+ Saturday November 16th, 2019

5G is being promoted by mobile carriers and phone manufacturers as an amazing rainbow unicorn joyous experience. The reality so far is not so great.

Rainbow

In many cases while 5G is a bit faster than 4G it doesn’t make any practical difference for day-to-day web browsing and social media use.

Then there’s the problem of battery life. I’ve spent the last few weeks working at a Sydney eastern suburbs location literally across the road from a 5G base station. Using a 5G phone here before work and during breaks I’ve noticed that the battery falls alarmingly fast, even when the phone is it being actively used and it’s in my pocket.

Anecdotally, looking at web forums and social media chatter amongst early 5G phone buyers I’m not the only one experiencing this plummeting battery problem. Like quite a few of these people I’ve decided to force my phone to use 4G/3G only, which greatly reduces the battery usage when in a 5G area or moving in and out of one.

I guess I should have remembered that 5 years ago early Australian adopters of new 4G phones also experienced battery-guzzling issues.

Hopefully existing 5G phones can be made more battery efficient with software updates over time. Failing that we can only hope that the second generation of 5G modems used in the next round of flagship phones suck battery life less quickly.

PS. I should note that the Samsung S10 5G is a very good phone and has the biggest battery of any Samsung flagship phone at the moment, including the Note 10 series. Once 5G is turned off on the Samsung S10 5G the 4500mah battery provides me with almost a day and a half of usage.

If you’ve purchased a 5G phone let us know in the comments what your battery life experience has been if using the phone all day in or near 5G tower locations.

Neerav Bhatt   Associate

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Neerav has been interested in Android phones since he bought the 1st one ever released (HTC Dream/G1). He has never bought an Apple product :-) His dream phone would have stock Android OS, fast high-res camera and swappable 4000mAh battery.

Profile: Community Spirited, Influencer, Knack for Technology, Environmentalist. Experienced: Librarian, Journalist, Photographer, IT Sales & Support

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Peter Gillespie
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Peter Gillespie

All 4g functions are on a single chip. 5g at the moment requires a second chip. 2 chips equals a lot more power drain.

Scott Hampton
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Scott Hampton

Neerav

There is a smart repeater program to counteract this.

Sarah
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Sarah

Gee, didn’t see that coming.

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