For the much better part that a decade, Robert has been composing about technology and trying not to ignore his assorted unfinished gadget projects. The holds a BSc (Hons) in Sound engineering but also considers self a self-taught boffin in displays, processors, wireless networking, and also pretty much any kind of other hardware that's crammed into smartphones.

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Does Bluetooth drain your battery? every wireless technologies need power, but how much is a object riddled v anecdotes and also theories. Despite advances in Bluetooth technology, it’s still a pretty common belief that you’ll obtain much more life out of her phone by turning off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC, and various other attributes when you’re not making use of them.


I discover these old actions hard to break. Yes, ns still rotate Wi-Fi off as soon as leaving the house and disable Bluetooth till I hear to music. Yet is that necessary in the modern age the “smart” technology? exactly how much battery perform I rubbish if i leave Bluetooth on while I’m not utilizing it? What about playing music end Bluetooth? Is the battery drain greater than utilizing speakers or wired headphones? To discover the answers to this questions, we got a handful of phones and ran part tests.

See also: A definitive guide to every little thing that affect smartphone battery life

How us tested

To grasp precisely how using Bluetooth results battery life, we picked increase five various smartphones from critical year. We have actually the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, Huawei P40 Pro, ZTE Axon 11, Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro, and also Realme X3 Superzoom in this test. We ran every of them v two distinct scenarios and monitored the results with our in-house testing software.


The first is a typical daily battery drain scenario design to identify if turning off Bluetooth actually saves battery. To execute this, us performed two sets the tests. One test v Bluetooth off and also another with Bluetooth on but idle — i.e., not associated to anything — to compare the results. The test itself consists of three cycles. The very first features 90 minute of internet browsing adhered to by 90 minutes of sleep and then 90 much more minutes that browsing. The phones climate sleep for 16 hours in the second cycle to provide us a good look at idle power draw. The 3rd cycle repeats the an initial cycle.


The second set of tests simulates a an ext demanding Bluetooth-specific use case and should determine just how much Bluetooth impacts battery life once you’re proactively using it. Come simulate this, we monitored video clip playback because that 4 hrs straight, together you could do ~ above a long flight. This collection consists the a regulate test with Bluetooth off, Bluetooth on however no connection, and finally, the video clip audio over Bluetooth utilizing the an easy SBC audio codec.


We locked each display screen brightness come 200 nits to save the tests fair. Cell phone data, NFC, and also anything else was additionally disabled on each handset for every these tests. Other than for leaving Wi-Fi ~ above in the first scenario therefore we deserve to web surf.


We additionally took averages of the outcomes to provide us a better overall look at Bluetooth battery drain. Every one of the graphs in this article are based upon an average based upon testing throughout the five abovementioned devices.

So… does transforming Bluetooth off save battery?

No, no really.


Over the course of ours 26-hour “typical day” test, leave Bluetooth on consumed simply 1.8% an ext battery compared to the test v Bluetooth off. Top top average, our devices consumed 49.4% of your battery throughout this test through Bluetooth off versus 51.2% v it left on. Extrapolating this come a full charge cycle, Bluetooth commonly consumes less than 4% extra battery life. So, leave it turn off might include 10 to 15 minutes of extra time because that a device that commonly gives 5 hours the screen-on time. Peanuts really.

Related: What are the finest Bluetooth speakers?


There was a little difference between the devices we tested. The Huawei P40 Pro and also Poco F2 Pro saw the biggest difference with Bluetooth on and also off — a 3% difference. Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy S20 and also Realme Superzoom taped slightly less power drain with Bluetooth on. This is likely down to a margin the error, highlighting simply how little impact Bluetooth actually has on battery life.


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What’s noticeable here is that idle battery drainpipe is basically the exact same over a 16-hour sleep period. We deserve to chalk the 0.2% distinction up to a margin that error — nevertheless of even if it is Bluetooth is top top or off. Meanwhile, ~ above average, our gadgets showed a quite consistent 1% difference in battery drain during ours four-hour 30-minute use cycle. Again, this is so small it makes nearly no difference to battery life.


