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View Poll Results: data issues related to dbm #'s?
high dbm, data works fine 53 68.83%
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other: explain in comments 7 9.09%
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Old July 6th, 2012, 09:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Verizon GS3 signal reception thread

This thread is for signal reception reports for the Verzon version of the GS3. It is pretty much confirmed by reviews and users the device in general is great, but it is a PHONE, so reception is inherently important. Weak reception will also drain the battery quicker.

Insight:

  • Examples with great reception for 3g and/or 4g = DX, Razr, Rezound
  • Example with good reception for 3g and/or 4g = Incredible, Thunderbolt
  • Example with weaker reception for 3g and 4g = Gnex
  • Please use the dBm signal reading and NOT bars
  • If comparing two devices, must be using the same radio (3g or 4g) and for 4G comparisons, both must be the same OS, since GB and ICS read 4G differently.
  • Practical input is also good. An example would be if you have coverage with one device in a specific area, but not the other. This might be the best of all data.
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Last edited by rushmore; July 6th, 2012 at 03:07 PM. Reason: added dBm and highlighted practical testing.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 09:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Received my S3 yesterday to replace my GNex. So far the dbm readings are comparable to a little worse, but the 4G data speeds are much better. I haven't made enough calls to test the clarity/reception in places that were spotty with my GNex yet.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 09:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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We will probably have to get through a week of denial before the real story of reception comes to light.

I really want the phone. I'm not looking for it to have the best reception out there just enough to get by with.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 09:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It has to be as good as my DX for phone calls. If it isn't, then it'll have to go back. Number of bars or dbms means nothing. It'll have to be based on the phone's actual ability make, receive, and hang on to calls in fringe areas.

If this thread sheds a definitive answer on that before my pre-order ships and it's not a good answer, then I'll have to cancel my pre-order.

For a lot of us, this is the one thread we're watching.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 10:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Best Buy not getting until next week, so I will be later to the analysis.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 10:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I posted an initial signal thoughts here Verizon Hands on Thread

I just too lazy to copy again.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 10:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I would suggest that you try to be as scientific as you can. Use Open Signal Maps app.

Record your findings in -dBm. Saying "I have 3 of 6 bars" is subjective to the device.

If people have both the GS3 and another of these phones available, it would be even better to put them in the same spot and run OSM for 5 minutes, then put the other in the same spot and run again for 5 minutes. Then a side-by-side test (then flip them around) to eliminate as much speculation as possible.

Otherwise you'll have too much anecdotal evidence and, ultimately, you'll prove nothing.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 10:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamMax View Post
I really want the phone. I'm not looking for it to have the best reception out there just enough to get by with.
NOoooooooohhh... I got a flashback thinking about AT&T service on my old iPhone in NYC. Never again. If this doesn't make calls/get data like my current Verizon phone, then I'm gonna take a pass and wait for the next great Android phone... which will be in about a month or so.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 10:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerofld View Post
I would suggest that you try to be as scientific as you can. Use Open Signal Maps app.

Record your findings in -dB. Saying "I have 3 of 6 bars" is subjective to the device.

If people have both the GS3 and another of these phones available, it would be even better to put them in the same spot and run OSM for 5 minutes, then put the other in the same spot and run again for 5 minutes. Then a side-by-side test (then flip them around) to eliminate as much speculation as possible.

Otherwise you'll have too much anecdotal evidence and, ultimately, you'll prove nothing.

Good point on using dBm and not bars since I thought it, but did not post it. Added to the OP.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 10:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I too am very interested in this thread. I currently have a Galaxy Nexus on verizon with the crummy signal/one way call muting issues. I am very surprised that I have managed to NOT throw this Gnex against something real hard. I will not go through this again.....I am in the process of getting my Gnex exchanged for the Razr Maxx and I am also sitting on 2 upgrades....those might turn into S3s for me and my wife.......but only if it can actually make phone calls.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 12:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
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This is from my desk at work - where I spend half my day at.
Samsung Galaxy S3:
-99 dBm 1 Asu
at one point it was at -117 dBm

