Droid vs. DroidX 3G bars and speed?


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  1. cosmosan

    cosmosan Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Anybody else have a Droid and DroidX on hand that can do some comparisons of 3g bars and 3g download speeds?

    I've been noticing that with the Droid and DroidX side-by-side, the original Droid seems to be pulling in more 3g bars compared to the DroidX. Also, is there a way to get the 3G dBm reading? (I know you can go to Settings -> About Phone -> Status to get the "Signal strength" reading in dBm, however, this appears to be just for the 1x signal I believe...)

    And also, using speedtest.net's Speed Test app, the original Droid also seems to have more consistent and higher download speeds. Can anybody else try this out and post results?

    Thanks...
     

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  2. jamo

    jamo Well-Known Member

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    I'm getting a MUCH better signal with my X than I did with my Droid. I averaged about 75-80 dBm at home with the Droid, and I'm at about 92 with my X. Also, the call quality is MUCH better; I experienced that hiss with my Droid that I don't get at all with my X. I haven't done the speed test, but haven't noticed it any slower.
     
  3. zim2704

    zim2704 Well-Known Member

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    FYI the higher the number the worse the signal......original droid ftw
     
  4. jamo

    jamo Well-Known Member

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    Huh, I didn't know that; I assumed it was the other way around. Well, those are my numbers. I still seem to be getting much better reception over the phone; my wife likes the call quality a lot better when I'm talking to her. I wonder how I can be getting worse signal, but better quality?
     
  5. cosmosan

    cosmosan Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Okay, the dBm reading you're quoting, are you sure that's for 3G? (If you're getting the info from Settings -> About Phone -> Status, I believe that's for 1x only).

    And also, dBm readings are negative in value. So a negative number closer to zero is better. So if your original Droid got -75 to -85 dBm and your Droid X gets -92 dBm, then your original Droid was getting a better signal....
     
  6. cosmosan

    cosmosan Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Also, read my post above this one. I think the dBm reading you're quoting is for 1x. It's curious why you're seeing such a big difference in 1x signal between the original Droid and DroidX (with the original Droid being MUCH better)...

    However, I'm more concerned with 3g. Can you download the speedtest.net Speed Test app on both devices and check the download speeds while on 3G?
     
  7. Fabolous

    Fabolous Superuser VIP Member

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    I have both devices, I see a variation of about ~2-3 dBm between the two, with the advantage to the original Droid.

    Though, to be fair, I live in an area of very strong reception. The Droid was pulling in like -62dBm and the X was getting -64dBm. This may not be the case in areas with weaker reception.

    Also, it's quite possible to sound better on the X than on the Droid, even with lower reception, because of the noise canceling mic. In terms of call quality, there probably isn't a noticeable difference between a -70dBm signal and -90dBm.
     
  8. cosmosan

    cosmosan Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Are your readings for 3G or 1x?

    Can you compare the 3G download speeds between the 2 devices using the speedtest.net Speed Test app?
     
  9. Fabolous

    Fabolous Superuser VIP Member

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    Says my connection is EVDO Rev. A, so I'm assuming it's 3G network strength.

    My original Droid is no longer activated, but I have run tons of speedtests on it before. I would say that the actual data speeds are pretty comparable.
     
  10. jamo

    jamo Well-Known Member

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    I can't run the speedtest on my old Droid bc I did a factory reset on it. On my new one on 3G I'm getting 840 down and 240 up, with -90 dBm on Phone Settings.
     
  11. cosmosan

    cosmosan Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Here is the way to get 3G dBm readings:

    Dial ##PROGRAM, send, 000000, verify.
    Go into the Test Mode screen, press Next.
    It shows the HDR status screen (which is for 3G EVDO).
    Scroll down and you'll see the Recieve Power in -xx

    Can you try that for both devices? I don't think you need to activate a phone to get these readings...
     
