What uses less battery - wifi or 3G?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by UKmacman, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. UKmacman macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2007
    As the question asks - for leaving on to get better push email what uses less battery - wifi or 3G?
  2. tobywuk macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2008
    i dont know which one uses but my imput is that wifi = faster web browsing so getting all your tasks done quicker than if you use 3g which would mean you wouldent have to have it activated for so long.
  3. quadgirl macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2006
    Well, Steve Jobs said that the reason the first iPhone didn't have 3G was that the 3G chips consume too much battery power. I'd agree with that. Do you know any 3G phones that will still have battery power after 1 day of normal use? No, but phones with wi-fi only will last longer.
  4. MisterEd macrumors 6502

    Jan 2, 2006
    From what I've learned since Launch day, leaving 3G on will drain your battery much faster than leaving Wifi on.
    Right now I'll only turn 3G on when I need it, and I leave Wifi on permanently.

  5. adrianr macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2008
  6. mavis macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
    Tokyo, Japan
    What if the only network available is 3G? Would it be better to just stick with 3G, or to use both 3G and wifi at the same time? I can't imagine having both enabled would help the battery ...
  7. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    Is 3G automatically cut off when you are connected to a WiFi?
  8. rablat macrumors 6502a


    Oct 8, 2007
    Classified NSA intel
    No it is not.
  9. Warpdrv macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2008
    The Phone just utilizes the more effective means of connecting....

    If you have WiFi available it will use that.
  10. elbirth macrumors 65816

    Jan 19, 2006
    North Carolina, US
    unless you're actively using it, I'd suggest turning off 3G. In comparison to web browsing on WiFi and 3G, I notice my battery meter fall much faster on 3G.

    Having said that, for me, 3G is a HUGE improvement in browsing speed compared to EDGE... a lot of people are complaining saying it's not a big enough difference, but for the 3G here, it's very close to my home WiFi connection, which is a 10Mbit (down) cable connection.
  11. Hardcoredan52 macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2008
    3G definitely takes more battery. I only turn on 3G or Wifi when I need it. My battery can last two to three days at times.
  12. meagain macrumors 68030

    Nov 18, 2006
    Rablat - are you very sure that when on Wifi, if 3g is on, it is 'doing something' and sucking the battery? It was my impression when on Wifi, 3g is essentially overridden and 'off'.

  13. Blackforge macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2008
    When your phone goes to sleep it shuts off Wi-Fi. You can watch it flip back when you wake the phone back up.
  14. UKmacman thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2007
    Thanks all, so it looks like wifi is better which is great - well for me anyway!
  15. ProMod macrumors 6502a

    Dec 29, 2005
  16. meagain macrumors 68030

    Nov 18, 2006
    I know - I'm questioning if 3g is running when on wifi. I don't think it is.
  17. Blackforge macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2008
    I'm pretty sure it still does as 3G is used for voice as well.
  18. Saladinos macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2008
    Both data and voice go through the 3G network (IIRC). WiFi only does data. Hence turning WiFi on will not disable 3G, even transparently, because you'd lose voice support.
  19. bubbagumpshrimp macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2008
    Yes, it offers better call clarity and sometimes better reception. Both of which is why I leave it on.
  20. meagain macrumors 68030

    Nov 18, 2006
    How does turning off 3g disable voice support. It doesn't. Course I probably mistook your post :)
  21. bubbagumpshrimp macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2008
    Straight from the apple site:
    "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."


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