Does 3g on with no 3g service hurt battery life?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Eric8199, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. Eric8199 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2009
    So here's my deal. AT&T recently added 3G service near where I live. I generally only go to those areas on the weekends. Where I am during the week, it's Edge only.

    The way I've been handling this is, I only switch 3G on when I'm going to those areas, because I understand 3G uses more battery than Edge. However, is that the case if there is no 3G network? Would I use more battery by leaving 3G on when there is no 3G?

    It's not that difficult to switch it once a week or so, but if I don't have to, then I won't. Any insight on this?

  2. jmann macrumors 604


    Dec 8, 2007
    bump on a log in a hole in the bottom of the sea
    Yes it is going to marginally affect the battery life because the phone will be trying to search and connect to 3G signal. Turning the 3G off will prevent this and the phone will stay connected to edge. I would just turn it off when you aren't using it.
  3. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    What he said, but IDK about the "marginally affect" your battery life. I think it'll significantly affect your battery life to be searching for 3G when you don't have it.
  4. lollicup macrumors regular

    Aug 20, 2009

    you are turning on the 3G radio antenna which draws power

    whether it finds a 3g signal or not it will drain your battery a little bit
  5. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009
    Actually in my experience with all 3G phones I had including the Iphone, If you have a strong 3G signal it will not affect stand-by battery life much. But if your in a spotty area where you phone is constantly searching for 3G or going back and forth from 3G to Edge then you will notice a huge decrease in battery life even on stand-by.
  6. soLoredd macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2007
    Not only will battery life suffer when the phone is searching for a 3G signal, it also suffers when it is searching for an EDGE signal. I think this is where a lot the battery problems are coming from, in my opinion. I think the signal is getting lost or dropped and the phone is constantly polling to reconnect. I know this as fact because in my hospital, I lose signal in certain areas, and if I am there for an extended period of time (~2 hours or more) the battery drains exponentially quick. When I am in the ICU, which is on the top floor and gets full 3G reception, the battery lasts a lot longer.
  7. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    Leaving 3G on when I'm at home in the only part of town with crap to no 3G makes my battery charge sink faster than the Titanic.

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