Htc Thunderbolt:
-89 dBm
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Old July 6th, 2012, 12:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kboss375 View Post
This is from my desk at work - where I spend half my day at.
Samsung Galaxy S3:
-99 dBm 1 Asu
at one point it was at -117 dBm

Htc Thunderbolt:
-89 dBm
Both ICS & 4G?
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Old July 6th, 2012, 12:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rushmore View Post
Both ICS & 4G?
Both 4G LTE, Thunderbolt running gingerbread
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Old July 6th, 2012, 12:20 PM   #14 (permalink)
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That can mean about a ten dB misread. Does the reception for data work just as good as the TB? Hi def video is a good test

The GB value for 4G on the Thunder would probably be about 99 dBm if ICS. With ICS, 4G tends to show a lower rating than 3G, but GB usually makes the 4G number look better than really is.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 12:22 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rushmore View Post
Both ICS & 4G?
89 is a 51,200% stronger signal than 117. It doubles for every decrease of 3 dbs.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 12:24 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rushmore View Post
That can mean about a ten dB misread. Does the reception for data work just as good as the TB? Hi def video is a good test
I cant test 4g right now because I just do not get it in the building, I can test when I get home later and give some more numbers. I was always satisfied with the TB speeds..I'll post back later
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Old July 6th, 2012, 12:25 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sorka View Post
89 is a 51,200% stronger signal than 117. It doubles for every decrease of 3 dbs.
Yep, exponential scale, but GB and ICS do not measure the same for 4G. Not spinning, but trying to keep everything in perspective

Added:

I am not susceptible to new device pixie dust If GS3 has good reception = keeper, but if not= next! This formula is known as the rushmore Boolean linear algorithm Simple, but effective.

I would have preferred Captain Sexy Boolean linear algorithm
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Old July 6th, 2012, 12:34 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rushmore View Post
Yep, exponential scale, but GB and ICS do not measure the same for 4G. Not spinning, but trying to keep everything in perspective

Added:

I am not susceptible to new device pixie dust If GS3 has good reception = keeper, but if not= next! This formula is known as the rushmore Boolean linear algorithm Simple, but effective.

I would have preferred Captain Sexy Boolean linear algorithm
Good formula....I wish I followed it when buying the Gnx (on verizon) the dat after the release.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 12:54 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I must sound like a pessimistic naysayer but the evidence is slowly mounting that Samsung has made the S3.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 01:05 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I have three places that are definite fringe areas for signal. My basement, my office at work and a back road where I live. I will test in those places. If works in those areas, I am good.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 01:14 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramzes13 View Post
at least you guys have LTE coverage...i am on sprint... :-(
I don't know which is more frustrating. Not having access to LTE or having access, paying for the service monthly and then not being able to use the service because of crappy reception. I say scenario 2.

Edit: I'll be watching this thread very closely.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 01:26 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I have three places that are definite fringe areas for signal. My basement, my office at work and a back road where I live. I will test in those places. If works in those areas, I am good.
this is the only way to test for this everything else is just speculation
NUMBERS MEAN SQUAT

Go to the areas that your last good phone barely got a signal and see what you get with this phone PLEASE (if it holds onto the calls, if it can even make a call)

AGAIN NUMBERS MEAN NOTHING actual performance is where it is at
Ive seen phones with no bars work perfectly and others with 1 bar that could not make calls in weak areas.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 02:04 PM   #23 (permalink)
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So far im disappointed. Im in fringe area and my dx stayed around one bar 3g but would work, voice calls always worked. S3 is showing 0-2bars 3g but has no internet connectivity. Can't browse internet or play store or anything, browser pops up the white page that says www.whateveryourlookingfor.com is unavailable at this time. Play store just times out. Gmail will sometimes load, mostly not.

