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Best Virgin Mobile Phone with strong signal

Discussion in 'Virgin Mobile' started by steeve725, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. steeve725

    steeve725 Newbie
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    Hi, All.

    I have an LG optimus slider and yes have had a subpar signal at home for quite some time, awesome signal at my work.

    When I say weak signal I mean my reception shows 90-100db.

    Which phone currently from Virgin Mobile has a good antenna? I know some phones get better signals than others.

    Is there a way to check, maybe a website you can check that shows phones with good reception, etc, before buying?

    Any help would be great.

    Thanks so much.
     

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  2. ErinGoBragh

    ErinGoBragh Well-Known Member
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    Hi Steve,

    Signal Strength has more to do with your proximity to towers that your handset (although quality of handset does matter, and tends to be a case of you-get-what-you-pay-for). As far as choosing a cell phone, Virgin Mobile is on the Sprint network which is in the process of switching to LTE so you want to buy a phone with both the 3G and 4G LTE antennas. I personally have a Galaxy Victory and notice that I often have better signal strength that my family who have cheaper VM phones.

    Hope that helps a bit,
    Erin
     
  3. steeve725

    steeve725 Newbie
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    Hi,

    Thanks for the reply. I was aware of VM being on the sprint network.

    According to Sprints map it shows I am less than 5 miles from 2 towers.

    One tower is about 3 miles and the other is about 4 1/2 miles.

    It doesn't show what the towers are. On there map it shows that each tower has had data improvements.

    Being less than 5 miles from 2 towers you would think I would get pretty good reception.

    The link I used is Sprint LTE Coverage - Sprint 4G LTE Rollout and put in my zipcode.
     
  4. ErinGoBragh

    ErinGoBragh Well-Known Member
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    Distance from tower is a good indicator, however there are a wide variety of things that could be between you and tower reducing your signal. Everything from hills to buildings even weather can interfere. Which is interesting (well signal theory is to me anyways) but not really helpful. Do you see a change if you go up a story?
     
  5. steeve725

    steeve725 Newbie
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    On my 2nd story, the signal is about the same, my phone the optimus slider continuously signal fluctuates badly. You can watch it go from 3 bars, to 1 bar, to 0 all in about 10 seconds. When I do have a signal I will try to check email or make a call and the signal goes away. This phone cannot hold a signal at all.

    not reliable to make calls anymore, or receive calls.

    I am probably going to just drop VM because of the unreliability of Sprint and look @ going the prepaid Verizon way.
     
  6. mikeca

    mikeca Android Enthusiast
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    While Sprint's signal is kind of spastic, it's not usually that bad, I think it might be a problem with the phone?
     
  7. steeve725

    steeve725 Newbie
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    I cant say that is exactly a problem with the phone. I work in a very large warehouse, mostly metal. They have 3 repeaters that I know of and my signal shows full bars and when I look @ the db's it show between 65-70db all the time.

    If it was a problem with my phone then even having repeaters around probably wouldn't make that much of a difference, I could be wrong.

    My house is less about 10 miles from my work.

    I have been reading a little and people on several forums talk about verizon, and the other regular pay services update there PRL (Preferred Roaming List) which from what I understand updates your phone with the towers.

    From what I read the optimus slider that I have doesn't let you update or change anything with that.

    With actual Sprint phones you can update your PRL with your account online @ Sprints website, I had verizon for over 10yrs and you just dialed *228.

    I cant find anything with Virgin Mobile to update anything, I checked in my settings and it says my software is up to date.

    Frustrated to say the least.
     
  8. tli

    tli Android Enthusiast
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    Updating your PRL is not going to help, as you already have a strong signal with the repeaters. There is also no roaming on VM, so your native Sprint coverage will be your only connection. You won't be able to roam and access Verizon's network like Sprint customers could by flashing different PRLs. More info and misconceptions on Sprint PRLs:

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1880781
     
  9. dhwagner

    dhwagner Newbie
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    I know for me I switched from an VM LG Optimus to the Galaxy S2 and my signal change was awesome.

    I switched from Verizon to VM a year and a half ago - and have never regretted it. I have very few places as I travel around the Portland OR Metro area that I have any problems at all - only inside some buildings - but the cost diff it's worth it.

    I am considering putting a signal booster in my home though just to boost the signal in our daylight basement.
     
  10. steeve725

    steeve725 Newbie
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    Yesterday afternoon I contacted Virgin Mobile and they put me on hold and said they refreshed my phone. Don't know exactly what that means but think it means they refreshed the service to it.

    Refreshing it seems to have done a little. My signal looks to be more constant now. The signal is still pretty poor, -91db -96db. Before it was jumping all over, -90db- to -105db.

    I guess I'll see. I will give it about a week and monitor the calls, etc.
     
  11. tli

    tli Android Enthusiast
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    Just to provide some perspective, there are three Sprint towers within about a mile radius of my location, and the signal strength fluctuates between -90 and -98 dBm on both my Optimus Vs. Depending on your surrounding environment, 3-5 miles could be the fringe limits of your coverage range, so the weak signal strength you've indicated is not that abnormal. More info on cell tower range: Cell site - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    By any chance you're located near Denver or Grand Junction in CO? Those two areas are showing a lot of subscribers reporting and experiencing service issues with Sprint currently. FYI: Current outages at Sprint | Down Detector

    Instead of calling, you might try emailing the Virgin Mobile Angels at SaveMe@TheVirginAngels.com as you'll get better and quicker response. You can also inquire if there is any current outage/issue in your particular area.
     
