I found couple of questions about it but they are two year old.

So Is it better to disable (in the top panel) 3G when I have an active WiFi connection and disable WiFi (in the top panel) when I doesn't have active WiFi connection and enabled 3G Data connection?

By better I mean consumes less battery power

  • When you switch on wifi 3g data will be automatically disabled
    – samnaction
    Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 17:15

2 Answers 2


You'll definitely have better batty life when you're not using wifi if you turn it off. I don't believe turning off 3g when you're on wifi will save much battery life, because Android is already automatically routing all communications over wifi.

  • 3
    If you're in a area with a poor signal, it will adversely affect your battery even if connected to wifi since the phone has to work harder to maintain the cellular connection. Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 15:10

Wifi is designed to be fast and consume little power. This is especially true if you have a fairly recent phone. The drawback of this is distance or range. You trade the power savings for distance when you use a cellular connection. Therefore, a cellular connection does take up quite some power. This can be easily verified by turning on airplane mode and then turning on wifi. Take note of how long the battery lasts.

In other words, a poor 3G connection will absolutely destroy your battery life. I wouldn't worry so much about keeping Wifi on all the time and letting it do its thing in the background since it sips very little power on standby. So to answer your question, disable 3G when you're in an area with poor connection. Keep wifi on all the time.

  • I'm not sure you understood me.By 3G connection I mean 3G data connection (The arrows icon in the top drop down panel). You answer is suitable for this as well?
    – Alex K
    Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 16:01
  • Yes, it applies to any communication over 3G. Data included. If you're connected to wifi, all data is automatically routed over that as mentioned in the other answer. But it doesn't drop the 3G connection because of that. Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 16:01
  • But I'm not talking about disabling the whole 3G communication only the 3G data communication (Internet connection). Correct me if I'm wrong but disabling 3G communication will cancel the ability to use the phone as phone, I won't be able to make calls.
    – Alex K
    Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 16:06
  • Turning the radio off will cancel that ability. Just for power saving, you can drop down to 2G or so. As far as I know, there is no way to toggle 2G/3G in stock android from a toggle. Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 16:08
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    In that case, if you're connected to wifi, having that toggle on or off makes no difference since all data will go through the wifi connection anyway. My apologies for the misunderstanding. Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 16:14

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