Wifi or 3G - What is better for battery life?

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by BigMcGuire, May 4, 2010.

  1. BigMcGuire

    BigMcGuire Active Member

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    My friend and I are debating about whether or not WiFi or 3G uses more battery. I can't really seem to find this (yes, I searched).

    Personally, I'm always in range of WiFi and I use my phone a lot (but I also have Max 3G reception everywhere). Would it be better to leave WiFi on to save battery or use 3G?


    Info: WiFi has less range than 3G so you'd think it would be less battery usage, right? But does it transmit/receive more when you leave it on? I have my phone configured to keep the WiFi connection even though the phone is idle.
     
  2. blackjoker4215

    blackjoker4215 Member

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    I think I read that wifi uses less battery, but I could be mistaken.
     
  3. aaf709

    aaf709 Nice Guy Premium Member

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    Take a look at Wi-Fi Power - How Does Wi-Fi Use Affect Computer Battery Life and Power Needs? and iPad Wi-Fi Vs iPad 3G: Battery Life Compared - iPhone Hacks for some discussions on battery life.

    Remember, WiFi is a separate radio so in theory it will use more power, BUT if it's a good signal (compared to 3G) then it won't. However if it's a poor WiFi and a good 3G the it'll use more power. Also, even if WiFi is using more power, you're spending less time using it so it can save battery life.
     
  4. aminaked

    aminaked Silver Member

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    Keep wifi on, perhaps consider turning off "Notify me of open networks".

    Use 3G instead of wifi when you can to save your battery. Yes, closer antenna with wifi means less power needed. Faster transmission means less time, greater efficiency. Use it!
     
  5. butch350

    butch350 Member

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    To the Point

    In General (3G)
     
  6. tcrews

    tcrews Premium Member Premium Member Developer

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    It depends on signal quality.
    Where I work, inside the building Verizon 3G is nearly blocked completely. You'll bounce between very low 3G to 1x service and in some areas have no service. We have multiple Wireless Access Points throughout the building providing WiFi connectivity. My phone staying on WiFi all day (work hours) vs. trying to lock in on Verizon's 3G uses a significantly less amount of battery. I use Timeriffic and have a profile that turns on WiFi during my work hours (Mon-Fri 8:00am-4:30pm) and then I turn it on or off manually depending on where I'm at and what I'm doing.

    Definitely gives me longer battery life using Wifi.
     
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