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Old February 19th, 2013, 06:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Antenna (includes GPS), reception discussion

Seems odd that we've always had plastic covers for antennas, but now HTC has the all metal One and promises no antennagate -

HTC One aims to make good first impression with all-metal body | Mobile - CNET News

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Old February 19th, 2013, 06:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Been wondering about the details of this myself. And those other antennae (WiFi/BT/GPS).

For once I'm going to keep my eye out for the FCC report
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Old February 19th, 2013, 07:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Had my curiosity piqued by the nice video - and didn't believe some of the claims there, guess what -

AnandTech - Hands on and Impressions from the HTC One - Formerly M7

Quote:
The choice of the HTC One name really emphasizes how much this launch means to HTC — this is the canonical One. This is the fullest expression of HTC’s view for what the One lineup should mean, this is their flagship. The One is a clear evolution of the industrial design first begun with the Butterfly and DNA, except instead of plastic the One is machined from a single solid block of aluminum. There are over 200 minutes of CNC machine cuts per device, which is a unibody construction. Plastic is injected into the aluminum block after certain cuts are made for the back case, which then gets machined into the final form. The One uses the top and bottom aluminum strips for antennas, both of which are actively tuned to mitigate unintended attenuation from being held. There’s a plastic insulative strip in-between the two antennas and the main body. In spite of being aluminum, the One also includes NFC, whose active area surrounds the camera region. There’s no wireless charging from Qi or WPC, however.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 08:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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WPC?

That's a new one for me(I think).......
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Old February 20th, 2013, 02:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default re: Antenna (includes GPS), reception discussion

http://www.wirelesspowerconsortium.com/
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Old February 20th, 2013, 03:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I can't see how this antenna design is really much different than the iPhone antenna blunders.

I worked with RF for a really long time... and still do here and there in my hobby projects... seen a lot of attempts at this and none work well.
If you come into close proximity of the antenna you will detune it and cause attenuation - but I think we all get that.

Call me a party pooper but I think this has fail written all over it.
This is the issue with phones now.. they typically put the antennas for the cell radio(s) on the bottom and gps/wifi and friends at the top.

I like the phone a lot.. but I can't help but think this is iPhone all over again where it's about the form not the function.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 03:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The iP4 didn't coat the antennas, so touching them could short them, that was pretty serious.

First thing I did when I read the AnandTech statement was review how I held my phone - I manage to grab from top to bottom, so not sure here.

I've done RF on the job as well - exactly why I raised the questions here.

I don't know what to make of the active tuning thing.

Almost anything in proximity to an antenna changes it. That said, my other phones have been fine being held, the overall design ought to allow for that.

The first field reviews should prove quite interesting.

I'd like to say that no one can be that stupid in design but then again - iPhone 4.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 04:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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But can anybody be that stupid again after the iPhone 4?
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Old February 20th, 2013, 04:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default re: Antenna (includes GPS), reception discussion

It probably uses an active tuner like we use with our ham rigs, uses a r/c network to keep the swr optimal no matter how you hold it so that there's no unwanted attenuation involved. I definitely agree with Hadron, can't wait to see the FCC filing on this bad boy.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 04:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Only problem with FCC filings is that they show transmission power but don't fully characterize sensitivity, yeah? Or I am mis-remembering that?

Mine would end up in a case anyway, but I still wonder if there's an insulating poly coating on that aluminum or not.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 04:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OverByter View Post
It probably uses an active tuner like we use with our ham rigs, uses a r/c network to keep the swr optimal no matter how you hold it so that there's no unwanted attenuation involved. I definitely agree with Hadron, can't wait to see the FCC filing on this bad boy.
OB
I can see that being possible.. it would have to learn.
Modern tuners do store what they have learned and try those first to speed up matching.

At the power levels we are talking about here you can effectively load up the track on the circuit board and radiate virtually no power while keeping the transmitter happy.

In the end the handset may be able to hear the BTS but what if the BTS can't hear the handset?

