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How to Save Battery Life on Your Android Phone by Disabling 3G

Android - Disable 3G to save battery lifeWhile the screen may be the biggest power hog on most mobile devices out there, the runner-up would have to be data connectivity.  Over the past week I’ve been running some tests on my Android phone, the results were just as you’d guess.  With the data connection disabled, standby battery life nearly tripled; the life was even slight prolonged while running videos and games!  To get these results, all you have to do is disable 3G when you aren’t using it.

If you are running Android 2.2 (Froyo), toggling the 3G network connection for your phone is quick and simple.  You can significantly improve battery life, with the only catch being that you’ll need to reconnect before you check emails or your Google Voice.  If your home, work, or car has a WiFi connection then you can always set your phone to connect to that as well.  I’ve found that the WiFi connection uses about half as much battery as the 3G one.

Here are some important things to note about turning off your 3G data connection:

  • You will still receive phone calls and text messages normally.  (This includes forwarded Google Voice messages and calls, the app itself won’t work without data.)
  • You can still connect to WiFi instead and save battery while maintaining full functionality.
  • Your phone will take about 5 seconds to reconnect to the 3G network.

I’ve found that I really don’t need the 3G connection to be constantly enabled.  In fact, now I keep the 3G connection off the majority of the time.  When I’m using my phone, or actually able to use my phone (not driving, sleeping, eating, or in a social function…) it is a piece of cake to enable the 3G network again and instantly have the internet back in my hands. 

Ready to give it a shot?  There are two different ways to disable the 3G connection on an Android phone, but this feature didn’t come in until version 2.2 (Froyo).  If you have an Android phone updated to Froyo or higher, read on!

Method 1

While your phone is turned on, Press and Hold down the Power button.press and hold the power button to access the android menu

A small Window should pop-up titled Phone options.  From this menu, Tap the Data network mode button so that it says that “Data network mode deactivated.”  Upon doing this, the data icon next to your reception bars should disappear.

android 3g phone options disabled

 

Method 2

While on your Homescreen, Press the menu button on the outside of your phone and open up the Settings app

Within settings, Tap Wireless and network.

android settings buttonandroid wireless and network settings

Next Tap Mobile networks.

Under Mobile network settings, Tap 3G Data so that it remains unchecked.

mobile networks options for androidandroid 3g data disabled

Done!

Now your phone should have it’s 3G data connection severed.  To reconnect, just repeat the above steps and switch it back on.  This was super easy, and will make your battery last up to 3 times longer.  Plus, disabling the 3G network gets rid of those annoying ads that pop-up while you’re playing Angry Birds.

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5 Responses to How to Save Battery Life on Your Android Phone by Disabling 3G

  1. shockersh March 29, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    I’ve found my battery will go 3 days on my iPhone if I disable:

    1 – Bluetooth
    2 – 3G
    3 – Wifi
    4 – Location Services

    and if I need one of them, I just flip it on quickly and turn it off when done. Battery bliss!

  2. dimples April 2, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    How to on droid 2?????help please bkuz wen I go to mobile networks it only gives me the option of automatic or home

    • grooveDexter April 2, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

      @dimples,
      It isn’t as easy to do on the Droid 2. You’ll have to either download an app that does it or edit some advanced settings. APN Switch is an app that might work, but I’ll tell you what settings to change also.

      To manually turn off 3G on the Droid 2:
      1. Enter the phone app and Dial: *#*#INFO#*#*
      2. Scroll down to “Set Preferred network type”
      3. Set it to “CDMA only.”
      4. Press the back button to exit

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