How do I turn the cellphone (SIM) radio on an Android phone?

The radio consumes a lot of power (30-70%), especially when the phone is idle. Sometimes I only need to use other functions (e.g., clock, web browser), and make the battery last as long as possible.

"Airplane mode" does this but also turns off the WiFi (close to, but not exactly what I need).

  • On many recent Androids Airplane Mode also allow you to use WIFI.
    – not2qubit
    Mar 7, 2015 at 16:53

2 Answers 2


Once you've put the phone in Airplane/Flight mode, you can manually re-enable WiFi. (On my phone at least) this leaves WiFi on and the phone radio disabled. It does involve a couple more clicks but I think it achieves what you're after.

A quick look round the market showed a few apps that manage this setting for you, for example the "Airplane Mode Wi-Fi Tool" and "Airplane Autoswitch". Either of these may streamline the process slightly.

Airplane Mode Wi-Fi Tool QRCode:
Airplane Mode Wi-Fi Tool

Airplane Autoswitch QRCode:
Airplane Autoswitch

  • Thank you. Just turning on WiFi does not work on HTC Tattoo (Android 1.6). Will try looking for an app.
    – dbkk
    Jul 29, 2010 at 15:23
  • @dbkk added some links to those apps.
    – Rich Seller
    Jul 29, 2010 at 15:38

I have been using Juice Defender to good effect for a while. It turns off battery-sucking functions and turns them on occasionally to allow for syncing and is highly customizable.

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