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Support Sensation 4g wi-fi strength vs. G2x, plus speaker

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by dannykewl, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. dannykewl

    dannykewl Member
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    I know I recently posted a similar post, but I want to narrow down more on two issues, and how they would compare to the G2x if anyone who has experience with both the Sensation and G2x can hopefully respond.

    Hi, I just got the Sensation about a week ago, and I was undecided between the Sensation and the G2x, but going on what the sales people at the T-Mo store said, seemed like the Sensation had a bit of an edge, so I bought that.

    I took one back already for another, and the new Sensation seems a tad better, but the wi-fi seems awfully weak. It drops if I sit on my front porch of my modest size house, or in my back yard. For comparison, I used my Toshiba Satellite laptop. In my back yard, maybe 20 feet from the router just inside the back of the house, getting full bars "excellent" on the laptop. In the same spot, the Sensation was fluctuating from good (but never excellent) 2 half circles to 1 half circle (fair) to sometimes the dot (poor) and even no signal, fluctuated wildly, while the laptop didn't flutter from excellent. I then tried the Sensation on my front porch, and averaged fair to sometimes no signal, occasionally good but wouldn't stay
    there. On the side of my house, no signal at all, reverted to 4G.

    I then tried my HTC Dash (the original Dash that only went to EDGE), and although it displayed a line (or part of a line) instead of bars or names like "good", looked like the length of the line was prolly corresponding pretty much to maybe fair and good, quarter line and half line respectively, but I seemed to get the signal a few feet further, and sometimes when there was no signal line, the wi-fi icon still showed connected and I could use the wi-fi signal.

    I'm wondering for people who tried both the Sensation and the G2x, which has the stronger wi-fi? I read online that some said the g2x wi-fi signal strength sucked too. I also did read about the wi-fi losing strength on the Sensation depending on where you held it. I held it toward the bottom, where the signal seemed more stable. Landscape mode seemed to help a tad also.

    My other main concern is the speaker/speakerphone in the sensation. Awful. Low volume and rattly. Worse than the Dash which I thought was bad. How's the speaker on the G2x?

    T-Mo said they now charge a $50 re-stocking fee for returns to a different model. Would hate to get the G2x and find out it's worse for my concerns and pay two re-stocking fees to get back yo the sensation. Friday, July 15, will be the end of my 14 day trial period. Thanks much!
     

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  2. colnago

    colnago Android Expert
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    "Bars" levels, which show signal strength, are relative. Full bars on one device may equate to the same dBm level for "half bars" on another. I've had both phones, both drop signal when I'm on my 2nf floor, w/router in basement. However the Sensation does have a setting which improves wifi reception, at the cost of faster battery drain. It works.

    FYI, the wifi radio/antennae are on the top of the Sensation, near headphone jack.
     
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  3. dannykewl

    dannykewl Member
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    Where do I find this setting, I been all thru the "Wireless & Networks" settings folder, and I don't see a setting that will help boost my wi-fi range. Thanks!
     
  4. colnago

    colnago Android Expert
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    >Settings >Wireless & Networks >Wi-Fi settings >(press menu hard key) >Advanced >select "Best Wi-Fi performance"
     
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  5. dannykewl

    dannykewl Member
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    OK, I found it, thanks a bunch, I'll try it out soon.
     
  6. dannykewl

    dannykewl Member
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    I just tried it out in my back yard and front porch. With that "best wifi performance setting", I'd say it's functioning pretty close to how the Dash's wifi signal strength worked. On the front porch, was out there quite a few minutes, didn't lose the signal once, as before would have lost it 2 or 3 times. It would fluctuate from 2 bars/good down to the dot/poor but never lost it. I also notice where I sit there, my back is to the house and router, so the signal is prolly blocked somewhat by my body. If I move sideways a bit, a fairly consistent 2 bar/good signal. It even worked at the front corner of my house, giving the dot/poor, but it worked about the same the dash did there.

    In the back yard, seemed a bit weaker, but prolly I had my van parked a tad closer to the house and back window where the router is. But didn't lose there either. I even got the dot/poor at the back of my back yard. However if I stood up where I usually sit, I got a decent signal. Plus my house is aluminum sided.

    My theory is that maybe the phone tries to boost the power when the signal gets that weak to try to hold on to the signal. I think instead of "best wi-fi performance", that should have been the default, and a wifi power saver option offered with a warning that range may be less. Wondering how many Sensations were returned due to weak wifi and the user not knowing about this option.

    With that I will prolly keep the sensation, I assume the wi-fi range I have now is more or less par for a cell phone vs. the longer range of a laptop, which would use more battery on a cell phone. I just wish there was an update for better speaker performance.

    Thanks again, colnago, for the helpful info.
     
