Does wifi use less energy than 3g?

Discussion in 'Droid RAZR' started by rdgxray, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. rdgxray

    rdgxray Member

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    Should I have smart actions turn on my wifi when at home? Will this use less battery? I usually only connect to my wifi if downloading or web surfing. Keep it off and on 3g most the time. If it makes sense to turn on wifi, will keeping smart actions active to turn wifi on and off causes some drain battery? Does it use gps to tell when you are home? Don't want gps on all the time. Anyone use smart actions to turn wifi on and off when changing locations? How does it work for you?

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  2. cece5702

    cece5702 Member

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    I use Smart Actions with Wi-Fi and it works great at saving battery.

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  3. Zandar

    Zandar Active Member

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    Wifi has to be on for locations with Smart Actions. Wifi does use less power than either 3G or 4G, but it drains battery if you leave it on when not in use because it will constantly search for a signal. Best bet is to turn it on when you're in range of wifi and turn it of all other times (use the power control widget).

    As for the GPS, I've found there's so little difference in power draw that it's not worth it to leave it off or set a Smart Action to disable it. I had no battery gain leaving it off, but it would take forever to get a fix those times when I needed to use navigation or some other such thing. In my opinion, leave the GPS antenna on. The same can't be said for wifi; leaving it on when it's not in use kills your battery.

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  4. Axium

    Axium Member

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    When you say not in use you mean not connected to a network yes? Or connected but idle in one..as in not downloading or netflix

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  5. guidot

    guidot Developer Relations
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    As in on but not connected to a wireless network.

    Sent from my XT862 + ICS
     
  6. FoxKat

    FoxKat Premium Member
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    Zandar is correct regarding power consumption of WIFI versus 3G or 4G based on my own evaluations as well. It is conceivable that if you have a poor WIFI signal and a good 3G, you may acutally use less power with the 3G than with the WIFI, but at the very least you may alos get better speeds with the 3G. Since 3G is on all the time, that may be one reason for NOT using WIFI in spots that the serivce is poor.

    But Zandar also makes one crucial point regarding Smart Actions location based actions in that they will not work without WIFI on, so I found a simple solution for those faced with that dilemma. Download and install Verizon WIFI Auto On. Then set locations on the Verizon app that have known WIFI available to you, such as "Home", "Work", "Starbucks", "Library", etc. Then when you are nearing or within range of those hotspots, Verizon WIFI Auto On will trigger WIFI for you.

    This will allow any Smart Actions that are location based to function normally, and since you can then be specific to create only location based actions that will operate in those hotspot zones, you will have effectively worked around that problem. When you leave those locations, a short time later the Auto On tool will turn WIFI off, conserving battery for you.

    For me it's cut the use of the battery considerably during the day when I am no where near a known hotspot.

    Finally, thank you Zandar for the very enlightening information regarding GPS. I wouldn't have drawn that conclusion myself and rather than testing I simply kept GPS off. Now with your advice I am going to give it a try for a few days and leave it running to see if it has any significant effect on my battery life. I would certainly rather leave it on all the time if I knew it wasn't a resource hog. ;)
     
    #6 FoxKat, Mar 3, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2012
  7. FoxKat

    FoxKat Premium Member
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    Correct, just on but not connected. Also it doesn't matter if its in range of WIFI or not. It's constantly looking for any new networks available. It can notify of new networks as they come into range so it therefore has to be searching for them all the time. This is what eats up power.
     
  8. Trash Can

    Trash Can Active Member

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    FWIW, I concur with Zandar. I leave my GPS on and do not notice any appreciable battery drain.
     
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