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Level 3: Gumshoe

Battery life question on a 4G network - HTC One XL

Hi all

 

I have been using a HTC One XL for the last month, and been feeling a bit underwhelmed by battery life compared to my iPhone 4. I am still getting about 16hrs in 4G/3G zones for a day though, so not shocking but at times my phone has died in the night when in a pure 4G area.

 

I have been playing around with the settings and installed Juicedefender, but as I read up more on 4G I've begun to realise how much of a battery eater 4G is, not because of the technology but because I believe Telstra (and just like many other US networks) operates 4G on active dual mode operation (3G & 4G continuous switching), which seems to take twice the battery life compared to a pure 3G mode.

 

Can I ask Telstra mods the following?

 

  • Is the dual mode operation assumption correct?
  • I get the H icon on my phone instead of 4G sometimes, is the H representative of a 3G network?
  • How do I turn off 4G on my phone when I want to conserve battery - and is there a widget to do this?

For those who are interested, the below is an article on LTE and battery life. This isn't a criticism against Telstra because I understand 4G is a brand new techonology, and dual operation is necessary until the whole country is on 4G.

 

Cheers

Sandeep

 

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What is LTE?
Enough about specs — what about battery life?

 

Now we lead to the part that most people care about: how it affects battery life. By itself, LTE devices should last roughly as long as their HSPA+ equivalents because of the optimized radios for both downlink and uplink operations. The reason why LTE devices right now eat batteries for breakfast is because the network operators are forcing these devices into active dual-mode operation.

 

For Verizon Wireless, this means that all of their LTE devices connect to both CDMA2000 and LTE simultaneously and stay connected to both. This means that you are eating twice the amount of battery for every minute you are connected than you would if you were connected only to CDMA2000 or LTE. Additionally, when you make calls on Verizon Wireless LTE phones, the CDMA2000 radio sucks down more power because you are talking. Sending and receiving text messages causes pulses of CDMA2000 activity, which cuts your battery life more. Arguably, constantly changing radio states could be worse for battery life than a switch into one mode for a period of time and switching back, so text messages may actually kill the batteries faster.

 

Then there is handover. Handover is the operation in which a device switches from one network to another or from one tower to another. Handover is the critical component that makes any cellular wireless network possible. Without handover, a user would have to manually select a new tower every time the user leaves the range of a tower. (WiFi is an example of a wireless network technology that doesn’t inherently support handover.) When the user travels outside the range of a WiFi network, the WiFi radio will just drop the connection. For cellular networks, this is even more critical because the range of a tower is not very predictable due to factors outside of anyone’s control (like the weather, etc.). LTE supports handover like all other cellular wireless networks, but it improves on it by doing it much faster when handing over to a supported type of network or cell.

 

However, Verizon is doing handover from LTE to EV-DO and back by plugging in a connection to an enhanced version of the EV-DO data network core called eHRPD. As discussed earlier, this isn’t a great solution by any means. It becomes more problematic when you consider that most LTE signals are very weak. Unfortunately, most customers have no idea because Verizon deceives them into believing it is stronger by using the EV-DO signal strength for the signal bars for LTE for all of their devices except the Galaxy Nexus.

 

The weak signal and the fragile link-up between EV-DO and LTE make handover occur a lot more than it is supposed to, which eats battery life even more. With AT&T using an HSPA+ network alongside LTE instead of CDMA2000, handover operation is a lot smoother. As far as battery life goes, it should be slightly better than Verizon LTE phones because LTE supports fast handover between UMTS and LTE. AT&T LTE phones are normally not forced into active dual-mode operation because HSPA+ lets you use data and talk at the same time. As a consequence, AT&T has no need to force the device into active dual-mode operation. However, battery life will still be pretty bad because LTE signals are still very weak in most AT&T LTE zones, and AT&T LTE devices default to connecting to LTE signals whenever possible.

 

 

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6 REPLIES 6
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Community Alumni (Retired)

Re: Battery life question on a 4G network - HTC One XL


sgrandhis wrote: 

Can I ask Telstra mods the following?

 

  • Is the dual mode operation assumption correct?
  • I get the H icon on my phone instead of 4G sometimes, is the H representative of a 3G network?
  • How do I turn off 4G on my phone when I want to conserve battery - and is there a widget to do this?

 

Cheers

Sandeep 



As this is a discussion forum, I hope you won't mind that I'm not a Moderator:

 

1 - I don't believe so, as when I used to handover my 4G LTE to a HSPA (NextG) connection it was done as any other handover.

2 - The H icon indicates either HSDPA or HSPA+ (Can't remember which)

3 - I'm not sure on the OneXL, however I know the Velocity had an option in the settings to do this.

 

B.

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Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: Battery life question on a 4G network - HTC One XL

I don't mind at all B!

So does the HSDPA or HSPA+ imply a 3G network?
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Level 22: Superhuman

Re: Battery life question on a 4G network - HTC One XL


sgrandhis wrote:
  • Is the dual mode operation assumption correct?

As far as I'm aware, the 4G/LTE network is not being used to carry mobile voice traffic, so in a Telstra 4G network coverage area both the UMTS and the LTE radios in your handset has to work concurrently (with each consuming battery power), to allow your handset to operate as a phone and receive or make voice calls.

——
Departed from CrowdSupport as of 12 June 2013, when the fun factor for me had finally completely evaporated with all the recent site layout and functionality changes, and the apparent efforts to turn a community goodwill-powered vehicle into something closer to a customer service channel.

The opinions and sentiments expressed above are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect Telstra's views or position. I work at Telstra, but my participation here is strictly in a personal capacity as a fellow Australian telecommunications services consumer, and you can safely assume you are not my customer, client, patron, benefactor or friend when I post in this forum.
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Level 15: Special Agent

Re: Battery life question on a 4G network - HTC One XL

Definitely correct,  4G for data and Next G for voice.

Windows Phone Enthusiast, Nokia Lumia 920, 1020 & 520, Microsoft Surface. Windows 8.1. Employed in Telecommunications industry.

I DO NOT work for Telstra, all views and opinions are my own and I do not represent any company whilst in this forum. Follow any advice I give at your own risk as I hold no liability if my advice is wrong.
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Community Alumni (Retired)

Re: Battery life question on a 4G network - HTC One XL

HSDPA and HSPA+ are 3G networks (in Australia at least). The US does refer to HSPA+ as 4G.

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Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: Battery life question on a 4G network - HTC One XL

Thanks for the replies. This confirms my thoughts and at least I know to turn off 4G in settings if I need to. Really interested to know however if anyone has come across a widget to do this? Telstra, this would be great if you had one!

Cheers

Sandeep

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