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

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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8 Comments

1. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 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.

2. madmikepr

Posts: 138; Member since: Aug 09, 2011

Just use Hidden Menus apk. It has better options

3. phonton

Posts: 65; Member since: Dec 27, 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.

4. Omarc07

Posts: 574; Member since: Nov 12, 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 .

5. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

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

6. HildyJ

Posts: 334; Member since: Aug 11, 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).

7. Rager722

Posts: 621; Member since: Jan 30, 2013

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

8. baldilocks

Posts: 1449; Member since: Dec 14, 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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