WiFi saves over 4G data but uses more battery?

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

  1. tedankel
    Offline

    tedankel New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2011
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    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
    Offline

    b00mb00mchuck New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    0
    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
    Offline

    aaf709 Nice Guy Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,189
    Likes Received:
    49
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    So Cal
    It does have to do with signal strength. A poor signal will sap the battery faster whether it's WiFi or 4G.
  4. CurGeorge8
    Offline

    CurGeorge8 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    +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
    Offline

    huskur Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    Messages:
    1,868
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Lower Delaware
    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
    Offline

    aaf709 Nice Guy Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,189
    Likes Received:
    49
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    So Cal
    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
    Offline

    Dave12308 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    3,269
    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    0
    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
    Offline

    tkileh Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    Messages:
    258
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Denver Co
    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
    Offline

    Jungle King 76 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    Messages:
    929
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Back and forth between AZ and PA
    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
    Offline

    b00mb00mchuck New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    0
    8
    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
    Offline

    xmguy Active Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,072
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    RURAL TN
    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
    Offline

    thaDroidz New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    2,062
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    neptune
    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
    Offline

    aaf709 Nice Guy Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,189
    Likes Received:
    49
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    So Cal
    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
    Offline

    wilkster New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    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
    Offline

    nmos New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    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
  16. Dave12308
    Offline

    Dave12308 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    3,269
    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    0
    100Mbps theoretical. But that spec is useless, as we all know how Verizon is and there is no way they will allow us those kinds of speeds. If anything, over time our LTE experience will slow down because VZW is not exactly eager to add bandwidth to increase the capacity of their network.

    That being said, in day to day use assuming one is connected to a server that has enough bandwidth to saturate the connection, an internet connection that maxes out an 802.11g connection is going to be faster than a 4G connection.

    When I speak of a 30Mbps up/down, I am talking about consistent speedtest results that I can post a screenshot of, not just theoretical. You will see that 100% of the time, my wifi connection slaughters my 4G connection - UNLESS I happen to leave bluetooth on, which seems to kill wifi speed on the Bionic.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  17. aaf709
    Offline

    aaf709 Nice Guy Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,189
    Likes Received:
    49
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    So Cal
    Yeah, like the car analogy just saying 4G is at 100Mbps max and WiFi is at 54Mbps doesn't mean much as you'll see that ever. Who cares if your car can go 180mph if all you can do is 55mph (if you're lucky) because of traffic. In my case WiFi is 6.89 Mbs down & 2.2 Mbps up while 4G is 25.92 Mbps down & 14.79 Mbps up (on Speedtest.net). Great, but when I'm updating an app in the <gag> Play Store it's downloading at most 1.1 Mbps (I only use about 1 Gb of data per month [on unlimited] so I don't think I'm being throttled). Doesn't matter what's faster there.

    The OP was worried about battery draining. A bad signal, whether it's WiFi or 4G will sap power. With 4G always on I'm getting 20+ hours, which is more than I need in a day.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  18. hAHAha Halo
    Offline

    hAHAha Halo New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Not always true...
    Try an airport xD

    Anyways, I have strong 4G Speeds that sometimes surpasses my wifi.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using DroidForums
  19. ripper2860
    Offline

    ripper2860 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Messages:
    467
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Isn't the Bionic an N class wifi device operating in the "G" 2.4GHz spectrum? If so that gives it a theoretical of 150mbps over an N-based WiFi network. My Bionic maxes out at approx. 20mbps down with Internet based speed tests -- limited by my FIOS 20mbps down speed cap. Much faster than th 12mbps I get over 4G -- but then again, I am in a weak 4G area so mine is not representative of the best 4G can do.
  20. aaf709
    Offline

    aaf709 Nice Guy Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,189
    Likes Received:
    49
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    So Cal
    The Bionic is a 802.11 b/g/n and according to The WiFi standards - 802.11a/b/g/n | WiFi How To N can reach 300Mbps (on current devices) to 600Mbps (on future devices), but like you said YMMV (and will probably be far less). All these "Top Speed" claims are like seeing the top speed of a car at Bonneville. While going along at single-digit speeds on the freeway during rush hour that "Top Speed" doesn't mean much.

    On Speedtest.net I can see for 4G LTE:
    View attachment 49455

    And for WiFi I see:
    View attachment 49456

    But that's because I don't have WiFi at home and this is a free WiFi from the Public Library. Most "free" WiFi I've found are crippled so they won't even take the tests. I know that with a good secure (ie login required) connection it should be faster, but that's even going to vary from WiFi to WiFi as not all are sending at the same signal strength.

    Even so, when I'm on the <gag> Play Market, the download speeds are closer to 1.1 Mbps (sometimes going to 5.3 Mbps) so high speed doesn't mean much there.

    Which is faster isn't the point as the OP is saying that WiFi consumes more power with his Bionic. I'm putting that down to a weak signal as a weak signal, whatever you're using, will drain power faster than a good signal.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
Search tags for this page

does wifi drain battery faster than 4g

,

does wifi or 4g use more battery

,
does wifi or lte use more battery
,

does wifi use more battery

,

does wifi use more battery than 4g

,
is it better to use wifi or 4g
,

should i use wifi or 4g

,
using wifi instead of 4g
,

what drains battery faster wifi or 4g

,

what uses more battery wifi or 4g

,
what uses more power wifi or 4g
,
wifi vs 4g battery life