dbm's explained?General

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  1. Bartles

    Bartles Member

    I have read lots and lots about dbms on here. I'm not sure exactly what they are. Im guessing its signal strength that your particular phone radio is able to muster in. I am very curious about this because it seems to be the best and perhaps only tool to see how are Gnexus' are demonstrating performance. Its also the major area of turmoil with the Gnex.

    So anyone that could simply school me on this would be great. Is a lower number better. And maybe we could list in this thread very cleanly some measurements about the signal strength. Not to be redundant, but rather to more effectively gather imput to see whats going on. Short and sweet.

    What would be amazing perfect dbms, and what would be unacceptable??

    red66charger and alostpacket like this.
  2. civicsisedan

    civicsisedan Well-Known Member

    Lower is better.

    However they say the nexus is the only phone to read true lte so their dbm signal is lte.

    You cant compare it to the rezound/razr any other 4g because their dbm readimg is suppose to be actually 3g.

    I dunno. Hope that helps. Even tho i dont think that is reason the nexus has crappy signal. I think its the radio
  3. sdrawkcab25

    sdrawkcab25 Well-Known Member

    -120 is unacceptable
    -100 is poor but usable
    -80 is acceptable/decent
    -60 is good
    -40 is excellent
  4. civicsisedan

    civicsisedan Well-Known Member


    Pics or it didnt happen. Lol.

    The best ive seen is -80 on my nexus. -90 normally at my house.
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  5. kklier

    kklier Well-Known Member

    I've read that, butI saw that the lg revolution has dual indicators.
    jroc and BlueBiker like this.
  6. BlueBiker

    BlueBiker Well-Known Member

    When the Nexus is forced to CDMA-only mode (either to conserve battery or when the 4G LTE signal is too weak to use), then it will show the 3G dBm value which can be compared to any other VZW phone.

    Kewl, I didn't know it did that.
    rsb148 likes this.
  7. trophynuts

    trophynuts Well-Known Member

    lol mine at home when forced to 3G stays at -120.....and it sucks.

    edit* just to add though this doesn't affect my call quality at all however. In fact i haven't dropped one call and it sounds just as clear if not more than my DX. Also my DroidX would occasionally drop calls here at home.
  8. alostpacket

    alostpacket Over Macho Grande? VIP Member

    Helpful thread :D going to link this in the FAQs :)

    Edit: Also here's the Wikipedia link if anyone wants a lot more technical info:

  9. dpkimmel2001

    dpkimmel2001 New Member

    I had read about this phone for a while and couldn't wait to get it. When it was finally released for Verizon I placed an order for three of these for my family. While waiting for them to arrive I started reading all of these posts about how bad the reception was and I started to wonder if I'd done the wrong thing by buying them. I live in a fringe area that had a -120 signal reading on the Droid Eris that I was using and thought if the Nexus is that bad there's no way I'd be able to place a call. The phones finally arrived and while still @ -120 no dropped calls, 3g works fine & I couldn't be happier with my purchase. Maybe I'm just lucky or maybe people are to hung up on numbers. Bottom line..... Who cares about the numbers? The phone either works for you or it doesn't. If it doesn't work to your satisfaction, take it back.
  10. Bartles

    Bartles Member

    Well said!

    I seem to be experiencing the same thing. At home Im supposed to be on the fringe of 4g coverage but can't receive it on the nexus. My 3g signal always shows 1 blue bar at -120 and it connects decently. I am on wifi at home unless experimenting with the connectivity.

    Not sure how I came up with what Im about to explain, but Im pretty sure It came from a solid source. Whenever I explain getting a signal to someone, I always tell them the advantage of the verizon cdma (voice call) verse gsm is that with verizon, even if you have 1 bar you are connected, and that connection is as good as all other connections regardless of bars. That is the beauty of cdma, your either on of off, no gsm distinctions such as poor quality or static related to your bar strength.

    Im guessing that data connections are altogether different, and 4G even more so.
  11. crankerchick

    crankerchick Well-Known Member

    Um, higher is better. -75 dBm > -120 dBm.

    Just be sure to compare LTE to LTE when comparing between phones, which is pretty difficult since most other phones don't report LTE signal strength.

    There are a few apps in the market to help with this endeavor. Sensorly will display 3G and LTE signal strength at the same time, so that one doesn't have to switch to 3G to compare the Nexus signal levels to any of the other phones. However, I have noticed that sometimes the app reports slightly different numbers from what can be seen in Settings > About Phone > Status.

    Some have reported that if used on any of the other 4G phones, it also reports LTE signal strength. I can't confirm this myself, but it's worth a try if one is interested.
  12. sdrawkcab25

    sdrawkcab25 Well-Known Member

    When people say "lower is better" they are ignoring the negative sign, since there really is no positive dbm levels with cell phones.

    But yes, technically, -75 is greater/higher than -120
  13. BlueBiker

    BlueBiker Well-Known Member

    |-75| dBm < |-120| dBm

    jkc120 likes this.
  14. jkc120

    jkc120 Well-Known Member

    Awesome use of absolute value. I approve. :D
    bytheriver likes this.
  15. Sandroidfan

    Sandroidfan Well-Known Member

    Absolute lower is better? that's only for negative numbers. For very strong signal, dBm value actually becomes positive as shown in Wikipedia link above.

    So in general, higher is always better, taking account of sign.;)
  16. Trooper

    Trooper Well-Known Member

    You sir are an anomaly!
  17. Sandroidfan

    Sandroidfan Well-Known Member

    Not everyone is having reception issue like this forum makes it look like. The phone signal reception part works for the most part no matter what's happening with data signal.
  18. Trooper

    Trooper Well-Known Member

    So what you're saying is, I should have got a Gnex?
  19. Sandroidfan

    Sandroidfan Well-Known Member

    I didn't mean that. It's ultimately up to you and where you live. You may test one at your nearest VZW store to see if it works fine for you.
  20. BlueBiker

    BlueBiker Well-Known Member

    You mean test the signal at your closest VZW store where they boost the signal? :p
  21. Sandroidfan

    Sandroidfan Well-Known Member

    Do they have signal booster at VZW stores?
    BTW, mine doesn't need it to function as phone.

    edit: ok, I guess you were sarcastic before. I'm not suggesting anyone with other phone should have got Gnex, just to clarify. Just wanted to say not everyone is having reception issue.
  22. crankerchick

    crankerchick Well-Known Member

    If they boost the signal in the stores then they don't a good job in my store. Signal levels in the store are about the same as most places in my city read and the best levels are NOT found in my store, not even close.
    BlueBiker and Sandroidfan like this.
  23. sperho

    sperho Well-Known Member

    No, he isn't. I get great call quality with zero bars displayed more often than not.
  24. PhilosoRaptor

    PhilosoRaptor Well-Known Member

    I hope they fix it to where the G-Nex shows the signal in more than 5 increments. It not reading below -75 dBm when I know signal is stronger than that is annoying even though it doesn't affect actual performance. I just like to see accurate information.
  25. BlueBiker

    BlueBiker Well-Known Member

    Hmmmm, perhaps I was too glib. I don't know for sure that they do that. People have suggested it, and I assumed it was similar to how electronic stores show perfect TV reception even on junky tuners.

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