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Pokemon GO is here, and the world is buzzing about what gamers are finally able to do: capture the beloved 151 generation one Pokemon right from their mobile device in the real world. Well, almost real world. Pokemon GO utilizes an Augmented Reality that uses GPS location and real time movement to track you as you travel around town. So in essence you can find Pokemon in your very own backyard, literally.
So it’s been released in several countries across the world so far including: Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the United States and everyone is scrambling at the chance to find the nearest Pokemon. And there are tons of questions floating out there, and they’re all the ones you would imagine: How do battles work? How do we level up? How can I find different Pokemon? But two question that aren’t really being asked yet are:
- How much will Pokemon GO cost on my data plan?
- How will Pokemon GO affect my battery life?
Well hopefully I can give you some comfort in knowing that there are answers out there. Let’s start with your data plan.
Don’t fear the Data
It’s a legitimate question to wonder how your data plan will be affected. And its a good one to think about considering that to truly experience all that Pokemon GO has to offer means that you would need to leave the confines of your home or school or work that is broadcasting that lovely WiFi network for you. Out on the streets you’re going to have to use your 3G/4G plan, and the fear is that you’d go through massive overages on your account.
Considering that Pokemon Go has only been officially released for less than 72 hours, it’s hard to truly judge how much data is being used while you go about your Pokemon capturing adventure. But thanks to The Bitbag we know that a similar question was asked about Ingress, Niantic Lab’s previous Augmented Reality game. When the study was done on Ingress, it showed that the average “occasional” player used about 250mb of data, while some players maxed out at about 750mb.
Now, technically Pokemon GO is infinitely more complex than Ingress since it has a much more in-depth design and carries several vastly superior systems when compared to its predecessor. So we can assume that it will probably have an average baseline of 500mb for the occasional player and go up from there, but we really won’t know that answer until the first bill arrives.
Draining the Battery
Now, battery life is always a concern, because how could we possibly survive without our mobile device? And sadly Pokemon GO is a battery hog. When you’re actively using your GPS functions in conjunction with your camera, processor, network radio, touch screen and everything else it’s pretty obvious that Pokemon GO is going to need a fair amount of battery power. There were early reports that after playing for an hour+ batteries were draining from 80% to 20% in that same timeframe. I don’t think that we can call that the standard for battery usage, especially considering that they were probably also using other services while on their Pokemon adventure. If they were anything like me, they probably were posting to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and everything else as to how they were progressing through the game.
But, the fact of the matter is that your battery will drain a little quicker than normal when you’re playing Pokemon GO. Thankfully though, there are a few things you can do to help with the battery draw, the first is in the settings of Pokemon GO itself. In the settings, which can be accessed by tapping on the Pokeball in the lower portion of your screen then tapping on the gear in the upper corner, you’ll find a few options that can save some battery power. You can turn off music, sound effects and turn on Battery Saver which will negate some of the power draw as you’re playing.
Your other option, like I’ve chosen, is to grab a simple portable power pack and keep it with you and charged. I went a little overboard and I carry my small solar powered charger so that as I need it I can give my phone a quick jolt and imagine that it was my Pikachu doing it.