Of the many sensors and antennas in your highly capable smartphone, GPS is killing your device’s battery the most.
Why? Well, as Forbes points out, the problem is multifaceted–the GPS needs to talk to multiple satellites for an extended period of time to retrieve its mapping data, and it does so at a significant speed of about 50 bits per second.
It needs your phone’s antenna to be on the entire time it does this, and it usually puts a heavy workload on your device’s processor. Depending on how much data the GPS is retrieving, it can take more than 10 minutes to get all those streets, landmarks and navigation details from various satellites.
But the the biggest reason GPS is such a power killer is because it keeps your phone from fully entering into a sleep mode. The screen may be off while your GPS is on, but the juice is still flowing. Sleep mode is typically the silent savior of most phones’ battery life, and without it your device will be losing life at a faster rate than usual.
Even with more efficient battery saving tech like Assisted-GPS–which sends navigation details to a phone through a mobile network or Wi-Fi–it’s still a drag on your phone’s power.
Although certain mapping apps like Google Maps do at least take some steps to stop the drain, those looking for some extended power from their device would be wise to ensure that their GPS for as long as they can afford.