Connecting to lightning fast 5G networks, requires a sacrifice: battery life. But Apple baked a Smart Data Mode setting into new iPhones to give you more control over using 5G.
Apple gives you three options: You can keep 5G on all the time, switch over to LTE and never use 5G, or allow your iPhone to make that decision for you with an auto mode. There is no reason to upgrade to an iPhone 12 just for the 5G feature because the network carriers are behind the iPhone hardware. 6G is already in the works and Apple is planning on using it in its iPhone 13 lineup.
But, if you have an iPhone 12, here is how to easily turn off 5G to save your battery life.
This is for iPhone 12 lineup
First, open Settings (the gear icon) on your iPhone. Refer to below image:
Next, tap the Cellular option. See below image:
Next. tap the Cellular Data Options. See following image:
Now, tap the Voice & Data option. Refer to below image:
Next, select LTE from the list to disable 5G completely. Not shown in the below image are the options 5G On and 5G Auto because the screenshot is from an iPhone XR. See below image:
The option, 5G Auto, allows the iPhone to automatically deactivate 5G to save battery life when it is not needed.
Now, exit Settings. 5G is now disabled on your iPhone. If you ever need to turn it back on, just revisit the above steps and select 5G On or 5G Auto.
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