  12. cosmosan

    cosmosan Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Jamo, try the method I listed in my previous post for both devices...
     
  13. Fabolous

    Fabolous Superuser VIP Member

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    Cool stuff!

    Getting the same variance though, -55dBm on the Droid, -57dBm on the Droid X.

    Damn, that's even better than my 1X reception, haha!
     
  14. cosmosan

    cosmosan Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Yeah, I get close to the same readings for both devices as well, but for some reason, the 3G bars in the notification bar fluctuates more for the DroidX and consistently shows less bars than the Droid. Are you seeing the same thing? You may have to watch the bars for a bit on both devices....

    And even though the readings are close for both devices, I seem to be getting consistently better 3G download speeds on the original Droid (with the Speed Test app). It almost seems like the DroidX seems to hang up for a bit during download (ie. the download progress bar is choppy and will stall a bit, whereas on the Droid it is more smooth and consistent)...
     
  15. Fabolous

    Fabolous Superuser VIP Member

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    I just watched my bars over the course of like 5mins, whilst browsing some and doing ordinary tasks.

    I'd say it was 4 bars ~85% of the time, and dropped down to 3 occasionally.

    Are you running the test to the same server on both phones? I've seen the "stutter" in the speedtest app before, and the fault is on the network side.
     
  16. jamo

    jamo Well-Known Member

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    I can't really do a comparison; I can't get past the Activation screen on my old Droid. I am still getting -91 on the 3G X using your method.
     
  17. cosmosan

    cosmosan Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    And it was 3-4 bars consistently for both devices? Perhaps my issue has more to do with marginal signal (ie. in the -90 to -100 dBm range)...

    Yeah they were both using the same server. Both were set to Wichita, KS, which is weird considering I'm in California. I tried changing the servers, but there were none in Cali. When I switched to wifi, only then was I able to see the Cali servers, but not on 3G... Weird...
     
  18. maxwellimus

    maxwellimus Well-Known Member

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    I just did the dailed program and my Droid X was at -97 and my roomate's Droid was at -83.

    So.... what does that mean for us? will a software update fix this? or is this just a hardware issue?
     
  19. CRPercodani

    CRPercodani OFWGKTA VIP Member

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    I know the Droid has it's antenna in the "chin" without the screen blocking it's reception, I would venture a guess that this is the cause of slightly better dbm readings.
     
  20. Jake43

    Jake43 Well-Known Member

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    Generally, sitting side by side, my Droid X is getting 1 to 2 dBms less than my original Droid.
     
  21. cosmosan

    cosmosan Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    How about a comparison of 3G bars between the original Droid and Droid X? I've noticed that while my dBm readings are usually within 2-4 dBms of each other, the 3G bars fluctuate much more on the Droid X, with it going down to 1 bar quite often. Not sure why there seems to be a discrepancy between the 3g dBm reading and the 3G bars...

    Also, in a region of marginal signal (ie. ~95 dBm), the original Droid seems to have better and more consistent 3g download speeds. The Droid X seems to hang up a bit (ie. the download progress bar will stall at times), whereas the original Droid is quite consistent and smooth during the download...
     
  22. Old Man

    Old Man Well-Known Member

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    Does anybody actually know what the numbers being quoted represent? Are they the signal strength the phone detects or the signal strength after the internal RF front end and any processing? If it is the RF signal strength detected then that should be the same for any device as it is showing the RF signal present at that location and not what the phone actually gets after internal amplification, filtering, etc.

    Speaking of filtering, it is not just signal level that affects performance but also factors such as S/N, out of band reception and so on. RF front ends are much more complicated than just how much the amplify the level. A higher signal level resulting from including greater noise and out of band content in the measurement is not necessarily a good thing.

    As far as bars and showing 3G, I do not believe there are any standards so what signal level or characteristics are related to the 3G indicator being lit or how many bars are lit is probably device and software dependent, making comparisons between different models or even different firmware versions of limited value.
     

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