3G Watchdog Android review

3G Watchdog Android reviewI’m sensing some sort of Essential Android Apps feature coming on. There are a number of apps that every Android user needs to have, and 3G Watchdog is definitely one of ‘em.

In anticipation of said feature, I’m about to give 3G Watchdog the full review treatment. Ready? Let’s do this thing.

Until very recently, I was on an ancient O2 tariff that offered a paltry 75MB per day. This is from back in the pre-iPhone days when we didn’t really use data; certainly not like we do now. That 75MB did me fine, as all I did was check Facebook occasionally.

However, I recently adopted an HTC Desire HD as my primary smartphone (woah, I sounded a bit like Elop there) and couldn’t believe how much freakin’ data I was going through.

Android apps and widgets guzzle an incredible amount of juice. But hey, in this “always connected” world we need our Facebook and Twitter feeds, news and weather updates, instant email, Words With Friends, Skype…

One of the first things I did on my HTC Desire HD was install 3G Watchdog, and it’s a good job I did. Without it, I could’ve easily gone over my allowance in a few days, never mind it lasting a full month.

3G Watchdog essentially keeps an eye on your data use. With it, I was able to manage my 75MB and avoid what customer service reps affectionately call “bill shock”.

The invaluable app – which is free, incidentally – displays how much data you’ve used from your current quota. For example, I’ve now got mine set to 100MB daily (on giffgaff). Puling down the menu bar shows me at a glance what percentage I’ve used. It also records how much you’ve consumed during the current week and month.

You can set a vibrating alert to warn when you go over a certain percentage. Even better, you can set data to automatically disable, though you’ll need APNDroid or JuiceDefender to take advantage of that particular feature.

Battery life is, of course, a huge concern for Android users. 3G Watchdog allows you to set the refresh rate for your usage. As the app explains: “More frequent => better “freshness”, but more battery used.”

Pros

  • Keep on top of your data use
  • Auto disable (with APNDroid or JuiceDefender)

Cons

  • Potentially another battery drainer

Summary: If you have any concerns about your data use, 3G Watchdog is your best friend. Hell, even if you’re not concerned, it’s always interesting to see how much data you’ve used while doing next to nothing.

Developer: Richard Gruet

Compatibility: Requires Android 1.5 or later.

Price: free @ Android Market

Add a comment
6 comments

JanSt / MOD  May. 21, 2011 at 17:10

Hey, does it work on the iPhone? 0_O No, I meant is it ad-supported or FREE?

juliefandroid  May. 22, 2011 at 22:42

Hi JanSt, my FREE version does not have ads. :) There is a fact about battery usage on the 3G Watchdog site, fyi: http://3gwatchdog.fr/en/faq/60-does-3gw-drain-the-battery

Davefoto  May. 22, 2011 at 23:04

The free version is ad-supported, but there is a Pro version with extra features and no ads for just 2.69€(Euros). I think it's well worth its price. Kudos to Richard for developing such a useful app.

CTPAHHIK  May. 23, 2011 at 08:31

Personally think "Call Meter 3G" is better due to customization options. It's not very intuitive and take a while to setup, but once you get a feel for it works really good.

mrew42  May. 23, 2011 at 13:34

been running this for over a year now.
Top dog app, I liked it so much I paid for the pro version.
And no impact on my battery life :)

JanSt / MOD  May. 23, 2011 at 14:21

Thanks, y'all.

Email:

You don't need an account to comment. Just enter your email address. We'll keep it private.

Comment: