The new iPhone 12, arriving this Friday, does so by being 5G compatible. This is a novelty that we have been waiting for for about a year and that will bring support for faster networks with lower latency. For to improve the impact this technology will have on the battery, Apple has introduced a new feature: the Smart Data Mode. Let’s clarify some concepts and see how this mode will work on the new iPhones.
The battery that consumes the change between 5G and 4G
One point we’ve all heard about 5G is that it uses up battery power, a lot of battery power, a lot of, well, that. The truth is that 5G in many fields is extremely similar to 4GIn fact, the NSA facilities that we currently have share the same frequencies. So, what’s with all the battery consumption?
Beyond intensive use of the connection, as Julio Cesar Fernandez tells us in his Apple Coding podcast, mobile networks generate their greatest expense when we switch between them. If you’re in an area with poor 4G coverage, for example, and your iPhone is constantly switching between 4G and 3G, you’ll notice that the battery will run out much faster. In this sense the 5G does not spend much more battery than the 4G, the consumption is very similar, but given its low deployment, constantly changing between 4G and 5G does involve a considerable expense. This is what the Smart Data Mode compensates for.
With the Smart Data Mode that Apple presented together with the new iPhone 12 the system automatically switches between 4G or 5G connection. This alternation occurs depending on what data demand is generated by the apps we use. Thus, if we are only sending messages or browsing the Internet, the 4G will be sufficient and the 5G antenna will be turned off; if we download a large app from the App Store the 5G antenna will be activated, perform the download and turn off again. This way we will enjoy the highest speed whenever we need it without continuously switching between one or the other.
Connection indicator: best available connection
On our iPhones, on the top right, we can check if we are using the 4G, 3G, E, etc. connection Until the iPhone 12 the version that appears is the connection that we are currently using, but with the new iPhones the indicator changes its direction.
Related to the Smart Data Mode, the connection we see in the top right corner of an iPhone 12 is the best available. We can see, for example, 5G and at that moment we are using 4G. Why? Because the information that is prioritized is that we know that, if we need it, we can access the speed of 5G. Internally, meanwhile, the iPhone takes care of deciding which connection to use.
With these measures, Apple seeks to make the 5G network experience the best possible. The company has had to introduce these changes, which we understand will disappear or evolve over time, to neutralize the fact that 5G coverage is little or not at all developed. Meanwhile, when we see 5G on our iPhone 12 we know that, without compromising the battery, we will surf and download at the highest speed.