Jump to content

Sprint LTE and battery life


Recommended Posts

In the cincinnati area finally hearing rumors of lte deployment.  Please tell me if my layman's understanding is anywhere near reality:

 

I have had 4-5 wimax phones over the past few years as I tried to find one that could make it 12 hours on one charge.  Always avoided new ones as they are LTE, which means 3g in cincinati, so slow that its useless downtown.  All the experimentation brought me to the conclusion that it's not (or rarely) the hardware that is the problem, it's the network.  For example, I learned that if I have a long meeting in a certain conference room, i would lose half the battery in a couple hours even though i'm not actively using it.  My guess is that the data signal is very weak in certain rooms(voice works okay from there), and the phone drains itself trying to maintain a live data connection.

 

Do I understand correctly that LTE may penetrate buildings better and therefore reduce weak signal areas resulting in more reliable battery life?  How does the Nextel shutdown impact this, does it get even better?  Do I care about tri-band?

 

Can anyone confirm better battery life when switching to an LTE phone, all else being equal?  If so, what model phone, out of curiosity?

 

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Battery life on LTE phones starting from the Galaxy S3 and Evo LTE were very good, better than EVDO for me.  One thing about the Wimax phones were the Wimax baseband chips were a separate chip on the phone, so when you turned Wimax on you had to turn on that separate chip, which means more battery drain.

 

As far as signal strength - yes that has a large impact on battery life.  The stronger the signal the less power your phone has to use to transmit a signal back to the tower.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the cincinnati area finally hearing rumors of lte deployment.  Please tell me if my layman's understanding is anywhere near reality:

 

I have had 4-5 wimax phones over the past few years as I tried to find one that could make it 12 hours on one charge.  Always avoided new ones as they are LTE, which means 3g in cincinati, so slow that its useless downtown.  All the experimentation brought me to the conclusion that it's not (or rarely) the hardware that is the problem, it's the network.  For example, I learned that if I have a long meeting in a certain conference room, i would lose half the battery in a couple hours even though i'm not actively using it.  My guess is that the data signal is very weak in certain rooms(voice works okay from there), and the phone drains itself trying to maintain a live data connection.

 

Do I understand correctly that LTE may penetrate buildings better and therefore reduce weak signal areas resulting in more reliable battery life?  How does the Nextel shutdown impact this, does it get even better?  Do I care about tri-band?

 

Can anyone confirm better battery life when switching to an LTE phone, all else being equal?  If so, what model phone, out of curiosity?

 

Thanks!

 

 

Your problem with WiMax phones battery life is likely two fold...

  1. WiMax devices were notoriously poor with battery life when the WiMax antenna was on
  2. Poor or no signal with WiMax turned on will drain your battery faster

WiMax had poor battery life, because Sprint WiMax devices had to have a separate WiMax baseband chip.  So whenever you turned on WiMax, you were essentially doubling power consumption on the chip level.  This really reduced battery life, even if WiMax was not actively being used.  Also, as you note, when your signal gets poor, your device is screaming out the transmission as loud as it can in order to transmit, which reduces battery life.  And then when you have your WiMax on and you have no signal, your phone is constantly scanning for a WiMax signal.  All this equates to sub-par battery life.

 

Contrast that to LTE devices.  LTE devices are much, much better on the battery.  They do not have separate chips.  New LTE devices can idle on LTE with no net drain effect on the battery greater than 3G.  The very early mid-range LTE devices had some minor LTE drainage issues (like the Galaxy Nexus and LG Viper), but they were WAY BETTER than even the best WiMax device.  Newer devices since the Galaxy S3, and definitely all the ones released this year, there is virtually no difference in battery life when in CDMA only mode and CDMA/LTE mode.

 

The only noticeable problem someone may have in LTE mode on a new device is if they are at the edge of coverage for a LTE device and it is constantly scanning for a better signal.  However, this will still be a much better drain on battery than WiMax ever was even on the best day.

 

Robert

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

great, thanks for the replies.  Any thoughts on building penetration?

I'm sure others will add more detail but its not going to be LTE per se that will be better than WiMax. WiMax is deployed on a higher frequency than current Sprint 1900 LTE so depending on where towers are it might be similar or LTE a little better at 1900Mhz.

 

Starting in 4th quarter when Sprint starts deploying 800Mhz LTE building penetration should be better. But you need to wait until Sprint starts releasing phones capable of 800Mhz operation (no current phones can) in the fallish timeframe.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I'm on a strong LTE signal my battery life is just the same as on 3G if not a little better because I am loading things faster and thus minimizing on-screen time.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone 5 using Tapatalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awesome, Im getting sick of my Htc evo 3ds horrid battery life... and even though i live in buffalo when i go to rochester i hate to use  4g cause the battery just litterly get sucked out!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recently spent a day in the Columbus and Bloomington, IN area. My phone lasted longer on LTE than it ever has on EVDO, and I was even using it much more often. I'm pretty excited to finally have LTE here.

