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I'm thinking about making an app which will require Bluetooth to be available at all times. However, if this reduces battery charge life significantly, then that's kind of a show stopper. Can anyone give me a general idea about how much drain constant Bluetooth use will put on the battery?

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Discoverability is definitely the killer here on Bluetooth in terms of battery. –  t0mm13b Aug 16 '12 at 16:13
    
Also related: Does allowing Bluetooth discovery consume more power? –  Izzy Aug 17 '12 at 14:03
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4 Answers

Constant use of Bluetooth will put quite a significant drain on the battery, even having it on is known to drain the battery.

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It will certainly drain it faster than having it turned off. However, how fast will vary depending on the phone. –  BBlake Oct 31 '10 at 12:29
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It really depends on what you are using Bluetooth for. I have a Bluetooth watch (MBW-150) that I sync with my phone using OpenWatch and it affects my battery life minimally. All it does is sync the phone's time with my watch, vibrates on certain notifications/calls, and gives me control of my music player (play/stop/next/prev/volume). So I essentially have Bluetooth turned on all the time and haven't really seen a battery problem because of it.

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What drains... my special. Here some data samples, based on a Motorola Droid:

+--------------------+----------+
| Mode               | Energy   |
+--------------------+----------+
| Bluetooth receive  | 751 mW   |
| Bluetooth send     | 487 mW   |
| Bluetooth standby  |   2,8 mW |
+--------------------+----------+

So if you use BT quite regularly (e.g. to be able to immediately pick up a call with your headset), having it in standby doesn't hurt that much (Compare: 2G StandBy 11,6 mW, 3G StandBy 18,3 mW, Wifi StandBy 7,8 mW -- and, often mistaken: GPS StandBy 0,4 mW).

But if, on the other hand, you use BT once a week (or even less) -- heck, you can manually enable it then, there are enough "toggle switches" and widgets available.

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Oops.. you and your styles.. :) again, tabular data.. keep it up. –  Sachin Shekhar Aug 16 '12 at 17:00
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Yepp, will do :) Unfortunately we don't have a nicer way to format tables but using ASCII art... –  Izzy Aug 16 '12 at 17:52
1  
@SachinShekhar If you are interested in the full list: What can I do to increase battery life on my Android device? –  Izzy Aug 17 '12 at 14:05
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I have a Samsung Galaxy S (Vibrant):

  • With Bluetooth & Sync turned on, but the Bluetooth not connected, I better have > 45% battery before I go to bed or else my phone will be dead by morning.

  • With Bluetooth & Sync turned off, I only use 1-2% battery overnight.

How much of that is Bluetooth and how much is Sync, I don't know. But the combination sure kicks the crap outta my phone.

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