4G iPhone with flat battery

Do 4G phones drain battery life faster? Stay charged with these tips.

Ever since smartphones became the norm, most mobile users have acclimatised to recharging their handsets on a daily basis. Big screens, powerful processors and a wealth of different connectivity options can be a drain on the battery, but the main reason for all this recharging is that people are simply using their 4G phones more. While mobiles used to be for making the occasional call or sending a text, they are now hubs for web browsing, video streaming, music playback and gaming. So does 4G drain battery life faster and are there ways to avoid constantly worrying about when you will next be able to recharge your phone?

 

Battery Issues on 4G phones

There is no doubt that although 4G phones are generally quite well optimised, you will find that having this type of connectivity turned on will have an unavoidable impact on the battery life of your phone.

Obviously this varies from handset to handset, because battery sizes are all over the place, but the one consistent story from early adopters of 4G phones is that high end connectivity can be a bit of a drain.

It is worth pointing out that while standby times for 4G phones can be reduced if they are left turned on, the main reason for this sapping of battery life is down to the fact that 4G coverage is just not that prevalent. This means that when you enter an area that has yet to benefit from the 4G rollout, your phone will constantly be trying to find the nearest 4G network but to no avail. The same issue arises with 3G, although the impact is lessened because 3G coverage is obviously much more mature and widely available.

When it comes to downloading files, playing games or streaming video on a 4G phone, you will find that battery life is impacted just as much as you would imagine when carrying out this sort of activity on even a non-4G smartphone.

The battery size is again important in determining how long your handset can last before it needs to be returned to a charger, although there are plenty of other factors involved.

4G phones drain battery life faster - Lumia 1020

Improving Battery Life on a 4G Phone

Perhaps the simplest and bluntest way to make your 4G phone’s battery last longer is to turn off 4G networking when you are not using it. This is particularly relevant if you are in an area with patchy or no 4G coverage, since having it turned on will be pointless.

To preserve data allowance and maintain battery life, switch off 4G data when in range of a Wi-Fi network.

Another type of connectivity that you should turn off unless absolutely necessary is Bluetooth. A lot of smartphone owners rarely use this service, so keeping it disabled will further boost your battery life and 4G talk time potential.

The most extreme measure is to turn on airplane mode, since this disables all forms of connectivity at once. Certain phones will then allow you to turn them back on one at a time, so you could just keep Wi-Fi active for the ultimate battery life extension, although this is not going to be ideal for everyone.

If you want to keep using your phone to its full potential but extend the time between charges, then you can do things like reducing the amount of time that has to expire before your phone’s display goes into lock mode and cutting the brightness of the screen.

Various software processes can eat into your handset’s resources and also suck life out of the battery without you realising it, so remember to close apps once you have finished using them. You should even attempt to turn off your phone and remove the battery once a week to truly kill those background apps.

Having said all this, even the heaviest 4G phone user will find that modern handsets with this type of connectivity on board should be able to last a full day without needing to be recharged in the middle of it. The habitual nightly recharging of smartphones is widely accepted and the truly paranoid can always buy a backup battery, providing their device allows for user replacement.

Why not check out our pay monthly contracts on 4G phones?

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About Rob Hodges

Ever since I first played Sonic on a Sega Mega Drive back in the early 90's, it's fair to say I've been a fan of tech. These days, I enjoy writing about the latest smartphone releases. Currently owning an LG Nexus 4, feel free to ask me any questions related to Google and Android smartphones. Why not let me know your thoughts on the latest tech over at Google+?