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How to turn 3G or 4G LTE off on Android in order to save battery

Posted: , by Chris P.

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How to turn 3G or 4G LTE off on Android in order to save battery
Speeds comparable to your home internet – that is the selling point of (4G) LTE, and, to a lesser extent, 3G (which can still be pretty fast on a decent network). And while we're all the happier for it, those blazing-fast downloads don't come free, as you're sacrificing battery life in the process, which is why 3G and 4G "toggle" apps off the Play Store are as common. 

So does that mean that LTE is inherently less power-efficient than the older standards? Well, that used to be the case, especially if compared with, say, Wi-Fi. Whether that's still true today is a little less clear. Regardless, the power the LTE radio on your smartphone draws from the battery when connected to a compatible network is likely the least of your worries – you should be more concerned if it happens that you live in an area with spotty LTE coverage. That's because constantly jumping between 3G and LTE is a power-intensive task that will drain your battery quickly. Here's how you can turn those two on and off on demand.

* Keep in mind that different models of the same device, along with your SIM card and carrier, will all have effect on what exactly you see as available options on your end. We're showcasing how to access that menu, but you might have to apply some common sense. We'll explain more below.

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posted on 12 Dec 2014, 07:25

1. AfterShock (Posts: 3698; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)

Kind of leads one to believe only android suffers from spotty coverage, this story applies to all handsets in low coverage areas.
Then again, other Eco systems may not allow user to select radios as part of their keep it simple thinking.

posted on 12 Dec 2014, 09:15

2. madmikepr (Posts: 138; Member since: 09 Aug 2011)

Just use Hidden Menus apk. It has better options

posted on 12 Dec 2014, 10:21

3. phonton (Posts: 65; Member since: 27 Dec 2011)

Generally buying the handsets from carrier will not have the option to turn off LTE or choose the RAT to connect to. Carriers restrict them. Not sure if all the devices have the restriction that are sold by the carrier. Atleast the LG Optimus G Pro I used before didnt have the option. 3rd party apps for RAT toggling didnt work either. I guess only the unlocked, carrier unbranded handsets will have the toggling allowed.

posted on 12 Dec 2014, 10:31

4. Omarc07 (Posts: 481; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)

Att doesnt allow this on the G3. Even with apps like 3G 4G toggle which i tried and plenty others it dont work. Sucks cuz sometimes i do need it .

posted on 12 Dec 2014, 11:52

5. sprockkets (Posts: 1611; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)

Even my non carrier moto x won't let you turn off lte and run just 3g without a hack. Lame.

posted on 12 Dec 2014, 14:20

6. HildyJ (Posts: 305; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)

With Lollipop on a Nexus 5 on T-Mobile it's:

Wireless & Networks / More / Cellular Networks / Preferred Network Type

I can choose 2G, 3G, or LTE (which sucks the battery at home because I'm on the LTE fringe).

posted on 12 Dec 2014, 14:52

7. Rager722 (Posts: 319; Member since: 30 Jan 2013)

My one m8 for at&t won't let me do this.

posted on 13 Dec 2014, 02:05

8. baldilocks (Posts: 812; Member since: 14 Dec 2008)

This is why you root and install custom ROMs (if you are using a carrier device like AT&T and Verizon).

Install an unbranded ROM that gives you control over the radios.

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