You just got a shiny new iPhone and want to make the most of its powerful 5G capabilities. But wait – is 5G draining your battery faster than you‘d like? Or maybe you want to reduce your monthly data usage by sticking with 4G LTE speeds. If so, you may be wondering how to turn off 5G on your iPhone. In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll explain exactly how to disable 5G and discuss the pros and cons so you can decide what‘s right for you.
What Exactly is 5G and How Fast Is It?
First, let‘s quickly cover what exactly 5G is. 5G stands for 5th generation cellular network technology. It‘s the successor to the 4G LTE networks that most of us have been using for the past decade.
The core improvements 5G delivers are:
- Much faster top speeds – 5G networks can theoretically hit peak speeds up to 20 Gbps, with typical speeds in the 1 Gbps range. That‘s nearly 100 times faster than average 4G LTE download speeds today, which are around 35 Mbps in the United States according to Opensignal.
- Lower latency – Latency is the time it takes for data to get from one point to another. 5G brings much lower latency, with times as little as 1 millisecond. This enables near real-time communication critical for technologies like self-driving cars.
- Greater capacity – 5G has vastly increased data capacity compared to 4G. This allows many more devices to simultaneously connect to the network without congestion or slowdowns.
So in short, 5G represents a quantum leap in performance over today‘s 4G networks. But how does it work under the hood? 5G uses a combination of new technologies:
- Millimeter wave spectrum – 5G uses super high frequency radio waves in the 30-300GHz range, compared to 4G‘s <6GHz bands. This extremely wide bandwidth enables ultra fast speeds.
- Advanced antenna tech – 5G base stations use advanced antenna designs like massive MIMO and beamforming to maximize performance. This focuses signals directly to devices.
- Dense small cell architecture – 5G networks use smaller cells spaced closer together for greater coverage density and capacity.
Now let‘s look at some real-world 5G performance numbers. According to testing firm Ookla, median 5G download speeds in Q3 2022 were about 350 Mbps globally and 200 Mbps in the United States. That‘s 5-10 times faster than typical 4G speeds today.
While exact speeds vary based on location, device, and network congestion, 5G clearly delivers a massive boost in performance over 4G. But those blazing fast 5G speeds may come at the cost of battery life, so let‘s look at how to turn it off on your iPhone if needed.
How to Disable 5G on Your iPhone
If you want to turn off 5G on your iPhone, follow these simple steps:
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Tap on "Cellular" or "Mobile Data".
- Select "Cellular Data Options".
- Under Cellular Data Options, tap "Voice & Data" and select "LTE".
This will disable 5G connectivity and limit your iPhone to 4G LTE networks only.
And that‘s it! With just a few taps in your Settings app you can easily turn off 5G on your iPhone.
Should You Disable 5G on Your iPhone?
Now that you know how to turn off 5G, should you actually do it? Here are some of the pros and cons to weigh when making your decision:
Potential benefits of disabling 5G:
- Saves battery life – 5G networks can use more battery power, so disabling 5G improves battery life. In PCMag tests, an iPhone got 8.5 hours on 5G vs 11 hours on 4G LTE.
- Reduces data usage – 5G is faster but can also use more monthly cellular data as you experience those blazing speeds. Turning it off conserves your data allowance.
- More reliable connectivity – If you‘re in an area with spotty 5G coverage, switching to 4G LTE may provide more consistent speeds and service.
Reasons you may want to keep 5G enabled:
- Faster speeds – 5G will give you up to 10x faster downloads, smoother streaming, and snappier web browsing compared to 4G LTE.
- Future-proofing – The 5G rollout is still early but ramping up quickly. Leaving it on prepares your iPhone for widespread 5G availability.
- Enhanced mobile apps – Many new apps and services are optimized for 5G speeds. Disabling 5G means you won‘t get the full experience with some mobile apps.
Here‘s a comparison of average 4G LTE and 5G download speeds in the United States according to Opensignal‘s measurements:
|Network||Average Download Speed|
|4G LTE||35 Mbps|
So 5G is clearly much faster – around 6x quicker than 4G LTE right now. Whether it‘s worth the battery life tradeoff depends on your specific needs and priorities regarding speed vs battery optimization.
Tweaks to Conserve Battery Life While Using 5G
If you want to keep tapping into 5G speeds but also maximize battery life, here are a few suggestions:
- Enable Low Power Mode – This feature reduces performance and background activity to save power. Low Power Mode automatically disables 5G connectivity when turned on.
- Reduce Screen Brightness – The display drains a ton of battery. Lowering brightness under Settings > Display & Brightness helps extend battery life.
- Disable Background App Refresh – This prevents apps from updating when you‘re not actively using them. Turn it off under Settings > General to reduce activity.
- Limit Location Services – Restrict location access to only apps currently in use. Constant location polling in the background drains battery.
- Disable 5G in poor coverage areas – Manually switch to LTE-only mode if you‘re in areas with poor 5G reception. Poor signals use more power as the device keeps searching.
By fine tuning these settings, you can moderate battery usage while still taking advantage of 5G connectivity when needed.
- 5G brings substantially faster speeds and lower latency compared to 4G LTE. But it can reduce battery life on iPhones.
- You can easily turn off 5G in the Cellular Data Options under Settings. This reverts your iPhone to 4G LTE only.
- Consider your usage needs and priorities regarding speed vs battery life. Find the right balance for how you use your iPhone.
- Use settings like Low Power Mode to optimize battery life while minimizing impact on your 5G experience.
I hope this guide has helped explain clearly how to turn off 5G on your iPhone if needed. Please let me know if you have any other questions!