Headed to verizon right now to get sim card switched and see if that helps.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 02:08 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfran1 View Post
this is the only way to test for this everything else is just speculation
NUMBERS MEAN SQUAT

Go to the areas that your last good phone barely got a signal and see what you get with this phone PLEASE (if it holds onto the calls, if it can even make a call)

AGAIN NUMBERS MEAN NOTHING actual performance is where it is at
Ive seen phones with no bars work perfectly and others with 1 bar that could not make calls in weak areas.
Agreed. I think even dbm numbers don't mean much for 4G phones with ICS. If compared with old GB phones, dbm numbers wouldn't look any good I guess. One X on at&t and Evo LTE on Sprint had ton of complaints on low dbm first, but most of them didn't have serious data connection or call quality issues. If it works with no data drops, good data speed and call quality, that's all that matters.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 02:08 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfran1 View Post
this is the only way to test for this everything else is just speculation
NUMBERS MEAN SQUAT

Go to the areas that your last good phone barely got a signal and see what you get with this phone PLEASE (if it holds onto the calls, if it can even make a call)

AGAIN NUMBERS MEAN NOTHING actual performance is where it is at
Ive seen phones with no bars work perfectly and others with 1 bar that could not make calls in weak areas.
I'm definitely siding with you on that one. Guys over in the Nexus forum were tossing around numbers and formulas as if they worked for NASA. More time was spent breaking down dBms and alternate ways to measure signal than actually using the phones I believe.
And I totally agree on the reading of bars. I am test driving the Sprint version of this phone. I have had full bars yet the phone continaully tells me signal is lost. Not sure why. But if I went by the bars, then it has great service. Can't open facebook, but it has full bars!!

If it works where you need it, then the signal must be ok
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Old July 6th, 2012, 02:14 PM   #26 (permalink)
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My background is science and economics, so everything to me is in the margins of change Having numbers with same OS and radio type provides some sense of trend and then the absolute way is fringe area testing- if the device works at all. That is how I will test, since already know how the Incredible, DX, DX2, Droid 2, Droid 3 and Razr perform. GS3 needs to get er' done in those areas, or I will just hold out for the Razr HD.

Added: Hoping the results are good
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Old July 6th, 2012, 02:19 PM   #27 (permalink)
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First and foremost the phone needs to be, well.... a phone. If I have signal issues, I'll be ticked and return it. I was actually hoping to hold out until the new nexus was made (still have my pre-order Droid incredible). I pre-ordered to spare my unlimited data plan, I would suggest if you are in that boat, I would not cancel your pre-order, but rather return the phone within 14 days of receiving and get something else. (sucks but for most unless you started with a 4g phone, this will be the only way to keep the unlimited data plan).

Anyways, what's the point of unlimited data, if you can never use the phone? I was concerned sammy's phone would have connection issues, but held out hope the qualcomm radios would improve. Either way, I will check it out and see how it works for me and then go from there. Hopefully some folks will do preliminary testing and improve hope for myself...
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Old July 6th, 2012, 02:22 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rushmore View Post
My background is science and economics, so everything to me is in the margins of change Having numbers with same OS and radio type provides some sense of trend and then the absolute way is fringe area testing- if the device works at all. That is how I will test, since already know how the Incredible, DX, DX2, Droid 2, Droid 3 and Razr perform. GS3 needs to get er' done in those areas, or I will just hold out for the Razr HD.

Added: Hoping the results are good
Funny thing about this just released article is it list's top complaints with the latest smartphone's
The Galaxy Nexus top issues don't mention reception but the Galaxy S3 does.



iPhone 4S, Galaxy S III study reveals biggest smartphone problems
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Old July 6th, 2012, 02:56 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfran1 View Post
this is the only way to test for this everything else is just speculation
NUMBERS MEAN SQUAT

Go to the areas that your last good phone barely got a signal and see what you get with this phone PLEASE (if it holds onto the calls, if it can even make a call)

AGAIN NUMBERS MEAN NOTHING actual performance is where it is at
Ive seen phones with no bars work perfectly and others with 1 bar that could not make calls in weak areas.
Yeah, the "Numbers" don't mean much to me either...But mostly because I don't really understand what they mean or how to interpret them. How about someone VERY briefly explaining what the higher and lower dBm numbers mean with relation to phone reception. I don't need to know all of the science behind it. I'm sure I'm not the only person who is ignorant in this subject. Thanks.

