USS Clueless CDMA FAQ -- Does searching drain my battery faster?

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Does my CDMA phone drain the battery faster when it says it is "searching"?

Short answer: Yes, quite a lot.

Long answer: In order to make the battery last as long as possible, all CDMA phones turn on and off portions of themselves constantly.

When the phone is normally idle, the receiver is only on perhaps 2% of the time, if that. But when the phone says it is searching, that means it is attempting to get in contact with the cellular system. To do that, it has to have the receiver on most of the time.

The receiver consumes quite a lot of power, and therefore the phone will drain the battery much faster if it spends long periods searching. If you're going into an area where you can be pretty certain the phone can never contact a cell (such as riding a subway), you might want to turn the phone off in order to preserve the battery. (Note that it does not harm the phone or the battery to search; it just runs the battery down.)

Captured by MemoWeb from on 9/16/2004