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Verizon GS3 signal reception threadGeneral

data issues related to dbm #'s?

  1. high dbm, data works fine

    53 vote(s)
  2. high dbm, data does not work

    17 vote(s)
  3. other: explain in comments

    7 vote(s)

Last Updated:

  1. rushmore

    rushmore Well-Known Member

    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.


    • 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.

  2. Slide83

    Slide83 Well-Known Member

    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.
    SamMax likes this.
  3. SamMax

    SamMax Well-Known Member

    We will probably have to get through a week of denial before the real story of reception comes to light. :D

    I really want the phone. I'm not looking for it to have the best reception out there just enough to get by with.
  4. sorka

    sorka Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. rushmore

    rushmore Well-Known Member

    Best Buy not getting until next week, so I will be later to the analysis.
  6. legalkill

    legalkill Well-Known Member

  7. jerofld

    jerofld Fixing stuff is not easy VIP Member

    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.
    darkcyber, SirKronan and 2horses like this.
  8. sergey

    sergey Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. rushmore

    rushmore Well-Known Member

    Good point on using dBm and not bars since I thought it, but did not post it. Added to the OP.
  10. Blue218

    Blue218 Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. kboss375

    kboss375 Well-Known Member

    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
    trophynuts and SamMax like this.
  12. rushmore

    rushmore Well-Known Member

    Both ICS & 4G?
  13. kboss375

    kboss375 Well-Known Member

    Both 4G LTE, Thunderbolt running gingerbread
    rushmore likes this.
  14. rushmore

    rushmore Well-Known Member

    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.
  15. sorka

    sorka Well-Known Member

    89 is a 51,200% stronger signal than 117. It doubles for every decrease of 3 dbs.
  16. kboss375

    kboss375 Well-Known Member

    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
  17. rushmore

    rushmore Well-Known Member

    Yep, exponential scale, but GB and ICS do not measure the same for 4G. Not spinning, but trying to keep everything in perspective :)


    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
    Ken7 and red66charger like this.
  18. Blue218

    Blue218 Well-Known Member

    Good formula....I wish I followed it when buying the Gnx (on verizon) the dat after the release.
  19. SamMax

    SamMax Well-Known Member

    I must sound like a pessimistic naysayer but the evidence is slowly mounting that Samsung has made the S3. :D
  20. rushmore

    rushmore Well-Known Member

    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.
    jroc and JustSomeDude like this.
  21. red66charger

    red66charger Well-Known Member

    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.
  22. dfran1

    dfran1 Well-Known Member

    this is the only way to test for this everything else is just speculation

    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.
    Sandroidfan likes this.
  23. droblyer

    droblyer Well-Known Member

    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.
    Ken7 and SamMax like this.
  24. Sandroidfan

    Sandroidfan Well-Known Member

    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.
    jroc and dfran1 like this.
  25. finn5975

    finn5975 Well-Known Member

    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 :p

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