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(Signal Test) Call Quality and Signal Strength are in doubt ( 2nd phone )

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by hankhenry87, May 5, 2010.

  1. zemerick

    zemerick Android Enthusiast

    Well, the antenna covers most of the phone. ( If you take the cover off, at both the top and bottom you can see a thin red ribbon crossing all over. Look carefully and you can see the path for the antenna in there. )

    Interestingly, covering the top doesn't have the same affect. The only 2 possibilities I can think of are: A) The top part of the antenna isn't being used. Perhaps it's a the wifi, 3g or gps antenna...or a part of the radio antenna that has something wrong with it? B) The lower antenna is actually the problem, and something is interfering with it and this is why it is so sensitive to the placement of your hand. I'm leaning toward the latter...I don't think your hand shouldn't have that much of a difference!

    This is definitely an interesting find though. I had seen the antenna before, and never thought about it. I also naturally just use thumb and index in the middle, which isn't enough to cover the antenna...and surprise surprise, I've always been one with good call quality until earlier today, when I was holding the phone like normal while on the phone, and the other person couldn't hear me!

    <begins to strongly consider an antenna mod...only stopping after looking at the $530 price tag and warranty being void.>

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  2. bowerman

    bowerman Guest

    WOW, This thread just sealed the deal for me i think.....
  3. sontaikle

    sontaikle Well-Known Member

    I'm continually getting around two bars displayed on my phone, despite the fact that my last phone (LG EnV) had full bars in the same places.

    I haven't noticed a decrease in call quality at all though&#8212;it's actually much better than my old EnV&#8212;leading me to believe that I'm actually getting full bars despite what the screen is displaying.

    My campus has a darn VZW antenna on it, so I should be getting full reception there anyway.
  4. colnago

    colnago Android Expert

    Fair enough...but I'm sure the N1 users on T-Mobile would also like to see better reception:

    Google ceases investigating T-Mobile Nexus One 3G problems

    FWIW, in making the antenna mod for my Droid, and noticed a consistent gain "just by removing the (metal) battery cover":


    ...which could explain why people are seeing big changes in signal strength by moving the phone around. I think its just the nature of CDMA(1x), similar to Edge on AT&T...signal is just more susceptible to interference.
  5. letters

    letters Newbie

    I did almost the exact same test with an Eris, a Droid, and my Incredible at work. I got almost the exact same numbers as you did. I went to the store and they told me nothing is wrong. I can hardly understand people on the other end of the phone. I called the tech support line and the guy told me, "if it makes you feel any better, you are the third call today with the same exact problem on the Incredible."

    He seems to think it is a hardware issue. They are sending me out a replacement but I have a feeling it won't be any better from the sounds of people who have gotten replacements.
  6. colnago

    colnago Android Expert

    That's a big assumption, given that not everyone reporting reception issues lives in your area. Given that people are reporting stronger "dBm" values for different phones in the same location, its not out of the question to conclude that the Inc has generally weak reception.

    As far as "the bars not making a difference", if the dBm values are directly correlated with "bar level", how could bars "not" be an indicator?
  7. barrister89

    barrister89 Member

    My hand are big, very big. I was playing around some more and it certainly helps signal strength during calls if you grasp the phone on the sides with your fingers towards the top, and not hold it flush to your palm.
  8. rushmore

    rushmore Extreme Android User

    The comparitive weaker signal issue is there, but the Moto Droid is known to have one of the better radios for any device. It is a signal king. I think the radio in the Inc is either stepped down for battery reasons, or is just has an average (at best) radio.

    I have done tests in areas where the Inc shows 1X (-96dB) and the Droid is 3 bar G (-78dB) and the Droid streams Youtube and downloads files twice as fast (or better) than the Inc. This means the 1X verses "3 bars G" is not just a bar problem. The dB signal and performance suggests the Inc's radio is much weaker than Droid's.

    I have noticed that if you are in a stonger signal area, they perform the same. BlackB signal is also better (have not compared Eris), but not the same difference as Droid. No current device can touch the Droid or Morrison. It kicks butt in CDMA and GSM.
  9. rushmore

    rushmore Extreme Android User

    I have noticed that the bouncing of the bars does correlate with bouncing dB (as it should). The issue is the relative scale of relationship between bars and dB values. Droid and Inc are not the same and there is no industry standard for such correlation of values. Different manufacturers as well.


    Here is an example of bar differences. I tested both devices in a strong coverage area. The Droid showed 4 bars and the Inc showed 2 bars, but BOTH showed -64dB signal. My conclusion is there is a signal difference of the device radios, but the bars are not the same scale. The dB signal is what counts and there IS a significant difference in lower signal areas. Even more confusing is the Inc's bars do not even correlate to the same dB levels. Sometimes it shows 4 bars in -78 dB areas- so why show just 2 bars in a -64dB area??

