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Using GSM only for voice calls

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Lukechan, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. Lukechan

    Lukechan Newbie
    Thread Starter

    This is my first post so go easy on me!

    I'm with o2 and get a pretty decent signal generally. However, I have noticed that if I set the phone to 'GSM only' rather than 'GSM/WCDMA auto' I get an awesome signal all of the time. Being set to GSM only does not seem to stop me using a 3G connection for web browsing, so my questions are:

    1. Have I really lost anything by setting my phone to GSM only?
    2. As I understand it GSM is 2G and WCDMA is 3G but does this matter when it is only for voice calls?
    3. Is a '4 bar' signal on GSM any better or worse than say a '2 bar' signal on WCDMA?

    Any thoughts on this are very welcome, thanks.

  2. snowmobile

    snowmobile Android Enthusiast

    Your signal improves because the phone is forced to use the stronger 2g signal rather than a weaker 3g one.

    The web browsing on that setting should be at the slower 2g speeds only. It is very odd if you are still seeing the 3g symbol.
  3. Eris Ed

    Eris Ed Android Expert

    2G is fine for calls and texts. You can add a shortcut to your Homescreen to turn 3G on when you need mobile internet or to update/sync your apps. Lots of people turn off 3G when it's not needed, mainly to preserve battery life. Whatever works for you!
  4. Lukechan

    Lukechan Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Ah, ok. Looking again I realised I actually only get a 'G' symbol when browsing in GSM mode, not a '3G' symbol. That makes a lot more sense.

    So I can improve my signal at the expense of the browsing speed (a significant price to pay). Leaving it on Auto would seem the most sensible idea then.

    I was only playing with it because when I do occasionally lose my 3G signal, the phone seems to take a long time before it decides to drop back onto a 2G connection.

    Another solution would be for me to toggle manually between the two but I don't seem to be able to add a shortcut to the GSM/WCDMA selection, I have to navigate through the menus. This makes it a bit of a faff. Is there another way of quickly changing between the two?
  5. Lukechan

    Lukechan Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I have that toggle. Are you saying that if I have manually chosen 'GSM only' in network settings I can still enable a 3G connection by turning the 3G toggle on?

    I was thinking that if I have manually set GSM only then toggling via the home screen would effectively only turn on a GPRS connection (G rather than 3G).

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