 

I don't really have any observations as far as building penetration though. I had fairly good signal everywhere I went, so I had fairly good signal inside as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On my S3 it lasted longer on LTE then EVDO. On my iPhone 5 its the same story. Standby time on LTE is not as good as on EVDO but LTE's efficiency more then makes up for it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recently spent a day in the Columbus and Bloomington, IN area. My phone lasted longer on LTE than it ever has on EVDO, and I was even using it much more often. I'm pretty excited to finally have LTE here.

 

I don't really have any observations as far as building penetration though. I had fairly good signal everywhere I went, so I had fairly good signal inside as well.

Somewhat surprisingly, the latest generation of Sprint handsets have been designed for GSM+UMTS+LTE operation, rather than CDMA2000 1X+EVDO. Consequently, battery drain on LTE is lesser than that of CDMA EvDO. Also, the latest generation of LTE basebands incorporate some UE-side R9 features that help reduce the number of "wakeups" required to communicate. This lessens the power drain to activate modes of operation, and allows LTE to idle with minimal power usage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is something else that is a very high contributing factor with battery life, and that is the silicon that all the chips are made on is  using a smaller process.  If anyone is unfamiliar with this, the older generation of 4G phones were using approximately a 46nm process (depending on manufacturer, year and Phone)  which was ok for the basic tasks.  Once we demanded that our phones outperform our computers, adding features and separate radios to connect to everything, all while increasing the processor speeds... it drained the battery.  Last year they started using snapdragon chips for the S3 and EVO LTE that were made on a 28nm process, and had most of the radio modems located on the same chip (SoC).  This helped in 2 ways from the WiMax radios and early LTE chips, not only was it not a separate chip that would be consuming more power separately, but the chip itself was capable of processing faster and more efficiently than ever before.  This brought down the power consumption to 3G levels, and made it so that it is a seamless user experience.  

 

On the note of better signal, it vastly depends on the signal that you are getting. Obviously as others have stated, if we are comparing 1900 and 2500Mhz there will be a difference due to the frequency properties, but for much of what I have seen there is not much difference in signal strength between technologies.  Throughput and other factors might vary with different obstructions, but as a rule the LTE signal will be less usable at the edge of signal, meaning that even if you get 3G in the inner office building, LTE might be there but it might be so weak that the 3G signal is stronger and better to use.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is something else that is a very high contributing factor with battery life, and that is the silicon that all the chips are made on is using a smaller process. If anyone is unfamiliar with this, the older generation of 4G phones were using approximately a 46nm process (depending on manufacturer, year and Phone) which was ok for the basic tasks. Once we demanded that our phones outperform our computers, adding features and separate radios to connect to everything, all while increasing the processor speeds... it drained the battery. Last year they started using snapdragon chips for the S3 and EVO LTE that were made on a 28nm process, and had most of the radio modems located on the same chip (SoC). This helped in 2 ways from the WiMax radios and early LTE chips, not only was it not a separate chip that would be consuming more power separately, but the chip itself was capable of processing faster and more efficiently than ever before. This brought down the power consumption to 3G levels, and made it so that it is a seamless user experience.

 

On the note of better signal, it vastly depends on the signal that you are getting. Obviously as others have stated, if we are comparing 1900 and 2500Mhz there will be a difference due to the frequency properties, but for much of what I have seen there is not much difference in signal strength between technologies. Throughput and other factors might vary with different obstructions, but as a rule the LTE signal will be less usable at the edge of signal, meaning that even if you get 3G in the inner office building, LTE might be there but it might be so weak that the 3G signal is stronger and better to use.

 

Wow...Thanks...that is a great explanation!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is something else that is a very high contributing factor with battery life, and that is the silicon that all the chips are made on is  using a smaller process.  If anyone is unfamiliar with this, the older generation of 4G phones were using approximately a 46nm process (depending on manufacturer, year and Phone)  which was ok for the basic tasks.  Once we demanded that our phones outperform our computers, adding features and separate radios to connect to everything, all while increasing the processor speeds... it drained the battery.  Last year they started using snapdragon chips for the S3 and EVO LTE that were made on a 28nm process, and had most of the radio modems located on the same chip (SoC).  This helped in 2 ways from the WiMax radios and early LTE chips, not only was it not a separate chip that would be consuming more power separately, but the chip itself was capable of processing faster and more efficiently than ever before.  This brought down the power consumption to 3G levels, and made it so that it is a seamless user experience.  