    Inc fans appear to rationalize there is not a problem, since the bars are not the same- that is not the point- dB signal is the point.

    Ironically, I have VZW tower less than 2 miles from my house, so I get 3 & 4 bar (-76dB) signal with a clear line of sight to the tower. Tmo signal was 2G or no signal in the area where I live using my G1.

    You know what, the more I think about it, the Inc's radio readings are on crack. A scientist would throw the Inc tests out as bad data. Too unstable to trust any of its readings.
  10. ejkeebler

    ejkeebler Well-Known Member

    i get little difference when moving my hand around the device, it does change however, the range is -85 to -95. And my blackberry sitting right beside it has nearly the exact same signal ranges. It is clear thought that having the palm of my left hand resting on the bottom and the left hand side (looking at the phone) produces the worst signal strength, I'd say #2 is the palm of my right hand resting against the bottom and the right hand side (looking at the phone)

    Thankfully I hold the phone about in the middle, with just fingertips to be most comfortable for me...
  11. Haelous

    Haelous Android Enthusiast

    If you check battery usage in Menu > Settings > About Phone > Battery Use, is Cell Standby above, equal to, or even near Phone idle? Mine is, and I know that it should not be. It was all but non-existent on my Droid.

    With that said, I do not have any issues with actual usage. I have never actually picked up my phone and been unable to use it, or had a dropped call.
  12. colnago

    colnago Android Expert

    Roger that....but I'm not saying that the bar level is an "accurate end all inidicator", just that people should not blindly dismiss it and assume that there is no issue.

    As for the Droid being a "signal king", I went through (2) Droids, with different mfg. dates, and an antenna mod, before returning them due to poor reception and dropped signal in my town...we have 5 Verizon outlets within a 5 mile radius.
  13. jfunk

    jfunk Android Enthusiast

    I am seeing roughly the same dB change based on hand holding position. It bounces around between 10-20 dB with hand placement.

    I generally go with a three-fingered claw style, so hopefully it won't be too much of an issue for me.
  14. jamor

    jamor Android Expert

    ..what?? umm. weird.
  15. hankhenry87

    Thread Starter

    Anyone see this before in any previous phones I'm really hoping it can be fixed
  16. hankhenry87

    Thread Starter

    Well this sucks. On reading my tests will post the results soon
  17. trpt

    trpt Newbie

    The bottom line is that this phone does not perform adequately for making and receiving phone calls if one resides in a fringe reception area.

    Sad because otherwise this is one fantastic device. Hate to return it but I have no choice. Back to my older Verizon dumb phone...
  18. letters

    letters Newbie

    I would hardly call tampa a fringe area.
  19. ShiftLft

    ShiftLft Member

    Sorry guys, I can't buy some of what I'm reading in this thread. The area where I live, Rochester NY, has great coverage all over and I've tested my phone in many areas of it so far. I have dbm readings from high 60s to 90s. In all areas I have terrible call quality yet every person I talk to says I sound perfect. I've read that even close to -100dbm isn't bad and should not impact call performance. -150dbm means you have no signal.

    I fully believe some of the call quality issues I and others are experiencing is due to either bad hardware or software, but more likely hardware. And as long as I have good call quality I'm not too concerned with signal strength, nor should many other people be.
  20. sean76

    sean76 Android Expert

    I'm in an area where I usually have great reception with Verizon! And all I have to say is no dice right now with the incredible...and its seems to be slowing down after a few days use....wtf....replacement on the way, so we'll see how that goes.
  21. colnago

    colnago Android Expert

    I've lost signal (not able to make calls) at -105dBm, during testing with my antenna mod. The problem with having 0-1 bars, or less than -90dBm, is that the battery will drain much faster in those low signal areas, as the phone struggles to stay connected. Again, my fully charged Droid drained in about 4 hours, while idle, when it was normally good for 24hours.
  22. hankhenry87

    Thread Starter

    wrong. First we wouldnt complain if we didnt have call problems. Second, Verizon considers anything over -85 poor. Anything over -90 and you start to have dropped and missed calls. Anything over -100 is considered unacceptable. I'm just angry now, my replacement phone sucks. I'm at my 5th charge. Up time is 45 minutes and my battery level is 50%!!! This weak signal is killing my battery
  23. krispy_mobile

    krispy_mobile Member

    Hand placement results in less than 5 db difference for me, regardless of grip style. In fact, a few times it actually went down when I went from top grip to bottom grip.

    Was hoping this would help me bump signal. No dice for me.

    Fyi, I did a replacement of my phone due to poor signal quality (not strength). The replacement is not perfect, but is noticeably better when calling the same people from the same locations.

HTC Droid Incredible Forum

The HTC Droid Incredible release date was April 2010. Features and Specs include a 3.7" inch screen, 8MP camera, Snapdragon S1 processor, and 1300mAh battery.

April 2010
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