Advice on iPhone 4 2G vs 3G battery life

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by JulianL, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. JulianL macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    London, UK
    #1
    Has anyone done any battery comparisons when using the iPhone 4 on 3G vs 2G?

    Looking at the official Apple iPhone 4 specs they quote 14 hours of talk time on 2G but only 7 hours on 3G which is a huge difference (a bigger difference between 2G and 3G than I've noticed in the specs of any other phone) but for standby time Apple only quote a single figure of 300 hours but doesn't specify whether that is 2G or 3G. (I should mention that all these figures are "Up to ...".)

    I like to maximise my battery life so for all my previous phones I've kept the network locked to 2G since I believe it uses less power. Since I now have a data plan it would be much more convenient to be on 3G but I'm a bit worried because I consider my current battery life to be acceptable but it wouldn't take a big drop for me to find it a limitation. The thing is that I use the phone very little for voice calls so the real cellphone use is going to be 99% standby and I'm wondering whether 3G is much harder on the battery than 2G when not actively making calls.

    Can anyone offer any real life experiences on this or does everyone here leave the phone on 3G all the time?

    - Julian
     
  2. 5683592 Suspended

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #2
    I used to always leave 3G on, never really thought anything of it. As of late though I have been turning 3G off and 2G on when I'm not doing any heavy surfing or what not.

    My friend constantly does this...and well I don't think I have ever seen his phone die - and we use our phones a pretty equal amount.
     
  3. JulianL thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    London, UK
    #3
    Thanks Kazels. It's not really the answer I wanted to hear of course, but I think it's right. I probably can't escape the reality that 3G just uses more power.

    I really wish that Apple would expose APIs for developers to manipulate the radio settings because then I'm sure that apps would appear that offered a single tap to toggle between 2G and 3G which would make it a very minor thing to do this sort of manual power management technique.

    - Julian
     
  4. Megalobyte macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Location:
    Florida
    #4
    When I'm home I'm connected to my wifi network so I keep 3G off, when I leave the house I turn 3G on and wifi off, just seems sensible to me.
     
  5. SouthBeachMac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2010
    #5
    Do you really think that switching from 3G to WiFi really conserves battery life? The idea had never really occurred to me...I just assumed that each of the radio connections would use about an equal amount of battery life..but would reconsider that if it was true that Wifi used less or much less than 3G...
     
  6. JulianL thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    London, UK
    #6
    Apple specs (http://www.apple.com/iphone/specs.html) say up to 6 hours internet use on 3G and 10 hours on WiFi. I'm sure those are both under idealised conditions but the ratios probably hold good in most cases so the strategy of switching to WiFi at home is very probably a good one. I do the same in that I tend to have WiFi on at home and switch it off when I go out.

    - Julian
     
  7. maddux2005 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    #7
    Those are about right. However 10 hours of wifi means just that. Nothing else. No text/calls/Bluetooth/nothing. Just surfing the web. So it's actually gonna be around the 7-9 barrier.

    That's what I generally get. Which I feel is fantastic. That included gaming etc. Can't complain with 7-9 hours of actual "usage".
     
  8. Megalobyte macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Location:
    Florida
    #8
    In my experience with all of the iphones, 3G is the battery killer, whether it's talking to someone on the phone using it, or, web surfing, especially if you're downloading or uploading a lot, like for example, the first day or 2 I had my 4, like the nutjob I am, I was doing tons of speedtests with 3G to see if my 3G speed was good, and it killed my usage times, once I got over that, and toned it down to a reasonable amount, it was much better.
     
  9. Tom G. macrumors 68000

    Tom G.

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Location:
    Champaign/Urbana Illinois
    #9
    I carry a charger with me & a cable. The charger kit I made up has a car charger and the wall plug and cable that came with the unit. I can now recharge whenever & wherever I need. In the car I plug into the Aux power receptacle when using GPS as it prevents the battery from being run down.

    Actually the battery life and quick recharge time on the iPhone 4 make it much easier to keep the phone charged.

    I'm really enjoying my iPhone 4.
     
  10. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020

    ToroidalZeus

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #10
    According to Apple you get about twice as much battery life on 2G and I would agree with that.
     

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