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The effects of network reception on battery life

The effects of network reception on battery life are very varied. They range from very good to absolutely terrible.

In this post, we are going to examine the effects of network reception on battery life, both good and bad.

On smartphones, both on iOS and Android, there are modems (or radios) that help them connect to cellular networks. The network modems vary based on the SoC used as well as the manufacturer.


Read: LTE and 5G modems on smartphones


The four major modem types are the Snapdragon X series modems, Mediatek Helio modems, Samsung Exynos modems and Kirin’s Balong modems.

These modems are grouped into different categories (cat.) based on how well they connect to the internet/network. For 4G LTE networks, a cat.15 modem will perform better than a cat.4 modem.

This will be evident as a phone with a cat.15 modem will browse the internet smoothly and take calls better even in bad network. On the other hand, a phone with a cat.4 modem will struggle to load webpages and the quality of calls will be terrible especially when the reception goes sour.


Read: 4G LTE categories – what do they mean?


If your phone has a lowly rated network modem, it may require a lot more power to receive adequate network reception. This power is going to be drawn from the battery. This will in turn have an adverse (bad) effect on battery life.

Such phones with weak modems (usually cat.4 and below), tend to struggle a lot when the network reception is below par.

When you live in a town or generally anywhere near a network tower, the reception tends to be very good. As a result, the network modem on your phone does not need a lot of battery power to function. Good network reception boosts battery life.

On the other hand, when the network reception is poor or when you are very faraway from a network tower, your network modem would need a lot more battery power to function. This is so as to maintain a good level of connectivity to a poor network. While this is quite necessary, it would in turn drastically drain the battery and affect battery life. This would also cause the phone to heat up really fast.

A lot of people do not recognize the effects of network reception on battery life. There are times when it seems as if your battery no longer lasts all of a sudden and without prior warning. The phone heats up on minimal use and webpages/app will not load. Many people usually turn to point accusing fingers at their phones, but the real culprit could be your network reception and your network provider.

If you are travelling or in-between cities, it would be best to set your device to flight mode, so as to save battery. If your network provider has fluctuating or unstable reception, you should probably ditch them for a better provider.


Read: How to check signal strength on your smartphone


You should also know how to check for network signal reception on your phone. This would help you recognize bad network reception and to either change your network provider or go into flight mode.


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