPS, Bluetooth, Wifi, won't drain your battery if its plugged in! :)
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