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GSM 2G+3G ("WCDMA preferred") drains my battery over 5 times faster than exclusive 3G ("WCDMA Only")


Guest dogei22
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Guest dogei22

I guess this is heavily related to the surfaced 3G connection stability issues with the Nexus One, but using 3G on my N1 REALLY drains my battery even if I have a stable connection.

To save battery over night, I disabled the Wifi connection (making my 3G stay on over night with ~2 bars). I did this at about 1am with roughly 50-60% left and @ 7 am the battery died. I.e. in just 6 hours, the idle 3G connection ate over half of my battery. I happened to check the phone around 6am and it was actually rather warm, almost just as hot as it gets from re-charging. I did not have any other background apps running.

Also, my battery usage readings during today showed that Cell standby is one of the biggest battery hogs with about 30-40% drain. Looking into details, it shows that I had serious connection problems (37% disconnected) even if there are no signs of that with normal usage. With Wifi on, I see none of these problems, the N1 stays happy over night without any problems...

My HTC Hero I usually get a 20-25% battery drain over night (tested earlier for about 9 hours = ~2.5%/hour), while the N1 seems to suck about 10%/hour in idle mode with the 3G connection enabled. I might be in an area where 3G is not the strongest, but this is the first (smart)phone that actually has a real issue with that.

Anyone else with similar N1 3G experiences?

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UPDATE! Summary of battery performance using 2G and/or 3G ordered from best to worst (at my home, network conditions may change results significantly for anyone else):

Average battery drain / hour when phone is idle with screen off:

1) 3G exclusively, no Wifi (dial *#*#4636#*#* => Phone information => WCDMA only): 1.7% / hour

2) 2G only, no Wifi: 2.4% / hour

3) 2G only + Wifi On: 4.4% / hour

4) Standard shipping mode (WCDMA prefered, i.e. both 2G and 3G enabled, Wifi off): 10% / hour

Edited by dogei22
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Guest dogei22

Did the same tests with 2G enabled, the difference is huge!

I put the N1 phone idling on 2G (with WiFi off) over night in the exact same spot and it drained about <20% of the battery over 8 hours = ~2.4% hour. This is less that a quarter of the ~10%/h battery consumption during idle when the phone is on the 3G network (2 bars & WiFi off).

It seems like if you want longer battery life, you better stay away from 3G before HTC/Google issues an update to fix this.

Edited by dogei22
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Guest Mi|enko
Did the same tests with 2G enabled, the difference is huge!

I put the N1 phone idling on 2G (with WiFi off) over night in the exact same spot and it drained about <20% of the battery over 8 hours = ~2.4% hour. This is less that a quarter of the ~10%/h battery consumption during idle when the phone is on the 3G network (2 bars & WiFi off).

It seems like if you want longer battery life, you better stay away from 3G before HTC/Google issues an update to fix this.

What if you do the "fix" to enable 3G only and disable 2g completely, so it's not flapping?

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Guest dogei22

Good point! I'll try tonite.

Already dialed *#*#4636#*#* => Phone information => Select WCDMA Only and the 3G connection seems to be much more stable now as I now have a "0% time without signal" reading in the Battery usage stats.

On the other hand, I constantly get less throughput compared to my HTC Hero. Did comparisons in 3 different locations in the city using mobilespeedtest.com and I constantly get on average about 30-50% less downlink speed on the Nexus One. Also, the N1 DL speed fluctuates much more while the Hero seems to get more constant DL speeds from test to test.

Well, I guess it is old news that the N1 currently has 3G connection issues...

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Guest dogei22

Ok, 3G exclusive mode tested with very good results.

Same spot, idle over night, Wifi turned off, "3G Only" mode (see post above), battery drain was only 1.7% / hour!

This has a huge impact on the N1 battery life, of course it is completely dependent on the cellular network conditions so I can't say this is the case everywhere.

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Guest Chris Jenx
Do you have wifi at home? If you turn wifi on, does the battery usage decrease (since the phone won't need to initiated a 3G connection)?

Was looking at the battery usage on the phone and the Radio(2G 3G) on the phone, seems to drain the battery life the most. 50+% is allways used by the phone just trying to maintain signal.. Theres me thinking that Snap Dragon would kill the battery. but seems I was wrong lol.

Hoping the Radio update will resolve the issue. I am surprised Google haven't been quicker off the ball here. They may be trying to pack new features into the update but I would rather they just fixed the Radio issues then sent out another update later.

apart from that most of the time its pretty solid. I maintain better signal more of the time than my Hero.

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Guest Master_Ne0

Not sure if anyone else has noticed this, but the bug(s) is affecting WDCMA preferred and GSM only. GSM only does not seem to stay on 3G. I have been net monitoring and even with 2G only selected the nexus one still wandered over to 3G channels for calls and sms.

edit: Whats the news with the radio update? Is it avaible yet?

Edited by Master_Ne0
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