Benny
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Old July 6th, 2012, 03:00 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Don't have my S3 yet but wanted to test my Droid X using OpenSignal app and use this as a placeholder with the DX's results. Keep in mind this is a 3G phone only. Conditions - at work at desk. Indoors at a building with historically subpar Verizon signal

MOTOROLA DROID X:

Cellular Mode -
Showing 3 out of 4 bars
Signal Strength 1 minute range - 57-87%
Verizon Wireless EVDO A - -83dBm 15asu
Average Signal 79% -80dBm
Speed test (averaged across 3 tests): ping 468ms (yuck), download 717kbps, upload 629 kbps

Quadrant Standard Benchmark (not signal related):
Total: 1644
CPU: 1434
Mem: 1854
I/O: 2883
2D: 556
3D: 1491

SAMSUNG GALAXY S3:

TBD
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Old July 6th, 2012, 03:44 PM   #31 (permalink)
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This review makes the phone appear to have excellent reception. Almost too good as if a network extender is in the house. There is no signal fluctuation at all...strange.

YouTube - Verizon Samsung Galaxy SIII review
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Old July 6th, 2012, 03:51 PM   #32 (permalink)
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I get mine on Monday, have a couple co workers with Razrs. I will run the signal app on my DX, run it on the S3 and do some side by side DBM comparison and report back by Tuesday.

Sorry would get some data sooner but something about NOT HAVING MY PHONE YET VERIZON!
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Old July 6th, 2012, 03:52 PM   #33 (permalink)
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This review makes the phone appear to have excellent reception. Almost too good as if a network extender is in the house. There is no signal fluctuation at all...strange.

YouTube - Verizon Samsung Galaxy SIII review
maybe he is just in a really strong signal area. Although the signal bars appear grey which usually means no internet connection so maybe that isn't the case with the sgs3?
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Old July 6th, 2012, 03:54 PM   #34 (permalink)
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maybe he is just in a really strong signal area.
Nope if you watch the review he says he's in a rural area with low reception.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 03:56 PM   #35 (permalink)
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I think really people can't judge anything by what others are getting. It is going to be one of those things that if it works for you it works sort of how the nexus was. Many had issues and many did not.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 04:02 PM   #36 (permalink)
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I really want it...so I think i'll have to try it out for myself. I remember the the 1st Moto Droid came out I had excellent reception at home always had full signal which is uncanny where I live.
I ended up going to another phone but eventually bought another Droid and it never had the signal strength as the first one.

Considering Samsung is selling these things like hotcakes I expect some quality control issues.

So yeah I guess your right, I think in some instances reception will vary handset to handset.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 04:05 PM   #37 (permalink)
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That can mean about a ten dB misread. Does the reception for data work just as good as the TB? Hi def video is a good test

The GB value for 4G on the Thunder would probably be about 99 dBm if ICS. With ICS, 4G tends to show a lower rating than 3G, but GB usually makes the 4G number look better than really is.
I feel so smart (or sad, not sure which one) that I completely comprehend this series of abbreviations and acronyms.....
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Old July 6th, 2012, 04:11 PM   #38 (permalink)
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maybe he is just in a really strong signal area. Although the signal bars appear grey which usually means no internet connection so maybe that isn't the case with the sgs3?
I think grey is Samsung's default color for the signal strength indicator - dark gray if no signal, then they lighten up when available. No color change, per se.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 04:14 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Nope if you watch the review he says he's in a rural area with low reception.

But he also came from another carrier and not had LTE before, so probably had nowhere to go but up
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Old July 6th, 2012, 04:18 PM   #40 (permalink)
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No problems here folks. Reception is the same as my DROID Charge & even better in places. Bars in my home office 2 to 3. Bars in my bedroom 3 to 4. Went out this afternoon to Best Buy & in areas of town where I would totallying loose data ( no 1x or 3G )w/ my DROID Charge I had 1 to 2 bars w/ the S3. Regarding phone calls, people say I sound clearer & no problems there. So it's all good on my end regarding this topic. Let me know if you boys need anything else on this issue.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 04:26 PM   #41 (permalink)
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treb, be a bud and flip Best Buy off for me


Keep the practical comparisons commin' folks

BTW, a lot of ticked off BB customers, apparently. Me +1 to that.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 04:30 PM   #42 (permalink)
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treb, be a bud and flip Best Buy off for me


