Is 5G a battery killer?


The other day, @VZWSupport tweeted (then deleted), “Are you noticing that your battery life is draining faster than normal? One way to help conserve battery life is to turn on LTE.” So… does 5G suck the life out of your battery?

For Verizon and AT&T customers, the short answer is yes. Because (at the moment) these networks only use 5G for data, your phone is constantly hopping between 4G and 5G networks, which is a battery killer. Add in the fact that the promised “5G experience” uses a lot more bandwidth, and you’ve got a good argument for defaulting your phone to LTE unless you’re doing something that would truly benefit from the high speed and low latency of 5G.

What would that be? You can’t make a faster phone call. You can’t stream any faster. You can’t text any faster. Websites might be a touch more responsive, but that’s not always true.

If you’ve got a consumer 5G use case, I’m excited to hear about it.

P.S. To turn off 5G, iPhone users should go to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options > Voice & Data and tap “LTE.” Android users should go to Settings > Connections > Mobile Networks and tap “LTE/3G/2G (auto connect).”



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About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is a business advisor and technology consultant. He helps Fortune 500 companies with digital transformation, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn's Top Voice in Technology, he is the host of the Shelly Palmer #strategyhacker livestream and co-host of Techstream with Shelly Palmer & Seth Everett. He covers tech and business for Good Day New York, writes a weekly column for Adweek, is a regular commentator on CNN and CNBC, and writes a popular daily business blog. Follow @shellypalmer or visit



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