I feel like it's important to point out to the people who don't know that the latest crop of high end phones (SGS4 and HTC ONE) actually don't have the modem built into the SoC and is on a separate chip and are part of the APQ 8064 family.

 

Now the next crop of high ends that will likely include the MSM 8974 will have the modem integrated.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel like it's important to point out to the people who don't know that the latest crop of high end phones (SGS4 and HTC ONE) actually don't have the modem built into the SoC and is on a separate chip and are part of the APQ 8064 family.

 

Now the next crop of high ends that will likely include the MSM 8974 will have the modem integrated.

Is that necessarily a bad thing?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is that necessarily a bad thing?

I think it's not a big deal because if was i doubt Qualcomm would do it because it's in their best interest for the phones they power to have good battery life.

 

I do however believe that is some kind of battery impact but it could be that it's so small that you would never notice it in day to day operations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel like it's important to point out to the people who don't know that the latest crop of high end phones (SGS4 and HTC ONE) actually don't have the modem built into the SoC and is on a separate chip and are part of the APQ 8064 family.

 

Now the next crop of high ends that will likely include the MSM 8974 will have the modem integrated.

Is that necessarily a bad thing?

 

The need for a separate baseband is something of a negative, but the degree to which it is a drawback is debatable.

 

I predicted several months ago that the MSM8960 based handsets would likely remain the battery life champs for the next several upgrade cycles.  And that prediction seems to be coming to fruition.

 

The dual core MSM8960 based HTC EVO LTE has processor, baseband, Wi-Fi, and GNSS all on the same 28 nm chipset.  Now, the quad core Snapdragon 600 (APQ8064T) based HTC One has 28 nm processor, separate 28 nm baseband/GNSS, and separate 40 nm Wi-Fi chipset -- three chipsets to accomplish what only one did in the MSM8960.  The MDM9615 baseband could have also handled Wi-Fi, but HTC wanted to include 802.11ac and needed a Broadcom chipset to accomplish that.

 

In the end, my experience has been that the EVO LTE with moderate use is a charge every other day handset, while the One under the same conditions is a charge every day handset.

 

AJ

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The need for a separate baseband is something of a negative, but the degree to which it is a drawback is debatable.

 

I predicted several months ago that the MSM8960 based handsets would likely remain the battery life champs for the next several upgrade cycles.  And that prediction seems to be coming to fruition.

 

The dual core MSM8960 based HTC EVO LTE has processor, baseband, Wi-Fi, and GNSS all on the same 28 nm chipset.  Now, the quad core Snapdragon 600 (APQ8064T) based HTC One has 28 nm processor, separate 28 nm baseband/GNSS, and separate 40 nm Wi-Fi chipset -- three chipsets to accomplish what only one did in the MSM8960.  The MDM9615 baseband could have also handled Wi-Fi, but HTC wanted to include 802.11ac and needed a Broadcom chipset to accomplish that.

 

In the end, my experience has been that the EVO LTE with moderate use is a charge every other day handset, while the One under the same conditions is a charge every day handset.

 

AJ

You also need to take into account the bigger screen that has a higher resolution with the One. Also Brian Klug told me that Qualcomm offers an ac chip but that HTC and Samsung opted for the Broadcom version instead. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You also need to take into account the bigger screen that has a higher resolution with the One. Also Brian Klug told me that Qualcomm offers an ac chip but that HTC and Samsung opted for the Broadcom version instead. 

 

Hmm, unless I am going senile, is the screen not the same size on both the EVO LTE and the One?  But the One is definitely pushing a brighter, higher res 1080p panel.  That potentially takes more power on several fronts:  GPU and backlight.

 

And I was mistaken on 802.11ac.  I thought it did not, but the Snapdragon 600 does support it.  Well, that is a curious choice, indeed.  Why not spare an extra chipset and stick with the baseband for Wi-Fi, too?  That said, 802.11n performance on the One is very good, a bit better than that of the EVO LTE.

 

AJ

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm, unless I am going senile, is the screen not the same size on both the EVO LTE and the One?  But the One is definitely pushing a brighter, higher res 1080p panel.  That potentially takes more power on several fronts:  GPU and backlight.

 

And I was mistaken on 802.11ac.  I thought it did not, but the Snapdragon 600 does support it.  Well, that is a curious choice, indeed.  Why not spare an extra chipset and stick with the baseband for Wi-Fi, too?  That said, 802.11n performance on the One is very good, a bit better than that of the EVO LTE.

 

AJ

You are correct on the screen size. I thought it was either 4.5 or 4.6 but according to sprint.com both phones are 4.7 inches.

 

On the ac point, I have to believe that they made a performance based decision because otherwise it makes no sense at all to add another chip.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...