The FCC filings will be interesting, but I want to see the iFixit teardown more than the FCC filing myself.
If it works I want to see how it works
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Old February 20th, 2013, 04:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarlyMon View Post
Only problem with FCC filings is that they show transmission power but don't fully characterize sensitivity, yeah? Or I am mis-remembering that?

Mine would end up in a case anyway, but I still wonder if there's an insulating poly coating on that aluminum or not.
For sure, RF does funny things when in close proximity with anything, but I'm with Early on this one: My (un)coordination makes it almost mandatory I have a decent case (TPU at least). Folks had problems with the Palm Pre's "oreo-ing" - I dropped mine so much, I had double-stuff!
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Old February 24th, 2013, 01:02 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default re: Antenna (includes GPS), reception discussion

http://s4gru.com/index.php?/blog/1/entry-342-all-for-htc-one-htc-one-for-all/

Great info, Sprint only.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 01:10 AM   #14 (permalink)
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R. I. P. SVDO, it was nice to know ya....
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Old February 24th, 2013, 01:16 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default re: Antenna (includes GPS), reception discussion

Yep.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 01:29 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Definitely a bummer, but, hopefully most will see 4G LTE some time this year & this will be a non-issue in most scenarios when out of WI-FI coverage.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 01:47 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default re: Antenna (includes GPS), reception discussion

With all of the advantages of the world modem built-in to the S4, I'm surprised that the Snapdragon 600 doesn't have it and may require a separate modem chip like the S4 Pro. I'd like to see that part confirmed.

Interesting about the dual antennas and the way they're expected to work.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 09:05 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I was watching a Vid a few days ago that was talking about the design and if it will affect the antena...A La,,,antena gate?

And from what they were saying those lines in the rear part of the device, specifically the colored ones (white on the Silver aluminum One) are to help with the antena.

In light of what one poster said...I cant imagine a company not learning from the past and making a mistake as big as Apple did a few years ago.
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 11:40 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Signal reception quality?

So my signal reception on my galaxy nexus, is well, awful. And on my girlfriends galaxy s3 it's pretty 'meh' itself.

For those that have this guy in hand, have you guys payed attention to how the signal reception is?
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Old March 24th, 2013, 02:08 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Looks like your talking about the U.S. Varient because the Euro GNex didn't have recep issues like the U.S. VZW model did. Either way, nobody has handled the LTE Variant yet so we'll have to wait and see if that's the version your looking to find out about. Alot of us are interested in the same question as this will also impact battery life on the LTE model.
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Old March 24th, 2013, 04:25 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: Signal reception quality?

I've used the SIII LTE version on and off (working with a Telco in Aus). As far as handsets go, we've found that the Galaxy series antenna's are not as strong or reliable as other manufacturers - ie HTC, Sony, BlackBerry etc.

I have no trouble believing you've been having issues with both SIII and Nexus.
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Old April 5th, 2013, 04:33 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I got my pre-order in so I have been looking at the antennas in the teardowns posted in this thread:
http://androidforums.com/htc-one/704385-dismantling-htc-one-can-difficult-diy-repairs.html

Is that an NFC antenna around the camera?
I see several lengths of coax running around in there but I am having a hard time spotting the actual antennas on the back cover.

Anyone else see them on there?
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Old April 5th, 2013, 05:43 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I'm lucky enough to have received my pre-order on time and have absolutely no issues with signal here in the UK.
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Old April 5th, 2013, 09:04 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoyalServant View Post
I got my pre-order in so I have been looking at the antennas in the teardowns posted in this thread:
http://androidforums.com/htc-one/704385-dismantling-htc-one-can-difficult-diy-repairs.html

Is that an NFC antenna around the camera?
I see several lengths of coax running around in there but I am having a hard time spotting the actual antennas on the back cover.

