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: How's the signal acquisition/radio driver???

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Skrillex, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. Skrillex

    Skrillex Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    I was hoping that someone with a knowledge of cell tech (someone who understands that "bars" don't mean anything) can help me here. I live and work in an area where Sprint's service sucks (as do most people) and have been really impressed with my Motorola Photon's signal acquisition and radio drivers. I have heard past MoPho owners say the Touch is not as good and vice versa. So, please chime in on your beautiful new phones' radio reception especially in comparison to the Photon (if you previously had one). Thank you in advance as I am weighing my options here.


    BenChase7 likes this.
  2. BenChase7

    BenChase7 Android Expert

    Ok, really glad someone brought this up. If I didnt see a post on it soon, I was going to inquire on this myself.

    I just got the Epic Touch.. its by far the most amazing phone I've ever used, or seen for that matter. However, I have noticed that signal/reception is not as good as I have gotten in the past with Sprint. My previous phone was an EVO 4G (great phone as well), and I used it since the day it was launched. Over the 15 months on my EVO, I can count on one hand how many calls it dropped... it was very few. Yesterday, my Epic Touch dropped 3 calls. Today, I also noticed it was roaming for a good bit of time. This is in my condo where I used my EVO without ever having a problem. I also noticed data speeds are slower on the Epic Touch.

    So, needless to say, as much as I LOVE the phone, and would do anything to keep it, I am concerned that I may have to exchange it for an EVO 3D or Photon. Are Samsung radios/antennas just not as good as Moto and HTC?

    If anyone has any suggestions, I would appreciate it.. as the Epic Touch is so awesome.. I really don't want to have to exchange it.
  3. BenChase7

    BenChase7 Android Expert

    So, based on your experience, would you say that the Moto Photon has a solid radio/antenna? Better than previous phones you've used? As you can see above, I'm concerned about my ET...
  4. you2

    you2 Android Expert

    Caveat I do not own any of the phones but I have been reading cross forums and in general what I have heard is the photon has fantastic antennae (esp 4g); the epic touch is above average but not great (and some folks have wifi issues) the evo3d has been rock bottom (which is a shame because the evo 4g was good and so far folks have been happy with the sensation).
    Anyways you should treat the above with a grain of salt because it is not first hand experience.
  5. whatsitsname

    whatsitsname Android Enthusiast

    Yes the signal is not as good as the Photon from my experience. I have had the Epic Touch roaming while at my sister's home. When I tried to make calls it gets choppy or drops. My Photon at the same house made crystals clear calls. Fortunately I don't live there so I can probably live with the Epic Touch. But there is no doubt that the Photon is clearly superior in holding a cell phone signal.
    BenChase7 likes this.
  6. taylormah

    taylormah Well-Known Member

    Do you think it is something that Samsung/Sprint or other devs can fix with a radio's firmware upgrade, or are we permanently stuck with it?
  7. sean76

    sean76 Android Expert

    Historically ...Motorola phones have some of the best reception in the Business.

    Example...My Fascinate was horrible with signal and reception, as was my DROID Charge...both Samsung phones..

    However, with my Bionic I get awesome reception, and get calls and service in areas I would never get with either of my Samsung phones...like in my office, which is in the basement of my Health Club.
    jroc and BenChase7 like this.
  8. Skrillex

    Skrillex Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    I hate to say it, but Samsung historically does not hit the mark with radio hardware or radio driver software. This is not usually a huge issue except on the Sprint network, which got screwed with the worst frequency on the spectrum by the FCC and is sparse in comparison to other carriers (which means crappy signals especially when it needs to penetrate structures like thick walls or basements). The Photon has blown me away with signal acquisition which is why I think I will stick with it even though the Touch is a sweet device. It just seems like a smartphone which can't hold a call or connect to any data is just a fancy mp3 player... (IMO). Thanks to everyone who commented on what I unfortunately knew was going to be the case.
  9. whatsitsname

    whatsitsname Android Enthusiast

    Yes keep the Photon. I would much prefer to keep the Photon but unfortunately I cannot stand the black crush effect and the off color reproduction of the display. This is clearly a software issue and can be corrected but I am not sure that Motorola thinks it is a problem. Fortunately these 2 problems only occurs during video viewing. Unfortunately for me I spend close to 50% of the time viewing videos on my phone (sports, movies, netflix).
  10. BenChase7

    BenChase7 Android Expert

    Damn, this sucks. The Epic Touch is soo awesome, but if its struggling to keep signal I will be forced to exchange it.
    Never did I have this problem with my EVO 4G.
    I guess the Photon is probably the next best?? And if its radio reception is as good as you guys are saying.. thats a huge +1. I know its gotten great reviews.
  11. BenChase7

    BenChase7 Android Expert

    Great examples... thanks for sharing. Just sucks cuz I love the Sammy phones... looks like I may have to get the Photon.
  12. Wolfedude88

    Wolfedude88 Android Expert

    Time for my input. My Epic Touch has dropped several calls inside my house, never anywhere else. My Photon dropped calls in the same places inside my house as well. My wife's EVO 3D does not drop any calls in the same places as the other to do.

