3G vs 4G LTE Mobile Phones And Its Effect On Battery Life

3g 4g lte network

It shouldn’t come as a surprise when you notice your smartphone battery drains faster when you are browsing with 4G LTE.

In order to enjoy this feature, both the mobile network provider and the smartphone must have this feature. Not all mobile network providers have 4G LTE, hence you might not be able to use the network even if you are using a 4G phone.

LTE stands for Long Term Evolution which is the successor to the 3G network. It is up to 10times faster than the 3G network. 3G stands for Third Generation Network which is mostly present in all smartphones.

A major thing one should note is there are different kinds of 4G networks. Not all 4G networks are LTE, some are HSPA which stands for High-Speed Packet Access which is faster than 3G but not as faster as the 4G LTE.

In this post, the mystery behind smartphone battery draining faster when using the cellular network – 3G or 4G will be explained here.


Why Does 4G Drain So Much Battery Life?

Do you ever wonder why your smartphone heats up when you’re browsing or streaming with 4G LTE? Notice how this has a negative impact on your battery life.

Here are 4 important reasons why 4G network drains your smartphone batteries:

  1. If your smartphone is a 4G phone, this automatically means it comes with 2G and 3G too. Not every area has the 4G coverage hence, the power in which your smartphone switches from 4G to 3G on a constant basis trying to maintain a connection, therefore, needing more than required power. This happens when you moving from a 4G area to a 3G area or you reside in an area where the 4G network isn’t strong enough.
  2. Whenever you place a call on your smartphone, it switches from 4G to 3G because there is currently no 4G voice call service unless the voice is converted to data. In doing this, the smartphone requires more power to switch back and forth. This change of radio network drains the battery.
  3. Using a 4G phone in an area where there’s no 4G also drains the smartphone battery life faster. The radio network will continue to search for 4G network signal thereby requiring a lot of battery power.
  4. Most times when you are on the move, the need to stay connected will require your smartphone switching from one network tower to another which is known as handover. This puts a lot of  ‘pressure’ on the smartphone battery life thereby making it drain faster especially if you on a 4G LTE network.


What you can do about Constant battery drain

For most 4G smartphone users, you might have to charge your phone three to four times daily.

In order to get the best optimal use of your smartphone battery, disable wireless network when there is none available, this will stop your device from endless searching for wifi network to connect to.

Also, when not in range of any mobile network or data network, put your phone on airplane mode in order to stop it from endless signal search as this will drain the battery faster.

Another school of thought is connecting to wifi as the best option for battery optimization, which sometimes automatically shuts down 3G or 4G data network.

4G has the most effect on battery life because it consumes a large amount of power at a faster speed. 

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