Anyone else see them on there?
NFC antenna isn't show on the FCC diagram, so not sure from the pictures there.
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Old April 5th, 2013, 11:46 PM   #25 (permalink)
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http://androidforums.com/htc-one/690728-htc-one-professional-reviews-post5710459.html

The ring around the camera is indeed the NFC antenna.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 03:44 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Default Dc hspa+ 42

Does the HTC One have 21 or 42
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Old April 10th, 2013, 04:14 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Originally I posted that it supports upto 42 but after having a look around I'm not so sure.. I know it's fast as hell but all that it shows in my settings is I'm connected to HSPAP. The phone does support LTE and I assumed that would be 42

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Old April 10th, 2013, 06:25 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilkas View Post
...
Those are the specs for the Sprint version. No HSPA in that one. The AT&T version has HSPA+ and LTE Bands 4 and 17. Here is the list of bands per model from HTC's UK site

HSPA/WCDMA:
Europe/Asia: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz
GSM/GPRS/EDGE:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
LTE:
EU: 800/1800/2600 MHz
US (AT&T): 700/850/AWS/1900 MHz
US (TMO): 1700/AWS MHz
US (Sprint): 1900 MHz
Asia: 1800/2600 Mhz
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Old April 10th, 2013, 09:06 PM   #29 (permalink)
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The higher the MHz, the better the LTE?
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Old April 10th, 2013, 09:37 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
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The higher the MHz, the better the LTE?
Higher frequency means less building penetration than a lower frequency.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 10:21 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Default FM Tuner?

I currently have a EVO 4G LTE, and it has an FM Radio tuner, which can be useful sometimes. Does the One have an FM Tuner? I didn't see it listed in the specs.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 10:32 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
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The higher the MHz, the better the LTE?
Sprint's LTE will penetrate the same as their 3G, because both are near the same frequency.
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Old April 11th, 2013, 12:13 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevis View Post
I currently have a EVO 4G LTE, and it has an FM Radio tuner, which can be useful sometimes. Does the One have an FM Tuner? I didn't see it listed in the specs.
Yes, the specs have it listed as having an FM tuner.
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Old April 12th, 2013, 10:40 AM   #34 (permalink)
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So, for those who have it already, how does the CELL RECEPTION (to make phone calls) compare to your previous phones?? I don't care about Wifi or 3g/4g...i am only asking about cell reception for phone calls.
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Old April 12th, 2013, 01:57 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigmd99 View Post
So, for those who have it already, how does the CELL RECEPTION (to make phone calls) compare to your previous phones?? I don't care about Wifi or 3g/4g...i am only asking about cell reception for phone calls.
I would also like to know this? anyone who has the one would you please comment on this?
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Old April 13th, 2013, 08:05 PM   #36 (permalink)
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I have been looking at the review videos and there are a few AT&T ones out there that make me wonder.
Obviously the reviewers are indoors and several that have been reviewing with a sim in the phone seemed to have a low signal going by the bars on the phone in LTE mode.

What I was trying to observe is:
- Position of the phone in the reviews hand
- If the phone changed positions in the hand, like portrait to landscape, upside down and so forth had any effect on the signal level.

Basically... looking for "antennagate" symptoms on the One.
I did not see any and the signal levels may all seemed low on LTE but were useable.
The few that were using the overseas model in the states on HSPA seemed to have higher signal levels which I found interesting.

This of course was not a scientific study by any means, just casual observation.
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Old April 13th, 2013, 08:32 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Remember that there is no common standard for the number of bars at a given signal level. So in general you can't compare bars between different phones, not always between different firmware on the same phone. Whether it can maintain a connection or a call is the real test.

I've not noticed much said about LTE reception in reviews, but in the anandtech review Brian said he was unable to produce a "death grip" effect with cellular reception.
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Old April 13th, 2013, 08:39 PM   #38 (permalink)
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The beauty of the active antennas working in tandem.

I'll bet you could get a death grip using two or three hands lol, so yeah, no?
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Old April 13th, 2013, 08:45 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Yeah, but if you ever see someone wrapping hands tight about both ends you'll be justified in doing a Jobs and telling them that they're holding it wrong
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Old April 14th, 2013, 03:08 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoyalServant View Post
I have been looking at the review videos and there are a few AT&T ones out there that make me wonder.
Obviously the reviewers are indoors and several that have been reviewing with a SIM in the phone seemed to have a low signal going by the bars on the phone in LTE mode.

