WiFi or cellular internet for battery?

Discussion in 'hardware' started by ams963, Nov 26, 2013.

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  1. ams963

    ams963 Registered Member

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    Hi,

    Does using WiFi for internet drains mobile phone battery less quickly than using cellular internet network? I want to save my battery as much as I can.:)
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013
  2. Techwiz

    Techwiz Registered Member

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    Re: WiFi or cellular internet for batter?

    I've been going WiFi for my calls, texts, etc. Only time I switch to cellular is when I'm driving about and needs to be reachable. Both can be major battery drains under certain conditions, but generally WiFi is considered the bigger energy hog. Any time you are in a poorly covered area or obstacles cause interference with connecting, then network discovery becomes your enemy here. With Cellular, this means checking the coverage maps for your carrier in relationship to where you live, shop, work, etc. If you have gaps, your battery will drain in these areas faster. With wireless, your router indiscriminately broadcasts to any device that is listening. Likewise, laptops and desktops indiscriminately broadcast back a response. Most smartphones today include optimization options that control how often this activity occurs, thus you usually gain a few extra hours of usage. But your still draining your battery at a higher rate. In my real-world experience so far, wireless is the bigger hog, even with optimization. Disregarding battery life, WiFi is definitely the preferred (default) standard for high data transfer (updates, streaming video, etc.). So to be fair, WiFi is using more energy, but its also being asked to carry more of the weight. Since updating to Android 4.4, I have seen the gap between cellular and wireless reduce significantly, but cellular is still the most energy efficient option.
     
  3. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Re: WiFi or cellular internet for batter?

    Your cellular service is still connected and constantly sending and receiving data. When you enable Wifi, you enable an additional service a different transmitter and receiver. Therefore, Wifi puts an additional drain on the battery, but typically less on the budget.
     
  4. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    Re: WiFi or cellular internet for batter?

    Bill,

    Android disables cell data when Wifi connects, I would assume other phones do as well.

    Cheers, Nick
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2013
  5. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Oh? You sure? I ask because I know I have received calls and text messages on my Android phone while using Wifi. I believe others may be disappointed if they missed an important call when surfing the net. In airplane mode, you may be right, but I don't think so in normal mode.
     
  6. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    It only disables mobile data like 3G. Calls and text messages won't be affected of course.
     
  7. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Which to me means cell data is still enabled in wifi mode - thus still pulling from the battery.
     
  8. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    It really depends on the phone. The best way to find out is to try both.
     
  9. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    I think Nick meant specifically mobile internet use, e.g. you you can have mobile data disabled and you won't have any internet access (other than wifi if are connected) but you can still make and receive phones call and send and receive text messages. So basically when the phone is connected to wifi, then any internet access will solely use wifi.

    Having mobile data turned off along with wifi significantly improves battery life.
     
  10. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I agree with that, but I guess I consider "cell data" to include phone calls and text messages too. So "Android disables cell data when Wifi connects" does not seem right - to me. But that may be me not having a proper grasp of cell terminologies.
     
  11. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    Cell or mobile data generally refers specifically to internet use.
     
  12. treehouse786

    treehouse786 Registered Member

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    Bill is correct

    phone A has mobile services enabled.

    phone B has mobile services and WIFI enabled.

    even when enabling WIFI on phone B, it still ping's local cell towers for incoming calls/texts hence it has the same drain as phone A plus the additional ping's to the router.

    however, to answer the original posters question- it is more beneficial for battery life to browse the web using WIFI instead of mobile cell tower data as the additional ping's are offset by the more efficient delivery of data through WIFI

    source for iphone's, source for android's (scroll to full specs)

    to summarise;
    when the phone is not actively being used, it is more battery efficient to disable WIFI.
    when using a phone to browse the web, use WIFI as the method of transmission as it is more efficient than cell towers as evidenced by manufacturer stated average battery times (longer over WIFI)
     
  13. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    Any cellular data or Wi-Fi will destroy your battery because there are LOTS of apps that constantly checks for updates, messages, push notifications etc.

    That's what i've noticed with all of my smartphones, if i disable the data (Either Celluar or Wi-Fi) my battery lasts a LOT longer. :D
    Example: If i leave my phone overnight with the Data/Wi-Fi ON i lose around 8%-10% but if i disable both of them i only lose around 4%-5%.
     
  14. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    Heck any component turned on, even if doing nothing, uses up power. I don't currently have a data plan, so Smart WiFi Toggler works great.
     
  15. ams963

    ams963 Registered Member

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    Sorry forgot to mention. I use Nokia Lumia 520.

    I think this makes more sense. Thank you @treehouse786. :thumb:
     
  16. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Not to mention you are not using your minutes via wifi and the connection itself may be free (if using a free "hot spot", or already paid for (for example, if connecting to your home Internet via wifi).
     
  17. ams963

    ams963 Registered Member

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    Ah got it. WiFi is the way to go. Thanks.:thumb:
     
  18. ams963

    ams963 Registered Member

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    So to summarize:

    Less battery drain = phone with mobile services enabled + mobile data enabled OR phone with mobile services disabled + WiFi enabled

    Did I get this right?

    Is there even any option to disable mobile services whenever desired?
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013
  19. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    Do you mean call and texts when you are talking about mobile services?

    If that is the case the only way to do so it to put the phone in airplane mode. But, when you do that you can't have mobile data enabled, and also is somewhat pointless as you can't receive any calls.
     
  20. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    Nokia confirm that you use less battery power by using wifi instead of mobile data.

    http://www.nokia.com/in-en/support/...pic=GUID-DB7FD3C1-122C-43CE-8AFD-8034FC707A61

    However some phones which do use more power for wifi than for mobile data.
     
  21. ams963

    ams963 Registered Member

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    Yes that's what I mean.
    Oh I see. Thank you for explaining that.:)
    Ah okay got it. :)
     
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