WiFi saves over 4G data but uses more battery?

Discussion in 'Motorola Droid Bionic' started by tedankel, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. tedankel

    tedankel Member

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    Please forgive this basic question but it seems while using WiFi I needn't worry about data download/upload volume. I think I do see more/faster drain on battery with WiFi instead of 4G. Which is usually the faster means of upload/download? Tend to go WiFi whenever possible but that seems to have greater cost on battery reserves. Inquiring minds...

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using DroidForums
     
  2. b00mb00mchuck

    b00mb00mchuck Member

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    This sounds backwards... wifi is no where near as fast as 4G... and if you have a good strong wifi signal you can see hours longer battery life while not using the battery sucking 4G radio... i use wifi all day at work and at home during the week... then on the weekends while i'm out traveling with the wife and i'm stuck on 4G i can really see the battery suffer... it's a huge difference
     
  3. aaf709

    aaf709 Nice Guy Premium Member

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    It does have to do with signal strength. A poor signal will sap the battery faster whether it's WiFi or 4G.
     
  4. CurGeorge8

    CurGeorge8 Member

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    +1 on this.

    Also, if you have the wi-fi radio on, but are not connected to a hotspot, that will drain your battery exceptionally fast. Your phone stays in full power mode searching for SSID's to grab onto. Turn wi-fi off when you aren't using it.
     
  5. huskur

    huskur Senior Member

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    4G is faster than wifi in most cases and I use 4G whenever possible. Thank god for the unlimited data.

    Anyway, the signal strength on 3G/4G make a big difference in battery drain.
     
  6. aaf709

    aaf709 Nice Guy Premium Member

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    In the OG Droid days it was the concensus that WiFi used less power. As the OG Droid was my first device with WiFi I was curious as WiFi uses a separate radio so if it's turned on how could that save power. It appeared that WiFi, being faster than 3G, used less power as you spent less time with data transmission. Again it boiled down to signal strenth. At the time I saw a site showing the frequencies 3G and WiFi used. They would start at a low frequency and if the signal was poor it went up to the next one. The higher the frequency the more power used.

    That being said, as I don't have WiFi at home I generally leave it off. I turn it on when I'm at a place that has WiFi, but only if it isn't crippled. Most "free" WiFi I've come across is only good for email and I can't even do a Google search. The Public Libraries have free WiFi that I can use to download large game files.
     
  7. Dave12308

    Dave12308 Silver Member

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    Wrong. Wifi speed is dependent on several variables, but in general a decent FIOS connection via anything faster than an 802.11b connection is going to be faster than the average LTE connection.

    For instance, my internet package is 30Mbps/30Mbps (Up/Down). This is a consistent speed for me. On a good day, my LTE connection MIGHT come close. But more often than not, it is significantly slower. And latency times are much higher.

    In the world of networking, however, statements such as "X connection is faster than Y connection" are seldom accurate.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  8. tkileh

    tkileh Member

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    Wifi for me usually saves me battery I use smart actions when wifi is on it turns data off. I have to turn it on for downloads of mms but that's about it.

    Maxxed Out!!!
     
  9. Jungle King 76

    Jungle King 76 Member

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    Agreed. At home my phone stays connected to wifi through my home internet and it is easily twice as fast as my 4g when i am away. Also battery life is much better for me at home on wifi. 4g will suck my battery dry.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Xparent Purple Tapatalk
     
  10. b00mb00mchuck

    b00mb00mchuck Member

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    Never seen such numbers... best i've seen my bionic do is 14 Mbps on wifi... that's on the phone speed test not just random sales numbers... and i was talking "in general" in my post... there are exceptions but 4G is the fastest thing we got in Hawaii and it's ALWAYS blazing fast and reliable and a battery sucker because the 4G radio uses more juice than the wifi... in general ... in normal good signal areas...

    What i said was not wrong ... it was my experience... and the writings of hundreds of other posts I've read since 4G radios started hitting the waves
     
  11. xmguy

    xmguy Active Member

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    I have the Maxx and with 4G on and medium data use I get about 9 hrs. If I keep my phone in 3G I see battery life of 28 and up hours. I don't keep my phone on Wi-Fi enough to have a baseline. But it should be on par with 3G use.

    Sent from my Motorola (Droid) Razr Maxx.. out in the boonies of TN while picking on a guitar!
     
  12. thaDroidz

    thaDroidz Silver Member

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    My home wifi is only 5mb down.. I am in a 3g area only so it stays on wifi. My work is in a 4g area but inside its spotty. Work's wifi is on par with 4g speeds so I just use the wifi there for a more constant connection.
    Anyhow I am mainly on wifi unless out and about then its still mainly 3g for me...
    24+ hours of battery ...

    ----posted maxx'ed out----
     
  13. aaf709

    aaf709 Nice Guy Premium Member

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    While I agree with your statements, according to 802.11g Speed - How Fast Is 802.11g Wi-Fi Networking? WiFi has a maximum of 54Mbps and according to 4G LTE Advanced Tutorial :: Radio-Electronics.Com 4G LTE has a maximum of 100Mbps. As others have said, YMMV, and will probably be far less. For example, I downloaded Dungeon Hunter II on WiFi and Dungeon Hunter III on 4G. Both files were about the 485mb and took about the same time to download.

    That being said, one factor is the site's ability to send (and receive) data. You may have a 30Mbps up and down, but if the site is giving it to you at 495Kbps a fast connection in meaningless. In that case even if you're at 1X it won't take long. It's like taking your car out to Bonneville and getting 180mph out of it. Does that mean if you live 15 miles from work it'll only take you 5 minutes? Nope, you have to get on to the freeway and with a commute it may take 30 minutes (and 45 minutes home because evening commute is the worst).

    So there are a lot of factors data coming to and from your phone. How good the signal is is one, and also how fast the site is on sending (and receiving) data is another. A good 3G can even beat a bad WiFi (and vice versa). And that signal strength helps determine how long the battery lasts (which is what the OP was concerned about). Since we don't live in the same area, we can't simply say, "Use WiFi (or 4G) and save energy."
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  14. wilkster

    wilkster New Member

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    One additional thing to consider is the round trip delay time, aka ping time. Wifi may seem considerably faster which make web pages load faster even with the connection same speed. YMMV.

    Sent from my Transformer TF101
     
  15. nmos

    nmos Member

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    The relitive effeciencies are going to depend on your usage. If your phone is idle then there's no question that 3g will use less power than WiFi (assuming a good signal) but I believe that the power consumed while downloading a 100Mb file will be less on WiFi.

    Sent from my ADR6425LVW using Tapatalk 2
     
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