What I was trying to observe is:
- Position of the phone in the reviews hand
- If the phone changed positions in the hand, like portrait to landscape, upside down and so forth had any effect on the signal level.

Basically... looking for "antennagate" symptoms on the One.
I did not see any and the signal levels may all seemed low on LTE but were useable.
The few that were using the overseas model in the states on HSPA seemed to have higher signal levels which I found interesting.

This of course was not a scientific study by any means, just casual observation.
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Remember that there is no common standard for the number of bars at a given signal level. So in general you can't compare bars between different phones, not always between different firmware on the same phone. Whether it can maintain a connection or a call is the real test.

I've not noticed much said about LTE reception in reviews, but in the Anandtech review Brian said he was unable to produce a "death grip" effect with cellular reception.
Like Hadron is saying, there is no universal rule or standard and the actual connection(s) quality in relation to "signal bars". It is going to vary for every device, software build, and carrier vs. carrier. It is hard to try to make any sort of guess until the device is in hand and on your own carrier.

In Sprint's case (my carrier; U.S.), for most of their LTE devices, the "signal bars" have absolutely ZERO bearing on the strength/quality of the LTE connection.
S4GRU.com | Bars Lie for LTE Signal Strength! How to determine your actual LTE signal strength - Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Case in point, while rare, I had a situation just the other day where I had no bars but was maintaining my LTE connection and browsing the internet with little issue.
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Old April 14th, 2013, 11:57 AM   #41 (permalink)
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I used to work on these systems fellas I get that.
I can't exactly ask the reviewers to whack it into radio diagnostics or download an app so I can see the RSSI and RSRP of the device so the bars had to suffice.

I am really surprised that there is so little on this floating around at the moment especially with HTC using a new (to them afaik) antenna design.
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Old April 14th, 2013, 01:06 PM   #42 (permalink)
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There remains a lot of mystery over the intellectual property cross licensing agreement that Apple and HTC entered into last year.

Or, it could simply be this -

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6683/a-look-at-skycross-and-their-actively-tuned-versitune-smartphone-antenna

I posed the question about proper reception metrics to the gang at S4GRU.com last year, answer: without a proper setup, there was no telling.

I agree though, some sort of sensitivity curves would be nice.
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Old April 14th, 2013, 01:49 PM   #43 (permalink)
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I can only conclude that it works because a lot of the reviewers that I watched mentioned that they used the device as their daily driver for a week or 10 days or some other length of time at least a week in length.

If they noticed any signal issues it may have been mentioned and none mentioned any issues with it or battery life for that matter so clearly the antenna design "works".

As mentioned above regarding wrapping hands at both ends I can actually see where that is a legitimate use for people that play games and require both hands to move their character around and so forth.

In that case... they are holding onto both antennas or partially covering them so I can see an issue there.

Any of our EU (or US) buddies with this device mind whacking network signal info or signalcheck on there and grabbing it in various places to see if there are trouble spots?

Might satisfy some curiosity I and others surely have about it.
It's supposed to be available the 19th but I am hoping that AT&T ships them out before then so I can play around with it
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Old April 14th, 2013, 01:59 PM   #44 (permalink)
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The antenna's are both sealed with that plastic covering, shouldn't that prevent any issues because you don't actually have contact with the antenna or any metal touching the antenna?
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Old April 14th, 2013, 02:28 PM   #45 (permalink)
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I haven't tested this extensively yet but 3g performance seems flaky on the One compared to the sensation. Today I had no internet access on the browser, maps or tapatalk even though my phone reported 3g signal. Would not connect.
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Old April 14th, 2013, 04:06 PM   #46 (permalink)
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The antenna's are both sealed with that plastic covering, shouldn't that prevent any issues because you don't actually have contact with the antenna or any metal touching the antenna?
The iPhone had a shorting issue. That's where the deathgrip term started.

