Wi-Fi vs. Mobile Data: Why Using 3G/4G/5G Drains Your Smartphone Battery Faster

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In today’s fast-paced world, staying connected to the internet is essential. With the advent of 3G, 4G, and most recently, 5G mobile data technology, we are able to enjoy faster speeds while connected. However, being able to use faster mobile Internet on your smartphone has its downside. One of the biggest drawbacks of using mobile data is that it drains your smartphone’s battery faster than Wi-Fi.

It is a technical fact: 3G drains battery faster than Wi-Fi. The same is true for 4G and 5G; they drain your battery faster than Wi-Fi. As such, if you want to conserve battery on your smartphone while enjoying broadband speeds, connect via Wi-Fi. If battery life is more important to you than speed, and you do not have a Wi-Fi hotspot available, change your mobile network connection from 3G to 2G. Your phone will connect via GPRS/EDGE, which is much slower than 3G, but you will experience much longer battery life.

If you must use mobile data or Internet, do note the following:

  • GPRS/EDGE gives the slowest speeds, and longest battery life
  • 3G (covers 3.5G and 3.75G) is much faster, but your battery will drain faster
  • 4G LTE (if your phone and network have this) will give you faster speeds than 3G, but will drain your battery even faster
  • 5G is the current fastest mobile data technology, and it drains your smartphone battery even much more than 4G does.

The rule is this with mobile network data: the faster you go, the more fuel you burn. Simple. But if you have WiFi available, it is your best shot at getting good speed without emptying your battery in a few hours.

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