T-Mobile advises users to switch off 5G to conserve battery life


T-Mobile has silently released a tip on how users can save their battery life. Just like Verizon, the Un-Carrier advises its subscribers to switch off their phone’s 5G connectivity when not in use. 

The tip can be found on the support pages for the Samsung Galaxy S20 and S21. It says that to save battery life, users should “Toggle from 5G/LTE to 2G”. In addition to this, the support pages also recommend shutting off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS, and even lowering phone brightness to conserve battery life. 

Samsung also sent out a warning to its consumers in a support page on how their battery life can drain with 5G. The company shared:

“You may notice that your phone’s battery drains faster than usual while you are connected to a 5G network. This is a limitation of the current 5G networks, and will be improved as the networks expand.”

T-Mobile did not respond to requests for a comment on the advice, but there have been users who pointed out the hypocrisy of downgrading connectivity to 2G to lengthen a device’s battery life. 

Hopefully, this is a temporary solution that US carriers will work on in the future.

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  • Alberto Rosario Jr.

    I switch to 4g cause 5g is spotty/dead spots in my area and I start to buffer and fails to switch

    • the martian ambassador

      i just got my first 5G phone and noticed that happening. I go walking for a couple of hours a day and listen to streamed music. I had a couple of instances where it just stopped cold with no connectivity. I never had that happen with 4G, even in the car. It should have switched seamlessly back to 4G but did not.

      • marque2

        I do think that is a problem. I do notice when I drive I5 from LA to San Francisco there is more dropout when I listen to streaming audio. I would think it would be less because of all the long range 600mhz band just introduced. It could he a 5g to 4g switching problem.

        Plus it is interesting when 5g is weak my phone drops to 4g (in my home – living room is week) but you would think it would be the other way. 600mhz 5g should have longer range.

        • the martian ambassador

          I just decided to change my network type to 2G/3G/LTE (automatic) and I will continue to monitor the 5G periodically until it is more stable. I’m perfectly happy with 4G for the things that I do..audio streaming and SD video, that is adequate. Most of the videos i just download to the phone before watching them anyhow, so network speed isn’t a big issue.

        • Shaun Michalak

          Not if you got coverage like in my area.. Here, only 50% of the towers have band 71 on them, so even if 600 is giving better and father coverage, it does not help much if they do not have it installed on all towers.. That would also explain your 4G connection in your living room.. If your 5G tower is 2 towers away, then yea.. Your 4G will be better..

  • saimin

    5G is a hoax. Heavily advertised, but is anyone really seeing faster or more reliable service right now?

    • slybacon

      Yes, I am on my iPhone 12 Max in northern Utah. I’m pleasantly surprised by 5G speeds (I usually do a test or two in each city I pass through), with speeds usually around 150 mbps down (peaking at 467 mbps in one area) and my battery life is lasting more than a day still (longer than my XS Max was). iPhone 12 automatically turns off 5G when not downloading or uploading anything. So, I think it already conserves on its own. I’ve seen improved connection with 5G at friend’s and family’s houses, but not at mine yet (don’t need it with Wi-Fi). I haven’t shown LTE on my phone for a while now (except for VoLTE). Even the ski resorts are live with 5G.

    • shawn murray

      yes, i see a big benefit i see at least 20% faster speeds. where i live.

    • Willie D

      Nope. What I have seen is nothing but subpar barely ever 1mbps speeds. Not that LTE is much better but it actually has connectivity where as 80% of the time 5G just connects but has no data at all. To be honest I think TMo should rethink 5G and go all in on increasing LTE to the Gigabit speeds we were promised with B41 that we still haven’t got but Sprint users did briefly. I’d rather have a working LTE network that can hit an average of 300-500mbps with a peak of 1gbps and wait a few years till 5G actually becomes something then move over. Because as it stands now all 5G does is miss calls, texts, emails, and is a big waste of time.

      • Shaun Michalak

        I think this all depends on where you are at.. Where they have a good install of it, with band 41, people will disagree.. But in my area, they only have band 71 installed, and what makes it worse is that they only have it on half of the towers.. Since it has to cover 2 towers worth, that does not make for good speeds when people have to share it that much. If they had it on all towers, like they do with bands 2, 4, and 66, then I would say that people would get better results from it.. Even the lower band 71.. especially when you consider how limited the data speeds are to start off with, with the lower frequency that band 71 is.

    • Dummy Up Meathead

      My speeds almost triple going from LTE to 5G.

    • Tinger12

      My speeds went from around 30-40Mbits down/4-5Mbits up to just under 400Mbits down 30-40Mbits up. Doesn’t seem to be much of a HOAX to me. But you just keep believing. Keep tapping those heels together and chanting “5G is a HOAX, 5G is a HOAX…..” LOL

      BTW, I use an LG V60

      • Shaun Michalak

        Don’t you remember.. 5G is not a hoax.. It is what gives you COVID.. lol

  • vrm

    way ahead of them. I have an S21 but I disabled 5G- offers no benefit.
    Hint- 2G consumes the least battery, then 3G/HSPA. LTE was a big jump in battery consumption and 5G will be even bigger esp if on higher frequencies.