Keep the practical comparisons commin' folks

BTW, a lot of ticked off BB customers, apparently. Me +1 to that.
All they said was it would be in stock next week & that they would have both the 16 & 32 GB's
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Old July 6th, 2012, 04:32 PM   #43 (permalink)
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No problems here folks. Reception is the same as my DROID Charge & even better in places. Bars in my home office 2 to 3. Bars in my bedroom 3 to 4. Went out this afternoon to Best Buy & in areas of town where I would totallying loose data ( no 1x or 3G )w/ my DROID Charge I had 1 to 2 bars w/ the S3. Regarding phone calls, people say I sound clearer & no problems there. So it's all good on my end regarding this topic. Let me know if you boys need anything else on this issue.
Thanks so much for the update! I Wasn't sure how to respond to this...but the Charge when I briefly had it had pretty poor reception. I only had it for 2 days so I didn't give it a long trial...BUT I had heard that they updated the Charge and it helped quite a bit with reception.

Once again thanks for the reply...I can imagine how tough it is to pull yourself away and address our concerns and stop discovering more features with the S3 Looking forward to Tuesday...that's if Best Buy's word holds true.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 04:37 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Anything I can do to help. We spend too much $ on these devices to not be happy.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 04:37 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dmanindfw View Post
Don't have my S3 yet but wanted to test my Droid X using OpenSignal app and use this as a placeholder with the DX's results. Keep in mind this is a 3G phone only. Conditions - at work at desk. Indoors at a building with historically subpar Verizon signal

MOTOROLA DROID X:

Cellular Mode -
Showing 3 out of 4 bars
Signal Strength 1 minute range - 57-87%
Verizon Wireless EVDO A - -83dBm 15asu
Average Signal 79% -80dBm
Speed test (averaged across 3 tests): ping 468ms (yuck), download 717kbps, upload 629 kbps

Quadrant Standard Benchmark (not signal related):
Total: 1644
CPU: 1434
Mem: 1854
I/O: 2883
2D: 556
3D: 1491
Like pointed out by some of us, you can't directly compare dbm of 3G GB phone to 4G ICS phone as OS reads signal differently and kind of signal is different. I think it only makes sense to compare SIII on verizon to Gnex, Razr (with ICS) and Dinc 4G just released.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 04:53 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Back at my apartment with 4 bars of Ltd
-87dBm 53asu
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Old July 6th, 2012, 05:21 PM   #47 (permalink)
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By the way nearly all have caved in for new devices and gone with the same radios. So that Razr HD is rumored to now have the same radio as the S3. CPU Testing numbers sent also show this. On the LTE side of the house there are a limited number of players in the multi core world. So many if not all have gone to Qualcomm.

Motorola DROID RAZR HD specs leaked on NenaMark site

Why Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 has the competition on the defensive | ExtremeTech

So it seems the only possibility for improvement is the antenna quality which is a pretty standard formula (although Apple found out the hard way how to wrongly do an antenna).

If Moto has gone by the S4 route then I would think they would have very similar performance.

Just Sayin...
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Old July 6th, 2012, 05:28 PM   #48 (permalink)
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I think grey is Samsung's default color for the signal strength indicator - dark gray if no signal, then they lighten up when available. No color change, per se.
gotcha because I know previous devices I used had blue when it had good signal and grey if no signal.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 05:30 PM   #49 (permalink)
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I am beginning to think all these "signal issues" Is more with verizon's network and how it deals with sim cards more than the phones per say. Before lte I used various phones from various manufacturers and none had issues with reception, where as it seems every lte phone that comes out has some sort of reception at first( that 99% of the time gets fixed via an update) Just seems strange all the sudden these phones that had no issues before start all having reception/data issues.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 05:34 PM   #50 (permalink)
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I am beginning to think all these "signal issues" Is more with verizon's network and how it deals with sim cards more than the phones per say. Before lte I used various phones from various manufacturers and none had issues with reception, where as it seems every lte phone that comes out has some sort of reception at first( that 99% of the time gets fixed via an update) Just seems strange all the sudden these phones that had no issues before start all having reception/data issues.
Interesting you say that...I wondered that myself. Something just doesn't feel natural about not being able to hit *228 and update prl or anything.
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