Ask anybody, including the people working for your wireless provider “Why does 4G drain the battery so fast?”, and you’ll most likely get a response like, “It’s more powerful, so of course it uses more power.” Well, according to a post by ExtremeTech, that isn’t entirely true. It’s way more complex than that, and none of the reasons really have anything to do with the 4G technology itself.
- Currently, wireless providers such as Verizon Wireless have setup their 4G/LTE enabled devices to connect to both the 3G and 4G networks simultaneously. That means your phone is working twice as hard to maintain a connection, and therefore using twice as much power to maintain a connection.
- Whenever you make calls or send and recieve a text messages, the 3G radio has to pause. This changing of radio states causes an extreme strain on the battery.
- When you are traveling, your wireless device has to constantly switch towers to keep you connected to the network. This is called “handover”. With the way Verizon has things configured (LTE to EV-DO) the handover drains your battery faster than it would with a 4G/LTE only connection.
So really, 4G is not to blame for your phone needing a charge four times a day. It’s the archaic way the devices and network are configured. Off course, it’s probably configured that way for a reason none of us would understand. Anyway, read page 5 of the “What is LTE?” post over at ExtremeTech for a way more detailed (and awesome) description.