    Each new generation helps the carrier pack more stuff into the signal and gets them more throughput per mhz but at the cost of greater power on radio. It is bad for consumer because phones run on battery. Each new generation phone has larger battery but battery life doesn’t get any better. My galaxy S21 has 25% bigger battery than the S10 but battery drains faster. I configured them as nearly same as I could.

  • Alex Pilaia

    Why is there not an “auto” mode, so it chooses the best connection possible?

  • marque2

    Goodness the 5g phones come with huge batteries. I have no problem running all day. Not sure what the point is – but I guess if you have a new 5g phone and want the battery to last even longer than on the old 4g phones – days even, go for it.

    There is this thing called a charger though which can help out. I know you Samsung S21 and Apple purchasers might not know what one is.

    • Shaun Michalak

      It all depends on how good your connection is.., I know with my phone, or even anyone that I know, and their phones.. If you turn on wifi, or blutooth, and do not use it, the phone constantly scans for a signal to connect to.. This drains the battery a lot faster then just staying connected to a device.. I have also seen the same thing happen with phones in areas with no cell service too. So I would imagine that with 5G phones, 5G being the preferred connection, it will constantly scan for that signal until it finds one, even with a 4G signal.

      • marque2

        I rarely notice much improvement turning off wifi or Bluetooth or 5g. Only thing that seems to help is the battery saver mode, which cuts haptic feedback and background GPS. Also keeping the screen darker helps a bit

        • Shaun Michalak

          I noticed the difference myself.. I would go to bed with a 95% battery, and wake up with a 50% battery.. That is with leaving the bluetooth on after turning my bluetooth off.. It just constantly scanned for it, and that drained the battery.. With it turned off, my battery only usually drops by 5 to 10% while sleeping.. I have talked with a few of my friends that go places with no cell signal, and they have all told me the same thing that i experienced.. That leaving the phone on, with no signal, the battery life dropped extremely fast.. So I know that is not me.. I am just guessing with 5G, that the same thing was happening there.. But I do know it has happened to not just me with 4G service.

          The screen being darker does definitely help.. Same with making sure it turns off when not in use.. I usually keep mine at about 75% brightness unless I am out in the sun.

  • Omar Cardenas

    At&t just released a statement and they said if your having problems with battery on your 5G or 4G phone they recommend you turn it off completely and stop using it .

  • G1andonly

    On my Iphone 12 mini I was using 5g auto just last week here in Los angeles and noticed I could”nt send a text to my wife, once I turned off 5g auto and went to 4g LTE and sent right away. So its nice that the newer phones have the tech in them for later use, just not ready for prime time at the moment, anyway the 4g has more antennas for a stronger signal than last years phones.

  • ChuckB75

    Yes, notice the iPhone isn’t mentioned… it does it better naturally. As usual… they were late to the party, but implemented it better.

    • marque2

      Apparently per the post below, you can’t even send a text over 5g with an iPhone. Never had that happen with my LG V60 and the Qualcomm 865 chipset.

      But that must be one of those features that Apple fanbois love so much.

      • ChuckB75

        Never had that happen on my iPhone 12 Pro on 5g either. I guess nobody on Android has ever had an issue. Lol.

        • Dummy Up Meathead

          So, you come here to troll? What a fun guy.

        • ChuckB75

          Nah, was just pointing out that the article only mentioned a few 5g phones. Then the “fanboi” attack started.

        • marque2

          Be proud of your affiliation!

        • marque2

          Yeah but we aren’t going around saying our phones are perfect in a dreamy cultish sort of way either.

        • ChuckB75

          That’s literally exactly what you did.

        • marque2

          Hmm you might want to read your original post. My post to you was sarcasm. I guess next time I’ll add sarc tags when I reply to you. More sign you belong to the cult.

        • ChuckB75

          More signs you’re just a great person to be around. I was just pointing out that the article only mentioned that you should turn off 5g on a couple of models and sort of slighting apple for always being late to the game, but when they do add features, they work better. All valid, accurate points.

    • dl_crash

      oh Apple, late to the party but claim they invented ‘it’ and yall line up in droves, but hey do keep on it’s good for my 401K Apple everything! :)

  • Sharti24

    Lol t-mobile pushing all this 5G hype with their network along with the new 5G phones and now this??? Too funny

    • dl_crash

      It is too funny! Except T-Mobile doesn’t make phone batteries, or write the software that controls the power usage. This is really a phone manufacturer issue, and another clickbait headline that has nothing to do with the root cause or real issue. #fakeJouranlism.

  • riverhorse

    Powering phone off will save even more battery. It will still eventually drain to zero though… hhhhmmmmm…

  • pda96

    Hahahahaha…………….Good thing I didn’t trade in my S10+.

  • big curt

    I got the note 20 plus and I force it to 5g only and I get 50% more battery life than LTE. I go a full 30 hours before charging and I stream music 12 hours out of the day at work

    • aLdo

      music doesn’t really drain battery much