Wifi vs 3g


Nov 21, 2011
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This is probably more of a general Android question...

I've always run wifi when I have it available, and use llama to automatically turn off mobile data when I connect to wifi. I assumed this would help with battery life, but in wondering if just ruining with 3g would be better.

So, my question is, which uses more battery...3g, or wifi?

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Wifi is a little more efficient than 3g. Not by much but trust me it is

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WiFi should save you battery life over 3G and doesn't count in your data usage.
Wifi uses alot more battery than 3g does. I've had android since the g1. Always used more battery over wifi. 4g is a different story though.

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It depends on certain situations. With 3G you have to reach a tower and it's going to use a lot of power trying to get a good signal. WiFi on the other hand doesn't have to. However. if WiFi is left on, it'll keep searching for a connection, which can drain the battery faster.

That being said, when I have access to WiFi I turn it on and use it. Otherwise WiFi is off.

Take a look at http://www.groovypost.com/howto/howto/turn-off-3g-data-android-saves-battery-life/ or http://androidforums.com/htc-droid-incredible/235235-3g-vs-wifi-battery-life.html or http://www.overclock.net/t/822998/wifi-vs-3g-strain-on-battery-life for some discussions on this.
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In my experience, wifi is significantly more efficient than 3G. That said, I have all my background data sync settings set pretty high, so your mileage may vary.

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Thanks for the info. I've been doing some testing, and it seems leaving both on when wifi is available is fine, and turning off wifi when away does drain faster than at home, but slower than leaving both on.

Also, my battery life seems to have improved significantly since I disabled llama. Maybe I was being too aggressive with my settings?

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