  7. dannykewl

    dannykewl Member
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    I thought I had the weak wi-fi problem licked, by using "wi-fi best performance" in the settings.

    I first took the sensation to a Mickey D's nearby, as I know they have wi-fi. Not a blip. I tried with and w/o "best performance", nothing, nada, I parked right next to where customers would sit, as well as tried a couple other areas in the lot. Nothing at all when I scanned.

    I then went to another McD's. Pretty much same thing, even though one spot in the lot, I got 1 bar/poor, but not stable to make a connection. I assumed it was theirs, but maybe not,didn't say Wayport or attws. I also parked as close as I could to a sports bar that has wi-fi, again not a blip. I was inside that sports bar the other night, and even though it seemed to get a decent wi-fi signal inside, kept saying "page not found". If I used 2/3/4 G (actually only 2G was working in there), I could get web pages.

    I came home after my first trip to McD's, grabbed my laptop, my Sensation, as well as my original Dash, which I decided to try a unused SIM card in. I couldn't make calls of course, but I could connect to wi-fi at my house.

    So I set sail with all 3 devices. I went back to the first McD's I tried a half hour earlier, and parked again right outside where the customers sit. Good to excellent signal on the laptop. A consistent 1 bar signal on the Dash, and it definitely showed McD's sign in page - attws hotspot plus a Wayport icon showing also. The Sensation - not even a hint of wi-fi service again.


    Guess the thing is going back. If I have to eat $50 for the T-Mo store restocking fee, so be it, but now I'm reading people are getting phones from Best Buy and Costo (I assume Sam's Club maybe too) and getting pretty long periods to try them out and no restocking fee. So I may do that. The T-Mo store is 14 days, and I had the first Sensation 7 days, plus the new one 4 so far.
     
  8. dwsmith

    dwsmith Member
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    With the wifi feature, I have noticed that the Sensation has issues obtaining the and IP address. By this I mean, it has to take a few passes at obtaining an IP address. If you are in the wireless settings, you can watch it. It will say obtaining and never connect. Then it will try again with the same result. However, it will eventually connect. This is with the wifi on full strengthen and the access point is right behind me.

    You can also get a wifi analyzer app too. I believe it isn't the signal from either the device or router/access point but the inability to obtain an IP address quickly. Why this happens, I do not know.
     
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  9. colnago

    colnago Android Expert
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    I find the radios in the Sensation, both cellular and wifi, to provide better reception than the G2x. Wifi would drop much more often while in the same spot in my house. As far as cellular, the G2x would show 3-4 bars of signal when dBm levels were -95 to -105, where calls have difficulting establishing...let alone the increased battery drain. Would be nice if they both had reception on par with my Defy.
     
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  10. dannykewl

    dannykewl Member
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    I was watching what it was doing, would just be "scanning" and never got to try to obtain an IP address. However, I just downloaded a free wifi analyzer from the Market, just called "Wifi Analyzer" and I'll go back to McD's tomorrow afternoon with it. Thanks for the info.
     
  11. dannykewl

    dannykewl Member
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    Wondering if they are making wi-fi and maybe Bluetooth less powerful in the newer phones to save on battery due to larger screens and more apps, etc. My Dash had a more robust wi-fi signal grabber than the Sensation. But then, wouldn't a weak signal drain the battery faster too?
     
  12. colnago

    colnago Android Expert
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    Wifi is less taxing on the battery than cellular. When I was working full time from home (where I get great signal from both carriers) I was able to notice interesting behaviors with different phones/settings/signals. With cellular signal turned completely off, running on wifi, my phones' batteries would last 4-7 days. Given the good signal at my house via cellular, battery would last 2-3x longer than at work, where signal is degraded.

    When at home with the Sensation, I do notice higher battery drain rates, despite full signal with wifi. Battery may last 20 hours or so given "my normal use" with wifi set to "Best performance". Without wifi, phone is good for ~36 hours of "my normal use".
     
  13. dannykewl

    dannykewl Member
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    Some success. I went to that same McD's today after work, with the Wifi analyzer on my Sensation. Parked in the same spot. The analyzer was getting sporadic blips at around -88db. After shutting the wifi off, and then back on, the phone finally connected at 1 bar, and sometimes it would hit 2 bars for a second or two, but once connected, seemed fairly stable. I went to a friend's house for abour 2 hours, he bought the AT&T Inspire, and then I stopped again at the McD's. Exact same scenario, finally connected after maybe 3 or 4 minutes, and stayed connected till I left the parking lot. So now I'm thinking roughly the same wifi coverage as the Dash, but harder to obtain the signal when that weak, the Dash would see it right away, but at least it seems to grab the signal eventually.So am now on the side of keeping it, hoping a software upgrade will fix that problem.
     

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