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  12. steeve725

    steeve725 Newbie
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    I am further north of Denver and the area I live in shows no problems were I live. I work directly in Denver and it shows problems there, however in my warehouse I work @ I always have perfect signal, because of the repeaters they have installed.
     
  13. steeve725

    steeve725 Newbie
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    Spent a little while on Phone with Virgin Mobiles Tech support, my current phone (LG Optimus Slider) has a bunch of issues.

    I ordered a new phone and they gave me a small discount to stay with virgin mobile.

    :) The phone I ordered is the Samsung Galaxy Victory 4G LTE, it has to better than my current phone.

    When I get it in a few days I will see.

    I ordered directly from VM because of the return policy, I have 30 days to try it out.
     
  14. divinebovine

    divinebovine Android Expert
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    "Strong dependable Virgin Mobile signal". "Honest politician." "Perpetual motion machine." "World peace." What do these things have in common?

    There is no updating PRLs for Virgin Mobile...at least I've never heard of it. :(
    Be sure to post again once you're settled in to the new phone...let us know if/how much better it is.
     
  15. steeve725

    steeve725 Newbie
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    Well I got the Samsung Galaxy Victory.

    Did it make a difference in my signal? I think it did a little. Not a significant difference.

    I drove around my subdivision and its very small (121 homes). The signal in my sub goes from - 80dbm to - 105dbm.

    At the entrance of my subdivision about (.2 miles from my house it is -85dbm 4 ASU. In front of my house at the end of my driveway it is -102dbm 16ASU.

    On my second floor it goes from -85dmb 4ASU to -93dbm 4asu.

    On the lower floor, of course were I spend most of my time it is -93dbm 2ASU to -101dbm 2 ASU.

    These readings were taken in the morning time, I don't know if that would have anything to do with the signal or not. Less people actively on there phones.

    I can say a positive about this phone is the great Battery! I charged it fully before my 1st use and after lots of playing around 13 hours later I went from 100% to 36%. Not bad.

    Also this phone gives you the option to Update PRL (Preferred Roaming list) some people say that it does help signal, it didn't seem to help mine. This is the 1st Virgin Mobile Phone that I have had that even gave me the option to update the PRL.

    I may need to look @ getting a repeater if in fact I want to stay with this phone and Virgin Mobile. I don't even know if a repeater would help, if it would be worth it to even buy one.



     
  16. divinebovine

    divinebovine Android Expert
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    I can't imagine that traffic would affect signal strength (speed/quality yes, but signal strength no), but there could certainly be changes in EM interference at different parts of the day, week, year, etc from terrestrial sources like machinery and from the sun.
     
  17. tli

    tli Android Enthusiast
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    Not that it'll make a difference in performance, but might try this app to provide a better signal strength indicator, FYI:

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.blueline.signalchecklite



    That is a brand new battery now... ;)
     
  18. steeve725

    steeve725 Newbie
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    Well I went up on the highest point on my roof to determine what my signal was.

    It was excellent. It was -77dbm to 82dbm. My phone even switched between 3G and 4G! I looked under settings and under mobile network type it shows eHRPD:13.

    I then realized I had 10 - 18" metal roof vents installed after my roof was redone to help my whole house fan vent when its in use. I don't know if these vents play a part in my degraded signal or not. I am sure they don't help all that much.
     
  19. tli

    tli Android Enthusiast
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    Anything with a motor and/or transceiver would cause signal interference... I know for sure that when my attic fan kicks in, my phone signal gets degraded.
     
  20. steeve725

    steeve725 Newbie
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    My whole house fan is different from an attic fan. The whole house fan helps cool the inside of the house, while a standard attic fan vents the attic during the hot days.

    The fan is only used in the mornings to bring cool air into the house through open windows to keep the house cooler throughout the day to prevent the A/C from running all day. It helps save money.

    Therefor I don't think that fan motor effects the signal too much as the fan is hardly ever in use, but I see what your saying about interference.
     
  21. steeve725

    steeve725 Newbie
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    Still messing with the bad signal issues.

    I went and put my phone against the glass in my back door and my signal improved. It went from -97dbm to -89dbm. I moved it back and forth and sure enough the glass made a difference.

    Here is what is strange. I held it against other windows and the signal didn't improve at all. All the windows in my home except the back door glass are the vinyl windows with LOW E glass in them.

    Who knows.

    If I could find something to increase that signal I found on the glass in the door it would be great.
     
  22. divinebovine

    divinebovine Android Expert
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    How about a repeater?
     
  23. steeve725

    steeve725 Newbie
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    That's a thought.
     
  24. steeve725

    steeve725 Newbie
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    Well today I went and purchased a Wilson Electronics Dual Band DB Pro model # 84126.

    I hooked it up temporally to see what the results would be.

    Not that good.

    Wilson claims this unit can cover 5000 sq ft, my home is 2122 sq ft.

    My signal inside didn't change at all unless I was standing next to the indoor antenna.

    I called wilson and the tech walked me through some troubleshooting, had me turn off 4g.

    He stated that due to my weaker signal outside that I would need to stand no more than 10-15ft from the indoor antenna to get the results I needed. Next to the indoor antenna my signal was -72dbm. about 10ft away it started to get worse again going from -90db to -100db.

    He used a formula to see what my signal was right under the antenna outside, then the ft. of coax used to the booster, then what my signal was at the indoor antenna.

    Any, end result the expensive Wilson didn't work for me.

    It might work for others.
     
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  25. divinebovine

    divinebovine Android Expert
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    What the heck is the point of a product like that? If you have a good signal you don't need it, and if you don't have a good signal it doesn't work. [​IMG]
     

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