How to turn off 4G LTE on your Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III when you don't need it, and save on battery

How to turn off 4G LTE on your Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III when you don't need it, and save on battery
It's no secret that trying to maintain connection to a 4G LTE network, and especially to Verizon's one, drains battery much faster than if your phone was simply in 3G or 2G mode. The carriers force their LTE devices into active dual-mode operation, but Verizon's brand of it is particularly bad, since the phone has to maintain a connection to both the oldie CDMA2000, and the LTE networks. 

The handover between EV-DO and LTE when you move around towers happens very frequently because of the generally weaker LTE signal and coverage, and it is much less efficient than having to switch to HSPA+ and back, like what we have with AT&T, since Verizon is handing you over to an enhanced version of the EV-DO data network called eHRPD. Don't be fooled by the signal bars, as they are showing you the EV-DO signal strength, save for the Galaxy Nexus, as far as we recall.

Couple these with the fact that CDMA radio drains more battery while you are talking, since the calls go through it, and also kicks in when texting, and you can easily see why constantly keeping your phone in the default 4G mode on Verizon eats battery faster than if it was only in 3G or 2G mode most of the time, and had to maintain connection to only one network at a time.

Unfortunately, on Verizon's version of the Samsung Galaxy S III there is no connectivity toggle to switch off LTE when you don't need it for data, there is only the option to switch to eHRPD for data, so you have to jump through hoops. Dialing *#*#4636#*#* with your keypad to enter engineering mode, and selecting the preferred network from there is cumbersome, but there's an app that comes in for the rescue:

How to turn off 4G LTE on your Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III when you don't need it, and save on battery
How to turn off 4G LTE on your Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III when you don't need it, and save on battery
How to turn off 4G LTE on your Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III when you don't need it, and save on battery
1. Download the free Phone info app from the Google Play Store and install it
2. Choose the Phone Information tab and notice the "Set preferred network type" option at the bottom, marked with an arrow at the right of the drop-down menu
3. Tap on the preferred network listing currently in use, and choose the "CDMA auto (PRL)" option from the drop-down list
4. You should be now maintaining connection to only Verizon's 3G network, and whenever you need to use data, you can switch back to LTE for the duration of it

There are numerous other apps and widgets at the Play Store that claim to do the 2G/3G/4G switch, but many users on Verizon have confirmed the Phone info app to be the only method allowing them to reliably turn off the 4G LTE on their Samsung Galaxy S IIIs.

Related phones

Galaxy S III Verizon
  • Display 4.8" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.9 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus, Dual-core, 1500 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2100 mAh(15.00h talk time)

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12 Comments

1. willywill_evo

Posts: 162; Member since: Jan 05, 2011

Got it, thank you i turn it off since im home most of the day on wifi...unemployment sucks

2. aztaxia12295

Posts: 272; Member since: Nov 22, 2009

im pretty sure i just turned my dads data off yesterday in the slide down internet settings.

3. wsucoug13

Posts: 164; Member since: May 04, 2012

That is just data in general. This lets you choose if you want to always be looking for 4G or if you know you don't have it just look for 3G so you don't kill you battery. If you have neither then ya just turn off the data in the slide down settings.

4. MaxiZeus

Posts: 4; Member since: Aug 02, 2012

I work in VZW Texh Support. This will Help allot of phones.

5. joey18

Posts: 648; Member since: Jul 20, 2010

Why you turn off 4g when you pay big bill at month i wan always 4g on my gs3 but only i see 4g but very slow like 3g my old iphone 4s runs better then cheap phone

6. MaxiZeus

Posts: 4; Member since: Aug 02, 2012

If you bought a Razr and uploaded to Ice Cream sandwich this app could helP you to. Can anyone out there confirm this on there razr? This app also could help with data signal stability in areas where the Phones gets stuck trying to connect to 4g. You could pick just one network. When that happens then the data ussualy doesnt work well or at all.

7. AJmeBOY

Posts: 34; Member since: Dec 16, 2011

LTE OnOFF - HTC Thunderbolt by Cunning Logic works on my Razr MAXX perfectly! And every other person's devices that I have installed it on for them. The app takes you directly to the *# screen. I easily get 2 days out of my battery now! Woohoo!

8. mas11

Posts: 1034; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

9. jinwons

Posts: 95; Member since: Nov 24, 2010

But according to many user reports, Verizon GS3 is more battery efficient when it's on 4G than 3G. So there is no point in doing this in my opinion. This probably due to 28nm S4 Krait chip that has integrated LTE modem.

12. LionStone

Posts: 1048; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

You got that right jinwons, the battery on my Dinc4 (with the S4 Krait) runs more efficiently on 4G than the first processors for LTE. I get 12 hours easy with heavy use and 4 hours screen time...so you don't have to switch it off anymore on the newer phones with the new chips.

10. ChafedBanana

Posts: 409; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

Why would Samsung or Verizon make locking the SGSIII into 3G not an option out of the box? Other phones have it. Why take a feature like that away from a phone that's supposed to be one of the best 2 phones right now? It must be Verizon. They like to rape phones of their features and lock phones down. It enables them to provide better tech support. VZW was probably fed up with stupids calling in asking "Why won't my phone get 4G?"

11. tbacba

Posts: 134; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

The signal bars do in fact show the reading for whichever network you happen to be on. When I am on 3g, the strength is always 3 or more bars, and db is usually in the 70's. On 4g I'm usually at 1 or 2 bars, with signal often over 100db. Even the weak 4g signal is still a lot faster than 3g, but at my house it switches back and forth quite often.

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