I am looking for some study/comparison on how battery-consuming are specific services/sensors (3G, Wifi, GPS, Bluetooth, accelerometer) in Android devices. I know that the exact answer might differ depending on a phone but the question is general - which sensors are more consuming than others.

Has anyone stumbled across something like that?

  • 1
    On my HTC One X, the screen is by far the biggest drain.
    – cjk
    Commented Jun 8, 2012 at 10:54
  • 1
    Of course GPS consumes the most.
    – roxan
    Commented Jun 8, 2012 at 11:09

2 Answers 2


If you look at this video from the Google I/O conference and the slides you can see that they show how much WiFi, the CPU, screen, GPS, accelerometer etc. use in a device.

Here is the video and the slides.

A quick summary in case the links go down:

Battery use of Android Phone

This shows the amount of battery used by the components in milliamps (mA). Another unit needed is milliamp hours (mAh) which is what battery capacity is measured in, a typical smartphone might have 1600mAh capacity. Having just the screen on we can see how long the device may last by dividing the capacity (1600 mAh) by the usage (~100 mA) giving us 16 hours of use with just the LCD screen on.

It's an interesting video if you take the time to watch the whole thing. It discusses wake locks, where an app will wake up the device to update itself, and how they affect battery life which is an aspect I don't usually consider about applications.


For the actual sensors (accelerometer etc) they report there nominal power consumption in the api. There are apps that let you see this, I use Z-DeviceTest for this. In practice the values for the sensors are normally dwarfed by the cpu which has to be active to do anything with the data and you often have the screen on which is of course even worse normaly.

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