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Old September 13th, 2013, 09:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Droid MAXX constant fluctuation in signal

I just got the Droid MAXX and so far I'm loving it except for 2 things; the earpiece is low but well documented; the signal strength is bouncing all over the place. Half a block from the tower I was noticing my phone go from 5 bars while laying flat to 3 bars immediately when picked up. I checked the signal under phone info and saw it fluctuate between -57 dBm and -79 dBm (1x signal) in the same 10 foot area as I moved it around. At -57 dBm, speed tests showed 46-55 MBps download speeds which are the best I've ever seen. At -79 dBm I was getting 17-24 MBps. I tested side by side with a Samsung GS4 and that phone had -64 dBm as the best and -75 dBm as the worst, yet it didn't fluctuate nearly as quickly. My concern is that I might have a defect that is causing excess fluctuation. Can anyone please test their signal under phone info > network type and signal strength and test the results by holding the phone different ways and moving around.

Build date 8/31/13

BTW, to eliminate the possibility of interference, I also took the phone to an open parking lot and saw it bounce between -60 dBm and -81 dBm for 1x. 20 dBm fluctuations seem really extreme to me, especially when just repositioning the phone.

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Old September 13th, 2013, 11:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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i'd say if it continues you need to return within 14 days or send it to moto. signals regularly fluctuate as the towers become more heavily used, but your problem doesnt sound directly related to that.
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Old September 13th, 2013, 12:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If it was me I would be standing in the Verizon store right now explaining the problem. With power off did you try removing and reinstalling the SIM card? You could consider a SIM card replacement.

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Old September 13th, 2013, 12:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by guyinlaca View Post
I just got the Droid MAXX and so far I'm loving it except for 2 things; the earpiece is low but well documented; the signal strength is bouncing all over the place. Half a block from the tower I was noticing my phone go from 5 bars while laying flat to 3 bars immediately when picked up. I checked the signal under phone info and saw it fluctuate between -57 dBm and -79 dBm (1x signal) in the same 10 foot area as I moved it around. At -57 dBm, speed tests showed 46-55 MBps download speeds which are the best I've ever seen. At -79 dBm I was getting 17-24 MBps. I tested side by side with a Samsung GS4 and that phone had -64 dBm as the best and -75 dBm as the worst, yet it didn't fluctuate nearly as quickly. My concern is that I might have a defect that is causing excess fluctuation. Can anyone please test their signal under phone info > network type and signal strength and test the results by holding the phone different ways and moving around.

Build date 8/31/13

BTW, to eliminate the possibility of interference, I also took the phone to an open parking lot and saw it bounce between -60 dBm and -81 dBm for 1x. 20 dBm fluctuations seem really extreme to me, especially when just repositioning the phone.
Those are all excellent signals (-60 dBm to -81 dBm).

Personally, I wouldn't return the phone unless you are having problems - dropped calls no matter where you go, problems with network connectivity.

See Four bars? The disconnect between bars and cell signal | Ars Technica for some explanation for what you may be seeing.

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There are a couple of reasons why the user isn't shown these numbers outright, though. For one, this can fluctuate by seemingly huge amounts with relatively little physical movement, which would cause confusion among users. This is due, in part, to a phenomenon called multipath signal fading.

A cell tower signal can be reflected by any sort of material that is partially reflective to electromagnetic radiation (i.e., inorganic material, like certain types of stone, metal, glass, or water.) Sometimes, a certain material can absorb a small part of a signal and reflect the rest of it off in another direction; this reflection means that all these signals are bouncing around and taking different physical paths to your cell phone's antenna. Different signals taking different paths means that some take longer paths than others. Since they all are traveling at the speed of light, multiple signal paths mean that some signals will arrive at your cell phone's antenna at different times. These signals interact with each other, canceling some parts of the signal out and amplifying others. The typical result is that the power density of signals in these multipath environments will fade in and out. In this respect, a typical urban environment plays hell with RF signals.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 08:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well I'm glad I stopped by a Verizon store. I knew the volume was low but when inside the store the earpiece was unacceptable. When compared to the demo phone, it was a night and day difference. The rep was amazing and swapped it out no questions asked. This new MAXX is way louder, way more solid feeling and the buttons are more responsive. On my old phone the back speaker was popped out, where this one is flush, so all around this is better. I'm happy.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 10:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well I'm glad I stopped by a Verizon store. I knew the volume was low but when inside the store the earpiece was unacceptable. When compared to the demo phone, it was a night and day difference. The rep was amazing and swapped it out no questions asked. This new MAXX is way louder, way more solid feeling and the buttons are more responsive. On my old phone the back speaker was popped out, where this one is flush, so all around this is better. I'm happy.
Good deal. I'm glad that worked out.

I have to say that I have often read horror stories of Verizon Wireless customer service, but, the few times I have had to experience it, I have never been unsatisfied.
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Old September 15th, 2013, 12:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well, I spoke too soon. This phone has a subtle pinstripe effect that appears/fades/appears across the entire screen. Now I'm going through the hoops to get it replaced again.

Of the two things that could be wrong, first the earpiece, now the screen. The price we pay as early adopters...
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If good battery life is what you want, you can't go wrong with the Motorola DROID Maxx. This device comes with a 3,500 mAh battery and is said to have a stunning 48-hour battery life.  Specs include a 1.7 GHz dual-core processor, 2 GB of... Read More



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