In retaliation, Jobs demonstrated that even with plastic covered phones with internal antennas, you could get your hand enough around the device to basically sort of block the signal (hands being full of iron-water (blood) make that possible).

And some all plastic-outside, antenna-inside jobs did show degradation, not to the extent that Jobs claimed, and since then, we always take a good look at new antennas under the Death-Grip®™ name.

LS, I can see your point about gamers - if it matters any, my phone has internal antennas under the end-caps that I regularly shield with both hands, often more so than a gamer might, watching vids during slack time, mine doesn't suffer total signal loss. (Anecdote admitted.)

Not saying the One won't, just saying that may not have to, even in that grip configuration.

(BTW - The antennas are located on the two end caps of the One for those unfamiliar.)

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I haven't tested this extensively yet but 3g performance seems flaky on the One compared to the sensation. Today I had no internet access on the browser, maps or tapatalk even though my phone reported 3g signal. Would not connect.
At our corporate shops here, they'll run a test they call "an RF box text" - I had a new HTC once with flaky performance compared to my older one. Had the test done, it failed, they replaced it right smartly for me, end of issues.

I encourage that here whenever I hear stories like yours, and I've most always (not always, but most always) have heard back from folks that it was bad hardware.

Just my 2 cents on that.
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Old April 14th, 2013, 06:06 PM   #47 (permalink)
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At our corporate shops here, they'll run a test they call "an RF box text" - I had a new HTC once with flaky performance compared to my older one. Had the test done, it failed, they replaced it right smartly for me, end of issues.
When you say that your "corporate shops" do you mean the carrier corporate shops or in your case the Sprint corp store?

If so that is surprising to me... RF test boxes can be expensive depending on
the tests they are configured to perform.
I have never seen them outside of a lab or trade show.
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Old April 14th, 2013, 06:19 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by LoyalServant View Post
When you say that your "corporate shops" do you mean the carrier corporate shops or in your case the Sprint corp store?

If so that is surprising to me... RF test boxes can be expensive depending on
the tests they are configured to perform.
I have never seen them outside of a lab or trade show.
Yep, corporate Sprint store/service. I called Sprint day after I got the phone, that's what they told me. I asked if they were kidding, the rep said absolutely not. I recall the diagnostic printout slightly, that was 2011, but it showed results for all my radios as I recall.

I'd assume that they must have something specialized to lower cost of the test gear.

The stuff in my lab is very expensive, so I understand your point.

By the way, their organization understands the term "RF box test," so I associated that with some standard test setup rather than box as in instrument.
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Old April 15th, 2013, 01:52 AM   #49 (permalink)
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Thanks - I'll report it to Phones4u
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Old April 18th, 2013, 07:30 PM   #50 (permalink)
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Okay.. some initial observations about the antennas...
This is all observation and in no way scientific.

I have been using a One S and a Nexus 4 in the same spot (here at my desk) for a good long time so I know what the performance of those devices is on HSPA.

The HTC One seems to perform better than the Nexus 4 and One S.

No death grip the signal levels reported in phone info on HSPA are -99dBm.
Not so hot... but it works.
This area of my house is also a bad spot.
If I death grip the phone by holding the top and bottom it will drop to -111dBm
I made a phone call and I really had to work at it to get it to drop the call, even when I got it to -113 it held on for dear life.
The phone like my Nexus 4 appears to REFUSE to hand off from HSPA->EDGE for some reason, it will go into no service before acquiring EDGE.
This is probably network related...

LTE....
Sitting at -103 RSRP on the desk and a death grip drops to -116
When it's at -103 in this location a speedtest gives me 18 down 6 up
If I death grip it the speed test will drop to 3 down 437kbps up which is still very useable.

I do not have another AT&T LTE device to compare with but on HSPA the One antenna performance is absolutely no problem at all.

Holding in both hands as if to play a game in HSPA and LTE there is signal degradation but it's not severe enough at my desk which is already pretty low to cause a drop out sufficient enough to cause problems.

I would say that HTC has got it figured out....
I will observe it over the next few days and see if there are any issues but so far it's been great.
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