In an effort to be helpful, Verizon accidentally stuck its foot in its mouth on Sunday, and then furiously backtracked.
In a tweet on Sunday, which was spotted by the Verge, Verizon Wireless CS told customers that if they were experiencing more battery drain than usual, they should turn on LTE. As the Verge explains, the implication in this tweet directs customers to turn off 5G in phones that have it. Considering Verizon’s big push into 5G, this seems a bit weird.
“Are you noticing that your battery life is draining faster than normal?” Verizon wrote in the tweet. “One way to help conserve battery life is to turn on LTE. Just go to Cellular > Cellular Data Options > Voice & Data and tap LTE.”
A user on Twitter pointed out this irony. Verizon replied to the user but didn’t really address its previous battery advice, choosing instead to talk about 5G speeds. The original tweet about preserving battery life by switching to LTE has since been deleted, although you can see the 5G reply below.
Gizmodo reached out to Verizon to ask for clarification on whether it was really telling customers to turn off their 5G to preserve battery life. We’ll make sure to update this blog if we hear back.
As Mashable points out, 5G could very well be the cause of battery drain for some phones. Many new features and tech don’t work as envisioned at first, which is logical. Besides, 5G is a work in progress in the U.S. Addressing this in a roundabout way is kind of off-putting. Sure, if Verizon came out and flat out said 5G could be the cause of battery drain, some people might get cranky, which is also understandable given all the fanfare around 5G. But it would at least be the truth.
A quick search reveals that other companies have addressed this issue without creating a messy PR situation. Samsung, for instance, dedicated a support page to the issue of battery drains on 5G service. The manufacturer acknowledged that this problem was legitimate and explained that it was due to a limitation of current 5G networks, but that this would improve as 5G networks expand. Huawei also addressed the issue on a support page, stating that on a 5G network, more bandwidth is consumed online, and therefore more power may be consumed.