    I had trouble making calls from her EVO 3D at my work, which neither the Photon or Epic Touch do. Neither have dropped calls there either.

    But for some reason her phone works great at our house, where neither of these do. It is really frustrating. My next door neighbor has Sprint and has been dropping calls and he said they gave him a free airwave. I might have to see about that, we are suppose to be in the best coverage here.
  13. sean76

    sean76 Android Expert

    No problem man...

    Same here, I really like Samsung phones alot as well! However, weak radio signals, and faulty GPS issues are enough to keep me from using one at the very moment!
  14. sean76

    sean76 Android Expert

    Yo Wolf....what's up my man!!!
  15. Skrillex

    Skrillex Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    I have owned a Samsung flip phone (before smartphones even existed), a Samsung Instinct, a Samsung Moment, a Samsung Nexus S 4G and the Photon's radio simply crushes them all. I bought an Airave for $180, which sucks because I also know a few people who got one for free or just for the $30 activation fee. The Airave is awesome and I have an extremely strong signal at my home now but work is where the Photon kicks ass for me. If you bought a Touch and have decent coverage where you work, call Sprint and complain until they give you an Airave (or suck it up and just buy one). I was in love with my old Nexus S 4G (which was the reason I bought the Airave) but the thing's radio was total junk and I just could not handle the non-existent to extremely slow data it consistently failed to deliver on. So I bought the Photon and don't believe it gets any better than this. If Samsung had taken a page out of Motorola's radio playbook I think the Touch would have been the perfect device (IMO). However, as it stands now, I just can not live with a fancy MP3 player. And one more thong... Motorola has pushed 2 software updates to the Photon in under a month and a half (yes, 2)!!! The first 100% fixed the "silent call bug" it originally had and the other enhanced wifi speeds which are now faster than my HP dv7t laptop!!! Motorola seems to have been listening to their customers complaints about support, time will tell if Samsung does the same.
    BenChase7 likes this.
  16. apinkel

    apinkel Android Enthusiast

    As mentioned motorola does some of the best radios in the business... they have the best "phone" of any smartphone I've owned (reception, earpiece sound quality, mic sound quality, etc.). I had a droid X on cricket's network and it's reception was pretty amazing.

    Just to add a note that Sprints coverage where I'm at is top notch. So to say their coverage sucks everywhere is misleading and wrong.
  17. you2

    you2 Android Expert

    And where are you ?

  18. jfenton

    jfenton Well-Known Member

    I'm wondering if there aren't some bad phones?

    I have yet to drop a call since Friday, phone hasn't roamed once where both my prior EVO 4G and Photon did.

    I don't get all of the discrepancies if peoples experiences?
  19. Skrillex

    Skrillex Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    It is just a fact that Sprint has the worst spectrum frequency of all 4 major carriers as the spectrum is divied out by the FCC. The higher frequency has trouble penetrating structures and has a shorter range which is a significant disadvantage. On top of that Sprint is going to ditch it's WiMax 4G for LTE soon so no new WiMax towers are going to be built and all of our phones will become 4G obsolete when it happens. Sprint should stop spending money and research on stupid crap like NASCAR apps and Sprint ID that no one likes or uses and invest in building more towers and hiring/training quality phone reps with real tech knowledge. Just my opinion. Sprint is still the least evil of all the carriers...
  20. you2

    you2 Android Expert

    Does sprint have the highest frequency for all radios (4g, 3g, voice) ?

  21. apinkel

    apinkel Android Enthusiast

    I agree that the frequency spectrum of their network is less than ideal for their 1x/3G networks. However, regardless of what spectrum they use they have found a way to make it effective in the locations I've lived.

    I live in Omaha and previously had sprint service in Des Moines as well as Denver. I've had very good coverage in all three cities... I don't remember the last time I've dropped a call.

    I would guess that in more congested metro areas the higher frequencies of sprint's spectrum causes more issues due to a higher concentration of high-rises and more radio frequencies interfering with their signals.

    Sprints wimax network spectrum is and probably always will be a problem since it uses 2.5ghz frequency which is very close to all kinds of various consumer radio frequencies and has an even tougher time penetrating buildings then their 1900mhz spectrum.

    ...as a side note... they do have good spectrum tied up in their iden network. I'm hoping they can figure out a way to quickly free that up for use in a next gen network.

    iden is SMR spectrum in the 800mhz range
    1x/3g is 1900mhz spectrum
    4G wimax is in the 2.5Ghz range
    sprint phones also have 800mhz support for roaming on Verizons network
  22. Skrillex

    Skrillex Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

  23. Wolfedude88

    Wolfedude88 Android Expert

    NM man, how have you been?
  24. So-Low Da Don

    So-Low Da Don Android Enthusiast

    Am I the only one that gets better signal than the Photon in my area? My friend has a Photon and I have the E4GT, in some poor signal areas his has better speeds and in others mine does, BUT when we both have strong signals I get much better speeds than his Photon. I don't know if I just got a good one but I've never dropped a call on this phone (actually I can't remember ever dropping a call).
  25. Skrillex

    Skrillex Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Are you saying you show more "bars" or actually have a stronger signal (dBm reading)?

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