How to Slash Data Usage on Phone?

I am currently using an Oppo Reno 5G phone and noticed data usage is quite high.

Is this because of the screen resolution? I remember using an old Huawei Y5 2017 model used much less data in comparison. I have been watching YouTube in 240p to save data but my wife uses Facebook and Tik Tok a lot to watch videos. You can't change the resolution as far as I know in these apps.

Just for money saving purposes would it be worthwhile to buy another Huawei Y5 to save data again for basic everyday use?


  • +2

    Use WiFi.

    • +1

      We are in the country so not really an option.

      • +3

        What does being in the country got to do with not using wifi?

        Instead of using data, use Internet at home.

        • +1

          We live in a caravan.

        • What does being in the country got to do with not using wifi?

          Cows interfere with the signal.

  • Don't stream or use video apps.

      • +9

        Can't? It's not oxygen

        • borrow internet from neighbor with uncapped nbn
          or move next to maccas

  • I'm also wondering is there any modern phones with a low screen resolution like back in the day of the Samsung S5?

    • +3

      The current Samsung Galaxy S21 series has a 1080p-class screen. Most android phones however, will give you an option to reduce the screen resolution. It may be in your battery saver settings or Display Settings.

      You might also want to look into getting a phone that has a dual sim slot. You can then keep buying cheap prepaid half price SIM kits for data from supermarkets specials etc and use them as secondary data SIMS as needed if you run low on data for the month on your primary service.

      • We have colour OS 7.1. I am researching how to turn down the screen resolution but I don't think there is an option in settings. We always buy the half price sim packs but our data usage is the one we need to bring down. In all honesty I think we might look for a device with a lower res screen.

    • +4

      This is the most backwards proposed solution I've seen for a while. If you are all so reliant on data and consuming media, why diminish from that experience rather than finding an adequate solution, added cost or not, that would facilitate a happier lifestyle. So strange.

      • +1

        trying to save money? They seem to be tightarses and this place is….for tightarses….

    • Cheers, I looked into it into this but it says you won't receive emails or instant messages.

  • +3

    my wife uses Facebook and Tik Tok a lot to watch videos

    The solution is in your hands there OP.

    Another option would be to get a cheaper plan with more data, or if you are very brave set your phone to cut off after a predetermined amount of data has been used and blame your telco for it.

  • Is data really costing you any extra money? So many plans with huge allowances now.

    • Is OP in country Vic or in another country? I initially misread he is in a place we don't know where that is

      • +1

        Country QLD at the moment.

        • +1

          So how much is data actually costing you?

          • +1

            @Mechz: We are buying the cheapest sim packs in Coles/Woolworths or whoever is online. No Vodafone at the moment because no network coverage. Looking at buying Boost $30 sim for $10 with 40 GB per month. Might use two to three of these each month at current data usage.

            • +1

              @davelarz: If you are spending only $30 a month that seems like your current solution is very cheap already…

        • +1

          Mechz has a point. Like why don you opt for speed capped unlimited data plan?

          • @NeutralName: How much would that work out to on a Telstra or Optus plan? Which particular plans would you recommend? Would the speed cap be acceptable in small country towns while traveling?

            • +2

              @davelarz: the cheapest on Optus is $39/mth. It will limit to 1.5Mbps. Should able to do 360p. Your wife can watch as much tiktok as she wants.

            • +1

              @davelarz: You are not spending much on these plans. Best solution would be buying a Telstra sim only plan ($15 a month) which gives you 5gb but then slows down and it’s unlimited. Use in a wireless key or hotspot . In your phones have cheap sims with some data

  • +4

    You're on an Android phone?

    Go to Settings > Network and Internet > Mobile Network > App data usage.

    If you have this then it should show how much data each app used from the greatest user to the least.

  • +4

    Lol you watch in 240p but the wife is streaming and using the data…

    It's time to have a chat to the wife about the cost of streaming, unless you want to just roll over and pay the bills that she's racking up?

  • +4

    There is a data saver option in the Tiktok app if you can convince her to use it eg

    • Just applied it. Thanks.

  • YouTube also choose higher res streaming if your mobile speed allows. Instead of getting older phone with smaller screen size, get a phone with dated 3G chipset and no 4G /5G chipset, so it doesn't download video that fast. This would probably achieve what you want.

    However, beware of getting old phones because they don't receive support and security updates

    • +3

      get a phone with dated 3G chipset and no 4G /5G chipset, so it doesn't download video that fast.

      Or just disable 5G & 4G and only use 3G/2G.
      I'm sure the Oppo Reno has the option to do that

    • +1

      Google has recently upgraded the YouTube transcoding servers with new hardware, and the Youtube app now lets you choose from a very wide range of resolutions now.

      If you choose the Auto setting, the Youtube app detects your mobile phone screen resolution as well as the orientation and it won't play the video at a resolution that exceeds the viewable window size. i.e if you're just watching in portrait mode, it's very likely to choose 480p resolution due to the small viewable area.

  • +14

    Put a Parental Lock on your wife's phone.

  • +2

    Look at the FB settings. Turn off auto play. It won’t completely solve the issue but I’m guessing not every video will interest your wife.

    Personally, I’d delete TikTok off the phone or just use when connected to wifi.

    • Thanks just did it and turned on data saver.

  • +1

    What plan are you on?

    • We just buy whatever sim card is on special. Not Vodafone because no signal here. At the moment Coles has 40 GB Boost for $10. But it must be activated by July 5.

