Wifi vs 3G

Discussion in 'iPhone 4S Forum' started by WLF218, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. WLF218
    Offline

    WLF218 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I usually use wifi at home on my iPhone 4s. Sometimes, though, everything goes real slow over wifi (at certain times of the day something seems to interfere with our wifi - even on the computer). When that happens I switch my phone to 3G and everything goes much faster. I use my phone a lot and am always trying to conserve battery life. I can't seem to find an answer: does using 3G drain the battery faster than using wifi? Or does it make no difference? Thank you.
  2. Skull One
    Offline

    Skull One Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Messages:
    4,393
    Likes Received:
    480
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Earth
    Yes, 3G uses more battery than WiFi. While I can't say exactly how much on the iPhone because they don't expose enough information, when I ran my tests in Android 3G used 36% more power than WiFi.
  3. iHolophyte
    Offline

    iHolophyte Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,425
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    Does it really?
    Whys that? Pulling in more power presumably for 3G services?


    iHolophyte
  4. Skull One
    Offline

    Skull One Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Messages:
    4,393
    Likes Received:
    480
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Earth
    3G uses a radio that has to transmit between .25 and 1 watt depending on several factors such as line of sight, distance, frequency and materials being penetrated. That power is way above WiFi usage. WiFi can only broadcast to a range of a few thousand feet legally. 3G can transmit past 5 miles. Since most people have the WiFi station within a few hundred feet, you only need about 1/4th the power of 3G for sustained data transfer.
  5. maka
    Offline

    maka New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Delaware
    wrong... remember that on the iphone 4s you do not have the option to turn off 3g. So when your connected to wifi your phone still have 3g service running in the background so your using twice as much battery consumption. I know for a fact because Im home most of the day and on wifi and my battery drains fast when im not even on it.
  6. Skull One
    Offline

    Skull One Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Messages:
    4,393
    Likes Received:
    480
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Earth
    How to clear up your misconception and very bad information you have derived from your observed fact.

    1) I specifically stated "sustained data transfer". Which is key to the persons question and makes my answer 100% spot on.

    2) Your iPhone is probably in a bad reception area and is constantly upping the power needed to stay in contact with the cell tower. This has NOTHING to do with 3G data. This feature is in EVERY cell phone ever made. And is your culprit for battery drain. And you can look that fact up.
  7. prawns
    Offline

    prawns New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Estimated battery Life according to my Battery App on a iPhone4 (with a 100% charge)

    Standby = 300hours

    Internet Browsing
    WIFI = 9hours 4minutes
    3G = 8hours 9 minutes


    Talk Time
    2G = 14 hours
    3G =7 hours

    For other stuff if your curious
    2d Games = 3hours 37mins
    3d Games = 2hours 16mins
    Reading = 13 hours 36mins
    GPS navigating = 1hour 48mins
    Video Chat = 2hours 51mins
    Photo Takeing = 6hours 21mins
    Video Recording =3hours 37mins
  8. Skull One
    Offline

    Skull One Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Messages:
    4,393
    Likes Received:
    480
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Earth
    Those numbers are from Apple's published data and are done under optimal conditions. IE their standby time is wrong if you compare it to 50% of the iPhone 4 users out there. Because standby is affected by several factors with the biggest being the dBm loss and subsequent power increase on the cell radio to maintain contact with the cell tower.
  9. prawns
    Offline

    prawns New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    yep tell me about it - Im in a fringe reception area and my phone is constantly fighting for a cell signal which affects my battery life :(

    From apple webpage on tips to save battery:
    "Turn off Wi-Fi: If you rarely use Wi-Fi, you can turn it off to save power. Go to Settings > Wi-Fi and set Wi-Fi to Off. Note that if you frequently use your iPhone to browse the web, battery life may be improved by using Wi-Fi instead of cellular data networks."

    Tends to agree with you mate - Cell signal uses more battery than a WIFI signal according to apple as well - and I definatly agree on your cell signal affecting battery life as well (mine keeps losing and reaquiring a cell signal at home and this seems to use alot more battery with it constantly struggling - i get better battery life at work where I have a good cell signal and its not dropping out intermittently)

    Like you say - I aint getting nowhere near 300hours standby (thats a laughable stat I think for me at least - theoretical calculations based on optimal conditiions I bet)
  10. Skull One
    Offline

    Skull One Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Messages:
    4,393
    Likes Received:
    480
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Earth
    The only reason they post that is due to one VERY SMALL reason. Every time you come out of standby, the very first thing the iPhone does is spin up the WiFi chip and search for any known routers. That power draw is measurable and if you come out of standby say 50 times in a day without hitting a known router it can add up for no payout in 3G savings later on.
  11. prawns
    Offline

    prawns New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yep I think they listed every tip they could think of lols - Even to the extent of turning off your sound Equaliser to save that little bit extra.

    I should of included the link I quoted from (sorry) so here it is
    Apple - Batteries - iPhone

    I have "ask to join networks" turned off in my iphone settings - It still auto connects to my home WIFI automatically and hopefully it saves that little bit of battery drain from WIFI trying to find a unknown connection every time I turn my phone on as well....? (settings-->wifi---->down the bottom)

    Edit - Apples testing procedures are here http://www.apple.com/iphone/battery.html
    I notice they also turned off "ask to join networks" to prolong the battery lols - everything youve said sofar stacks up nicely with apples claims too mate (including that lots and lots of factors like signal strength etc may affect the claimed battery life they state)
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2012
  12. Skull One
    Offline

    Skull One Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Messages:
    4,393
    Likes Received:
    480
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Earth
    Yes, turning off "Ask to Join" is a good thing for battery savings while leaving WiFi on. That saves the iPhone from querying each router, in range, for its protection scheme.
    • Like Like x 2
  13. prawns
    Offline

    prawns New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Cheers muchly for you informed information :)
  14. Skull One
    Offline

    Skull One Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Messages:
    4,393
    Likes Received:
    480
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Earth
    Anytime.
  15. maka
    Offline

    maka New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Delaware
    See the thing is even connected to wifi when I send texts it still uses te cellular data. I noticed that because I keep track of my data on my phone.
  16. zuluwhiskeyfox
    Offline

    zuluwhiskeyfox New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2011
    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    my understanding is texting is sent and received on the phone side of things. while the wifi is on the Internet side. one has nothing to do with the other.
  17. maka
    Offline

    maka New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Delaware
    I know it doesn't use wifi to send and receive texts... Might wanna reread what I previously wrote
  18. Skull One
    Offline

    Skull One Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Messages:
    4,393
    Likes Received:
    480
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Earth
    If you are showing usage on your DATA side for a SMS text, then you have much bigger issues than battery life. Only MMS can use data and if you are on an unlimited texting plan, you shouldn't be showing any data usage on your final bill for them. If you aren't on an unlimited texting plan and showing data usage for a SMS text then you are sending texts that are longer than 160 characters (which the iPhone converts to MMS because it fits in the 1000 character specification).

Share This Page