This highlights that contemporary smartphones put Bluetooth radios to sleep as soon as not in use. They’re only awake and periodically scanning for pairable devices while your smartphone is awake. So, you really don’t require to issue about turning Bluetooth off prior to you go to bed.

How much battery walk Bluetooth use?

So, Bluetooth doesn’t really influence the battery as soon as left on yet not in use. What about when you’re proactively using Bluetooth on her phone? Well, ours four-hour video clip playback check showcases a comparable battery drain difference throughout all 5 devices.


The comparison between Bluetooth off and also on yet not connected reveals an mean of simply 1.6% an ext battery drain over a four-hour period. That’s still very small but indicates more power drainpipe than our earlier test. Likely since our gadgets are in consistent use for a lengthy period that time, so the Bluetooth radios spend much less time asleep.

Related: The finest portable chargers and power banks


Extrapolated come a complete charge cycle, watching video clip while leave Bluetooth on yet not linked increased power consumption by around 6.6% ~ above average. That’s still pretty small, yet not nothing. However, this consistent video playback scenario is improbable in the real world.


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Interestingly, there’s quite a the majority of variation between different smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus taped the same an outcome with Bluetooth on and also off. Meanwhile, the Realme X3 Superzoom is the worst affected, clocking in one extra 4% battery drainpipe over 4 hours.


The reason for this discrepancy is most likely down come smartphone hardware and software optimizations. The Galaxy S20 Plus’s Exynos and also Huawei P40 Pro’s Kirin chips will certainly use different radios to the various other phones’ Snapdragon SoCs. Similarly, every Android software application variant most likely has different algorithms for Bluetooth wake-up and pairing scan intervals. No two tools will check out the same quantities of battery drain, yet results differ from zero come negligible in any kind of case.

See also: how to extend your Android’s call battery life

Does making use of Bluetooth headphones drain battery?


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This is great question and also the factor why we carried out these second tests with audio playback together the baseline usage case. ~ all, it’s what most civilization use Bluetooth because that these days.


The results show that playing earlier audio over Bluetooth consumes basically the same amount of strength as playing back audio over speakers or headphones v Bluetooth turn off. On average, our tools recorded just a 0.2% increase in power consumption when playing back audio over Bluetooth. So, well right into the margin the error territory. The Galaxy S20 Plus and Poco F2 Pro videotaped no noticeable distinction in battery drain over a four-hour hear period.

Read more: best Bluetooth headphones


This is since Bluetooth audio encoding algorithms run efficiently on digital signal processors (DSP) uncovered inside modern-day smartphones — consuming very tiny power. At the same time, audio amplifier circuits switch off once playing ago audio over Bluetooth. This balances the end the power attract from the Bluetooth wireless chip. The louder girlfriend listen, the better the save become.

What we’ve learned


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Our check is just so accurate and doesn’t take right into account every feasible Bluetooth usage case. The said, it provides us a an excellent look at just how Bluetooth affects battery life from a big-picture perspective. There are tiny variations in battery drain between smartphone idle and also screen-on scenarios, however we’re just talking mere minute of difference between on and also off.


Importantly, Bluetooth doesn’t appear to affect battery life as soon as phones space idle. So, it’s no going to operation down her battery throughout long periods of inactivity or if coincidentally left ~ above overnight.


Most users won’t see any kind of noticeable lot of extra battery drainpipe if castle forget to revolve Bluetooth off. Turning it turn off is quiet a an excellent idea to protect against connecting to undesirable devices, and also if you’re at sight concerned about security.

See more: Client-Side Virtualization, The Three Types Of Client Virtualization


But to answer our title question, Bluetooth drains very tiny of your smartphone’s battery. You yes, really don’t have to worry.