5G drains battery

Suddently, my FP4 started needing top-up charges during the day. Thinking that the battery was tired, i installed a new one, without solving the issue. Then I was one week abroad and the battery lasted me two days under usual use.

Back home, the battery started draining fast again. Then I noticed that my connection was 5G, which wasn’t the case a while ago. Apparently my provider installed a 5G cell near my place.

I have set the network preferences to “4G/3G/2G” today, and the battery is holding very well. Is it possible that the 5G radio of FP4 is not optimised for low consumption? Similar experiences somebody?

I will monitor my phone and report to this forum


Hi and welcome to the forum.

The phone may be optimised but your location may not be and your transceiver may have to have a larger output and increased incomming amplification to work at a distance.

You could try hanging around a 5G antenna if you can locate one for your network to see what the battery drain is close up.


I don’t think so, I’m currently constantly on 5G and haven’t noticed a higher battery depletion than a week ago when I was (elsewhere) always on 4G. Still going well over a day on a single charge, could probably even manage two (but I traditionally recharge it each morning).

That been said, as @anon9989719 said, it might be that you’re in some spot where your phone has to do more work to stay connected to 5G than to use 4G: 5G coverage is still limited, while 4G is ubiquitous.
As she said, the only way to check that would be to spend a day somewhere where there is very good 5G coverage, and see if it makes a difference.

Usually, besides borderline reception, rogue apps are the main reason for abnormal battery drain. Check if something is draining your battery on your phone. You can use the (very limited) “Battery Usage” feature in “Settings”, or download a special app (there are lots of them, beware though, some are scams).
Keep in mind some apps do crash or break down sometimes. An app of a well-known company all of a sudden started chewing through the battery on my tablet, so fast it was getting hot; I uninstalled the rogue app, reinstalled it, and all was normal again.

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I thought that I had an app hogging the battery, initially, but the “battery usage” did not show anything relevant. I did not find any third party tool that I was willing to try, but I did not search much either. If you have suggestions, I’d be happy to make an attempt.

However, changing the network preferences stopped the problem without touching the apps, so I rather think that my problem does not lie in the apps.

When I say that 5G is not optimised, I am not thinking at an hardware issue only. Maybe the reception at my place is marginal. Perhaps the phone exhausts itself in an endless series of connections and disconnections. 5G is not the same thing everywhere, there are many frequencies, protocols, interferences, … Yet, I feel that the OS should take care of that. To prove the point, the phone of my wife (not a FP) has the same data contract. If my reception is bad, hers must be bad also, or else the fairphone really has poorer 5G hardware; yet, she switched from 4G to 5G without noticing any change on the battery life.

I do not say this to criticise. These are extremely complex products, and some allowance must be done to companies like fairphone that cannot match the development strength of the giant corporations…

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Indeed, that would be the first thing to test, if 5G does or doesn’t drain your battery when being elsewhere.
Although, I did have borderline 5G connectivity a while ago, my phone switching constantly between 4G and 5G, and it didn’t affect my battery in any noticeable way (but I admit it’s rather surprising and probably more of an outlier).

As for battery usage apps, I’m using one called SystemPanel 2, but I hesitate to recommend it because it hasn’t been updated in 5 years… It was simply excellent back then, and I’ve been using it for years so I kept it. It’s still very capable, but has some minor difficulties with newer Androids.
The guy who made it had a lineup of excellent apps back then, among them an excellent file manager. Excellent functionality and good looking too… It’s a pity he abandoned those apps. :frowning_face:

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I can confirm the impression, that 5G can drain the battery under Android 12:
My FP4 with Android 11 lasted about 2 days. After the Update to Android 12, the battery only lasted 0.5 days. this remained even through the several updates Android 12 has received. As I could not find any App which could have drained the battery, I was happy about the Input here about the 5G. I disabled 5G and now the battery lasts again about 2 days.
As the location of the FP4 was not changed (I did not move to a different place), my problem with the battery drain is clearly connected to the update to Android 12 and to 5G.
I hope this helps!
Kind regards

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Fits with my experience. I have also updated from 11 to 12 but I did not make the connection.
Hopefully, some future upgrade will fix this. For the moment, since I do not need 5G, I am content

I had a similar experiences on a vacation were I had 5G connection: the battery lasted only for ~5 hours.
Now, back at home and to 4G only, battery is back to expected working time.

:dizzy_face: Definitely not normal: I’m currently on 5G all the time, and my FP4 lasts its usual 1.5 days (more or less depending on use, and I use it quite a lot, including an average of about 1h a day on the phone and lots of Internet since it’s currently my go-to device for internet connectivity).
I’m just saying that the cause must be more elaborate than just using 5G or not.

For the record, I’m using Orange FR inside Paris (yes, I’ve been stranded here longer than I expected or wanted).

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I can confirm the exact same thing. My battery got worse on the A12 Update sometime around march. It didn’t even last for a single day. Before it did easy for 2 days (depending on usage).

Last week I was in another country and thus only had 4G, the battery was back to normal (2 days).
When I got back home with 5G it got worse again. I turned 5G off (only 4G and below) and now battery is back to normal even at home.

Care to mention which operator and which countries?
(It’s not personal information, unless that operator has you as only client… :grin:)

The thing is that without precise information we’ll never manage to pin the cause down. It’s certainly not 5G as such, for reasons mentioned above, it has to be something in specific operators’ network configurations, and it would help to know that operator A does have this problem while operator B doesn’t.
It would allow us to potentially find a workaround until Fairphone (hopefully) fixes it, or the problem simply goes away with some future (phone or network) update.

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I have Galaxus Mobile which uses the antenna network of Sunrise in Switzerland.

Maybe they never fixed that really

That’s probably unrelated, since his problem started with the A12 update.

I agree though that there seems to be some kind of ongoing incompatibility between their “flavor of 5G” (didn’t even know this was a thing!) and the FP4.

KurtF is right. I too have a sunrise subscription in Switzerland. I know of another person with the same phone and subscription that has the same problem. By the way, we both have changed battery hoping to solve the problem, with no result. This is not cool and not sustainable.

Anybody else experience this? Is it only this provider/region, or somebody else has the problem?

It would be really nice if the Fairphone team could find the time to patch this. It’s really annoying. I have set my phone on 4G but I still need to activate 5G in areas of poor reception. I am sure that a solution exist; no other phone seem to have this problem. Fairphone developers, help, please?

You need to contactsupport to ask FP to work on it however, without Sunrise doing their part…

Yes this is from before A12 still…

Just for context, with my Samsung S21 5G, I can get a lot of drain in places with bad reception, or on some networks. It’s always fixed by disabling 5G. This is on Android 13.


As previously stated: This is not purely a Fairphone problem but some compatibility issue that probably requires all parties to work together. But you can contact FP support to help move it along as already suggested.

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@mde, ,this is a good suggestion. I just sent a request

@sonohgong I am on android 12, but I am not sure this is the problem. I have fair or good reception (I live in town and there are plenty towers around). From what I could ascertain by asking to friends and colleagues, other 5G phones do not have this problem. It looks like a bad match between the FP4 and Sunrise.


I just wanted to add my experience which mirrors the ones already described. I have digitec (esim, sunrise as carrier) and salt (physical Sim). On both networks the same. Probably a bit less drain on salt 5g than on sunrise 5g (subjective no hard evidence). All back to normal, almost 2 day, batterylife when using 4g.

I work at Technopark in Zurich on 2nd floor. So 5g coverage should be no problem but still only 0.5 day batterylife on 5g.

Boy was I searching for the culprit for a long time…

PM if I can help narrowing it down with my dual Sim config.