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WhatsApp and Messenger video calling mobile data consumption.

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WhatsApp, Facebook

Video calling is becoming trendy especially with its debut on WhatsApp just about a month ago but Facebook’s Messenger has had that feature for quite a while now. Anyway the story here is which of the two is the most efficient means of digital face to face communication that is best connectivity and quality for the lowest MegaBytes.

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So in our tests one device was on wifi and the other was on mobile data. The video calls were 5 minutes each and the tests were repeated several times with the average being the magic number. Here are our findings.

Facebook Messenger video calling destroyed an average of 22 MB after a 5 minute video call. Video quality was decent with latency of about half a second which is not bad at all and pretty smooth video as well.

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WhatsApp video calling trumped its Facebook cousin running through an average of 26 MB after a 5 minute video call. We did experience quite a large number of dropped calls due to connectivity issues and in some instances there was only audio coming through with no picture.

The video was much more pixelated compared to Messenger’s offerings and had a pretty significant amount of latency coupled with sub par frame rates rendering the video far from smooth. This was pretty surprising considering it consumes about 15% more data.

So if you fancy some virtual face to face  communication your best bet is Messenger Video calling. It’s less of a hit and miss affair with some decent quality and hey, it’s about 15% easier on the data. For the best experience for video calling I recommend a decently fast wifi connection at least 1 Mbps or 4G mobile broadband with actual data bundles rather than social media bundles.

*Data consumption varies with speed of the connection as well as the maximum video size your camera is capable of. Connectivity is a two way issue so the best experience will only exist if both parties have a robust internet connection.

9 thoughts on “WhatsApp and Messenger video calling mobile data consumption.

  1. can you do yo comparison with with other traditional video calling apps like, viber,skype and imo

  2. Facebook Messenger is the best,I find it better than Skype. Its so wonderful especially when both parties have an LTE Capable phones

  3. Why u have not included other video calling apps like imo, duo, hangouts and skype. I have compared Personally all the above and found imo is the best for video calling .

  4. Have just tried to connect to a live broadcast via telone’s adsl on Periscope…. just hangs. looks like it is best at night when there is less congestion. When one has to depend on ADSL, because Econet data is just so expensive. Even the daily bundles at ZWD1 ( now ) adds up as one could through 250 megs in 5 mins.

  5. Mercy again, with a Telone adsl speed of DL 2.65 UL.0.20 but a Ping of 38ms why can’t I watch a live broadcast on Periscope? I thought the lower your Ping the better? I always have doubts about Ookla Speedtest App. Do you think Telone is tampering with Periscope so we cannot have access?

  6. You used the word trumped incorrectly. It comes from the game top trumps in which you compared the specs of two items eg vehicles. And which ever has the better specs trumps the other. But it doesn’t have to be higher, the better spec can be lower if less is desirable. So in your case it’s the other way round, messenger trumps Whatsapp by using less data as less data use is desirable

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