With the start of activation of the 5G signal in Brazilian capitals, battery consumption due to the use of the new mobile Internet format raises suspicions among some users. So, Canaltech answers if it’s really worth leaving a 5G cell phone always on 4G to save power and other questions that are up in the air!
Does 5G use more battery?
In theory, 5G connections consume less power than 4G mobile networks. In some cases, 5G mobile internet can help save battery power for mobile devices.
This is due to the “rest time” that technology provides to smartphones. This term is used by engineers to refer to the efficiency of hardware components, such as processors, graphics cards, and Internet modems.
For a component to be considered effective, it must perform a task quickly and return to a low-power sleep state. However, if the part spends too much time performing an activity at maximum capacity, it will require higher power consumption.
By bringing this concept to mobile networks, modems for 5G connections download much faster than models that only support 4G. Then the component can use up a large amount of instantaneous energy and then return to its resting state only by working on weaker connections in the background.
However, prolonged use with a large consumption of data in gigabytes requires a higher power consumption of the cell phone. Factor that, obviously, to make the battery drain faster.
In any case, 5G is still considered more economical to run activities ten times faster than 4G and use “small bits” of energy. At the end of the day, this can help extend the use of your device’s battery.
What makes 5G technology consume so much battery?
At this time, when the 5G signal begins to activate in Brazil, poor coverage can affect the consumption of the cell phone battery. There are still a limited number of antennas operating at 3.5 GHz compared to the 4G broadband network, which operates at 2.3 GHz.
Smartphones, no matter if it’s 4G or 5G, are always looking to connect with the best signal. So when devices are in a low coverage area or completely outside, they tend to spend more energy searching for a network.
In such cases, using 5G can actually increase the power consumption of the device. Similarly, something similar will happen if the user is using a 4G connection in an area with no coverage.
Another reason is that with faster internet — and a potentially unlimited data plan — people are exploring using mobile phones more. For example, you don’t have to worry about watching videos or listening to music on streaming apps using the mobile network.
As mentioned before, high data consumption for a long time will make the modem work longer and consume more power. However, if a person returns to using the network “consciously”, as he used to use 4G, then there will not be much difference in energy consumption.
For this reason, some users mistake 5G connectivity as “evil” for the smartphone’s high power consumption. When in fact the real problem is all that 5G mobile internet allows, much faster.
Is it worth switching to 4G to save battery charge?
Before deciding to return a 5G phone to 4G, it is important to note the possible causes of high battery consumption. Could it be the fact that the user is in an area that still has limited 5G signal or is it an overuse of the internet?
In the first scenario, going back to using 4G might be the most cost-effective solution to device power consumption. This can be done easily in the settings of the Android and iOS systems.
If the battery is drained due to heavy consumption of data, it is worth rethinking the way a person uses the device and apps. A tip is to limit the number of apps that are running – especially those running in the background – and how much power they are consuming with each session connected to the mobile network.
5G will not always be the main cause of battery draining quickly, users should be aware of many other elements that interfere with power consumption. Don’t forget to share this content with others who may need this help!
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