  • +1

    How much data do you get? And also, how much are you paying per month? I'm paying $36/m for 80gb with Optus.. I barely use 10% of my data. Though I have wifi..

    • I'd say we go through between 80 GB and 120 GB per month. We buy new data packs every month. (See the above comment.)

      • +1

        How much time per day is spent on your phones?

  • +2

    Use adblockers. Magically your data use is slashed by 90%

    • Which one do you recommend?

    • -1

      adblockers dont exist on phones….

      • +2


        • not on my phone….

      • They do. Usually as a VPN which blocks ad servers.

        • -1

          VPNs don't block ads….they just reroute traffic from your ISP to whatever VPN server you connected to. How does that block ads?

          • @Zachary: Obviously you haven't tried before. Windscribe have the option to block ads. I bet quite a few others do too.

            • -1

              @lgacb08: I don't think they have an app for ms store…

    • this is absurd, at most you'll see 5-10% difference, if not less

  • How much data do you get?
    I have 100gigs - on 4G

    Last well over a month watching uTube, downloading movies, internet, music streaming, etc.

    I suggest turning off 5G

  • +1

    My Oppo ColorOS (Android) operating system has an option to save data. Maybe you could try that.
    Seems odd that data usage changed with your phone though.

    Have you looked to see if you are autoplaying video now, but not before, and settings such as that (check chrome and youtube settings on new phone).

    Look at your Mobile Data usage per app (in settings) and that should point you to where the problem might lay.

    Good luck.

  • I have a few suggestions which would definitely work with your current setup:

    1. Turn on Lite browsing mode in Chrome and other apps.
    2. Download YouTube Vanced and in settings, set the default resolution to 720p.
    3. Set a data warning and data limiter in Android settings, that matches your phone plan. Also look for a reduced data consumption mode. Make sure you turn off data when not in use. You can try setting the default network type to 3G.
    4. Download Firefox browser and use the extension "uBlock Origin". It blocks ads from loading at all, so it stops them from using data at all. There are also some APK apps you can search up and download which blocks apps completely on your phone, using a VPN or root.

    Otherwise, think about getting portable WiFi or switching providers (maybe think about getting a second cheap device or tablet with a data-only plan). Don't even bother with Starlink at the moment.

  • How to Slash Data Usage on Phone?

    Turn it off.

  • YouTube in 240p to save data but my wife uses Facebook and Tik Tok a lot to watch video

    This has to be the most beta cringe thing I've seen in a while.

    You are doing the equivalent of eating white rice and soy sauce so your wife can have wagyu and red wine.

    The fact that you're asking for advice on a forum for something that is so easily solved is even more baffling.

    Your wife needs to front up and either a) pay the bills herself or b) understand that a relationship (and a marriage, nonetheless!) is about equally sharing things.

    Does she know you are watching youtube at 240p while she watches stupid dance videos on tiktok? If she does and she doesn't care then yikes.

    If she has a mobile phone addiction where she sits for hours and watches useless content then that's an entirely separate mental health thing that you need to confront or it'll get worse, especially if you're feeding it by working around it.

    • Yes my wife does sit for hours watching useless content. I've tried confronting her about it but she ignores me. I think she needs to do something constructive. I think it's because she is stuck at home looking after our 21 month old son. Otherwise she would be out picking fruit with me. Don't get me wrong she spends a lot of time with our son teaching him and does a great job. She is also a good wife to me and supportive. She just won't listen when it comes to the phone.

    • -2

      you got issues bro and too many complexes, nothing gives you the right to talk like that just because she spends too much time on her phone.
      I feel bad for your wife

  • 80-120GB per month and you're streaming 240p? How many hours a day are you spending on youtube/TikTok etc? Get out of the caravan and go and do something!

    • I'm out picking fruit all day. Trying to convince the wife now.

  • +1

    As fozzie above said - Get a Telstra XS extra small plan at $15 per month. Unlimited internet at 1.5mb download speed. Constant streaming for 24x7 if you want.

    Our kids are on this each and so rack up some crazy data usage per month ~ approx 200gb per month each

    • Is it still useable after the 5 GB allowance is used up? Does it pause to load video?

      • There's going to be some buffering at 1.5mb/s no doubt….Maybe not for you on your 240p but the wife will probably crack it

  • +1

    Is your phone uploading your data to a server in china?

    Joke aside, check what other apps are running in background. Especially free games. They might run ad in the background draining your data….

  • +1

    Use Brave browser on your phone, no more ads! will save heaps of data

    • why do people think that ads consume so much data? It's like a 10% improvement at best

  • As of today, the highest data hogger is Instagram
    Posting my comment from another thread:

    Another important tip. The Instagram App is a big hogger of your data. It preloads videos as well as auto-plays videos in High Resolution (by default), not allowing you to change resolution per video like YouTube, thereby eating up a large amount of mobile data.

    Here's what you may do:

    • Go to Instagram > Settings > Account > Cellular Data use.
    • Turn On Data Saver
    • Select High Resolution Media to 'WiFi Only'

    As of the other apps, I too always follow:

    • 360p YouTube videos on a phone
    • All backup services (Google Photos / Google One, etc.) on WiFi only
    • Set metered connection when using mobile as a Hotspot or set data limit for the hotspot itself if your phone allows to do so.
    • Daily tracking of data (available on Xiaomi Phones) - shows how much you used today, and how much remains for the month. This has been pretty accurate at least for Xiaomi devices, across Operators.