cell-towerI’m sure most of you have either gotten fed up or given up on minimizing the amount of time spent on my phone just so my battery would last all day. And I don’t mean an actual day, we’ve gotten accustomed to being happy with our phones when they survive a lowly workday. My Dell Venue Pro is equipped with a 1500mAh battery,which is one of the largest currently available for a Windows Phones at the moment, and yet I struggled to make it last until I was ready to sleep.

Last week I decided to see how much of an impact turning off 3G would have. As it turns out, the 3G chipset uses multitudes more power than it’s 2G counterpart. My typical day includes sending/receiving about 50sms(what text messages are supposed to be called), reading and/or responding to 30-50emails, 1-2hrs of music/podcast playback, 15-30mins in and out of assorted apps, and around 30-60mins of voice calls. I have only 1 email account set to push(all others are on manual), backlight is set to auto, and both WiFi and Bluetooth are disabled. On these settings with 3G enabled I averaged about 8-10hrs. With 3G disabled and no other settings changed, I averaged 10-20%(checked through the diagnostic menu) after 2 consecutive days of use.

This is a huge improvement. I easily got 3-4 times the battery life, and with the extra life remaining I don’t have to worry about using my phone too much. Worst case, I’m pretty sure I will always at least make it through an entire day.

This bring me to 4G and why it’s not for me. 4G uses more power than 3G, and that is already unacceptably power hungry. If i had a 4G phone I doubt I could go half a day without needing to recharge. Bringing a charger with me everywhere I go is not my idea of a mobile device. With 4G shaping up to be the next "gotta have" feature, batteries manufacturing companies are set to have a nice increase in business as people stock up on extra batteries to juice up their power hungry 4G devices. For me, I’ll gladly suffer slower data speeds in exchange for a 4 fold battery life increase. I could switch on 4G if I planned on doing some heavy downloading/uploading, but I will never again leave it on just incase.

12 COMMENTS

  1. I just ordered my Mugen 1800mAh battery for my mozart. The people leaving reviews on the site are talking about 24-48 hour charges with it. Bring back big batteries I reckon.

  2. as good as it is saving battery, there are also improvements in using 3G/4G, not only in data, but also in security. i’ve read a report saying that the use of 3G is far more secure than 2G. just saying…

  3. @Ali: I completely agree we need bigger batteries, but there are size restrictions. I think 1500mAh is a good size already, 2000mAh batteries will start to get bulky and that’s only a 25% boost over my current 1500mAh.
    @soundman: I have no heard about the improved security features, although it sounds plausible. Any chance you could provide a link? I would love to learn more about this if true!

  4. Ah, the joy that is T-mobile. They only have Edge in my area, so I don’t worry about 3G battery drain.

  5. My Samsung Omnia 7 lasts for 2 days if I don’t use it for viewing videos or playing games and that is using the 3G+ reception that I get in the UK.

    P.S. I think you mean “Couldn’t Care Less About 4G” not could.

  6. Now if only I had a switch on my Focus to disable 3G instead of just turning off all data. What idiot decided to turn off that simple but useful feature?!?

  7. Do you mean you *couldn’t* care less about 4G? If you *could* care less, that means you care somewhat now – surely you meant you *don’t* care now, therefore you *couldn’t* care less…

    This mad (il)logic is rampant in US English. Odd that Aussies, Canuks and Limeys don’t use it.

  8. @Pedant:

    In U.S. colloquial speak, the terms are interchangeable. Agreed, “could care less” is misleading if taken verbatim.

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