Better Battery Life or Faster Internet?

As a very ardent user of mobile internet on my gadgets, I have always been faced with the dilemma of trading battery life for faster internet speeds or the other way round.

EDGE on my network is reasonably fast at my location, and so I default to that most times. The reality is that if I switch to the faster 3G service, my battery life will be instantaneously halved. I enjoy the speed that 3G offers, but switching to 3G on either of my two mobile phones will result in me looking for somewhere to charge before the day is over.

Even with the 2500 mAh battery that powers my Galaxy Note, browsing with 3G on will keep me online for about 4 hours after which I will begin to get the battery low notification. With the power situation that we have in the country, the only reasonable thing to do is to switch to 3G only when I really want to get something to load fast or in the case of a quick download.

As I compose this post, I’m still on EDGE so as to preserve my battery. If you use your mobile device to browse the internet, which do you use the more – EDGE or 3G?

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About the author

Emmanuel is a video blogger who shares his love of technology with the world. Check out his videos at Geekception.

15 comments on “Better Battery Life or Faster Internet?”

  1. keweno Reply

    I only use 3G when I have to download something urgently otherwise my phone is permanently on EDGE. I have decent EDGE speed on "hairtel" so it works fine for me.

  2. solaONI Reply

    I use my EDGE to reduce the number of times I have to charge my mobile each day or week and if i'm not streaming any stuff online or doing downloads or uploads, EDGE serves me well too.
    Downloads are so fast on the 3G or HSDPA but when your phone starts to get so hot and battery depletes in just couple of hours, you have to re-strategize and conserve power or batteryJuice.

  3. Emmanuel Olalere Reply

    @Keweno - I manage the EDGE on my Etisalat because i want to save battery. If battery life is not depleted so fast on 3G, I will always be on 3G.

  4. eye_bee_kay Reply

    Great that the site is back online.

    Except for downloading fairly big files, i hardly ever make use of 3G, as i do all i can to conserve battery power.

    For convenuence, i have a widget that makes it easy to switch network modes in three taps.

  5. Zsch Reply

    EDGE makes me wanna cuss in demon-speak. 3G zaps my battery like *snaps fingers*

    MTN can be pretty disappointing so I switch btw the 3G and EDGE even for browsing and my blackberry never fails to complain

  6. koweiszki Reply

    tis all thanks to d country we r in... where our 3g speed is d same as d phones edge ability. depends on d network e.g mtn & now zain can't b used without 3g, wen on glo tis edge except I wanna download fast.

  7. Efe Reply

    I mostly use my phone on 3G when there's power and I make sure it's plugged so that in case Power goes off my battery is full. If theres no power I rarely use my phone on 3G unless i have to do something really really important.

  8. micheal Reply

    am using airtel for now without 3g its useless mtn is down followed by glo only etisalat is reliable for me its speed against battery @mr mobility any update on capcom/starcomms merger so far

  9. Kunle Reply

    I'm always on edge except when am streaming or downloading apps. Etisalat edge is reliable to some extent at least for receiving mails and mobile browsing. How I wish edge was fully deployed in this country prior to the advent of 3G! ????

    • Mister Mo


      Well, EDGE was fully deployed. Almost every GSM operator that I know has full EDGE coverage on their network, and most was done before the deployment of 3G.

  10. olusheenor Reply

    i can count the number of times have used 3G on my phone in six months of usage. Sometimes i wonder why i bought a 3G phone. EDGE on etisalat and airtel os so mature in my area. If u are only surfing and doing social networks and small downloads no need for 3G

  11. belushi Reply

    I used to bother about leaving my phone on 3g. Now with 3,100amh battery, it's not an issue anymore. I use 3g anytime I want to browse. Our networks don't provide fast Internet connection on edge (only Etisalat is manageable). So I allow you the 3g kick in whenever I need to browse. I do switch back to edge when the phone will be in idle state(e.g while sleeping). Edge is good enough to connect chat apps and incoming emails.

  12. Zsch Reply

    The CAPCOM merger should be finalized asap cos Starcomms modem browses at the speed of a 90yrs old blind lady with Arthritis and a big bum running a marathon. Its appalling

  13. otobong Reply

    Well, EDGE is kinda poor where I stay, so I would be pretty much happy if I can get 3G where I am, I don't care if it drains my battery. All I want is the speed, who needs a slow internet by the way? Not me.


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