Cell phone without battery? 5G is to blame, says Ookla study

According to a recent study carried out by Ookla, the use of fifth generation mobile networks, commonly known as 5G, causes exacerbated battery consumption in the mobile phone. More specifically, we will have 11% higher consumption in 5G compared to 4G LTE mobile networks.

For users, this means a greater need to charge the phone, and few models last more than a day of normal use. The transition to the new 5G network standard has exposed this problem, which keeps us more connected to the plug.

The 5G connection consumes 11% more battery than 4G LTE

5G Android Smartphone

The study was carried out by the American company oklaentity dedicated to the analysis of mobile networks and the Internet, providing various testing and comparison services.

Now, the same entity found the difference in energy consumption between 4G LTE and 5G mobile networks, pointing to an 11% increase in this metric.

It is important to emphasize that this information is not exactly new. By the way, we’ve known for a few years now that 5G consumes more battery than previous network standards. However, this comparison now gives us an analytical look at exactly how much is at stake.

At the same time, we also have new generation processors such as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, optimizing this same consumption, presenting itself as one of the most efficient chipsets. Even so, even in this case, the consumption in 5G will be higher than in other mobile networks.

Power consumption skyrockets up to 31% on 5G mobile networks

5G mobile networks
The chart compares battery usage on different processors with 5G and 4G LTE. credit: ookla

Taking Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 as an example, Ookla compared power consumption figures between 4G LTE and 5G mobile networks. Secondly, Google’s Tensor G2 processor was also taken into account, finding the biggest difference there.

Indeed, when connecting to 5G mobile networks, Google’s processor has a “jump” to 40% in energy consumption, compared to 29% calculated when connecting to 4G LTE mobile networks. In other words, we have an 11% increase in energy expenditure in 5G mobile networks.

The study also points to differences in energy consumption in processors such as the MediaTek Dimensity 9200, the top of the range, with a consumption of 34% in 4G LTE networks and 45% in 5G.

In summary, not all processors have the same problem when connected to the latest mobile networks, but it is safe to say that all processors will consume more power in this network pattern.

Fortunately, with each new generation of processors, the efficiency of this connection is gradually improving.

Data from Speedtest Intelligence finds that 5G usage drains smartphone batteries faster than 4G-LTE, with consumption increasing from 6% to 11%. Learn more about battery drain and which chipset vendors are driving efficiency gains: pic.twitter.com/r0zln2pXuW

— Ookla Speedtest (@Speedtest) July 5, 2023

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