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View Full Version : 3GS Signal reception not as good as iPhone 3G?




Pagemakers
Jun 28, 2009, 01:49 PM
The signal strength on my 3GS does not seems to be as good as my 3G phone.

Same with my mates too.

The old 3G seems to be on 3G far more then the 3GS



t22design
Jun 28, 2009, 03:10 PM
My missus has as a 3GS and I have a 3G, and the 3GS seems to have poorer reception.

We are going to try in some different areas to see if its consistently poorer, or if its just at home.

patdesignsinc
Jun 28, 2009, 10:32 PM
The signal strength on my 3GS does not seems to be as good as my 3G phone.

Same with my mates too.

The old 3G seems to be on 3G far for then the 3GS

It's definitely true, the 3GS gets far worse signal than the 3G. My wife has the 3G and gets almost full signal of 3G service in our house. Mine bounces from 1 -2 bars to no bars to Edge to no signal. It's a huge pain in the @$$. I'm waiting for AT&T to get another shipment and they're going to replace it. Hopefully I just got a "bum" phone. Mine also has that warm, yellow-colored screen.

macmedal
Jul 1, 2009, 05:11 PM
I have also switched from 3G to 3GS and I also have found the signal strength in the UK to be weaker in some areas which previously I had no problem with. It is rather annoying !

cookiesnfooty
Jul 1, 2009, 05:23 PM
I've been getting better/more consistant signal since switching to 3Gs. I guess everyone experiences different things.

tayshon
Jul 1, 2009, 05:26 PM
Same here, I've notice just at work were I would have all my bars on 3G, now it's as if it a dead zone. I'll be on E all days sometimes.

jmpage2
Jul 1, 2009, 05:26 PM
It is possible that the radio in the 3GS is not as sensitive as the previous one. Apple, however, is pretty savvy about this kind of thing so that would be somewhat hard to believe unless there was a major payoff in improved battery life, etc.

Also, there are variations in ALL radios, regardless of manufacturer. Line up 10 Palm Pre phones and you will probably see one (or more) of them get worse reception than the others.

Pagemakers
Jul 1, 2009, 05:33 PM
The original 3G did have a reception problem that was sorted by a software update.

Let's hope the 3GS gets one soon!

D1G1T4L
Jul 1, 2009, 05:39 PM
How are you guys looking at signal strength?

Pagemakers
Jul 1, 2009, 05:53 PM
By the fact that I can make calls on my 3g iPhone at home and my 3gs gets no signal.

I have 2 3g's and 2 3gs's in the house and they exhibit the same symptoms.

Secondly where my 3g can zip along at 3g speeds the 3gs is on edge or GPRS and is plodding along much of the time. Regardless of where I am.

D1G1T4L
Jul 1, 2009, 06:02 PM
By the fact that I can make calls on my 3g iPhone at home and my 3gs gets no signal.

I have 2 3g's and 2 3gs's in the house and they exhibit the same symptoms.

Secondly where my 3g can zip along at 3g speeds the 3gs is on edge or GPRS and is plodding along much of the time. Regardless of where I am.

Ouch! Not getting signal at home would make the 3gs go RIGHT back.

sal
Jul 1, 2009, 06:05 PM
i am getting good signal strength with the 3gs

D1G1T4L
Jul 1, 2009, 06:07 PM
i am getting good signal strength with the 3gs

So you are getting better signal strength with your 3gs over your 3g?

paj
Jul 1, 2009, 06:16 PM
I'm also seeing very poor reception on my 3GS compared to my old 3G. I get 5 bars of 3g at work on my 3g and 1 or 2 on the 3gs.

John T
Jul 1, 2009, 06:18 PM
Mine can vary from all bars down to barely one or no signal! A reboot usually sorts the problem out - which makes me think it's a software issue.

If it is a software problem, no doubt, in time, Apple will hopefully update OS 3.0.

cmaier
Jul 1, 2009, 06:19 PM
The 3GS (or at least OS 3) seems to simply more accurately reflect the actual signal strength.

D1G1T4L
Jul 1, 2009, 06:21 PM
The 3GS (or at least OS 3) seems to simply more accurately reflect the actual signal strength.

Bars in general mean nothing but if someone had service in their house with the 3G and no service at all with the 3GS I would say there is something wrong.

dread
Jul 1, 2009, 06:30 PM
my 3gs reception is horrible. I can hold my phone next to my wife's 2g and she has 3 bars on edge and I have no bars on 3g or edge. Plus my signal will go from 5 to 1 bar without moving and the call quality is horrible. I was not expecting great call quality coming from a 2g model, but I was also not expecting worse quality than my 2g. Its really pissing me off. I don't want to exchange and get a phone with different problems. I have an appointment friday so I will see how it goes. I went to att today and replaced the sim. It seems slightly better, but still unacceptable.

paj
Jul 1, 2009, 06:36 PM
The 3GS (or at least OS 3) seems to simply more accurately reflect the actual signal strength.

If that were the case, everyone with a 3gs would be complaining that their number of bars have decreased.

Regardless, the field service screen shows a difference of 10dB between my 3g and 3gs.

paj
Jul 1, 2009, 06:39 PM
Mine can vary from all bars down to barely one or no signal! A reboot usually sorts the problem out - which makes me think it's a software issue.

If it is a software problem, no doubt, in time, Apple will hopefully update OS 3.0.
For what it's worth, the 3.1 beta doesn't seem to fix the issue.

skye12
Jul 1, 2009, 06:43 PM
If anything, I have better reception with the gs.

Harley-Rider
Jul 1, 2009, 06:46 PM
My reception is the same as my 3G.

Pagemakers
Jul 1, 2009, 06:46 PM
I have poor reception in my home but with my 3g I could make and receive calls and send and receives texts just about.

My 3gs just sits there with no service or barely a service. Not even the odd text message arrives.

It's very lonely!

Pagemakers
Jul 1, 2009, 06:48 PM
I wonder if it's a gs issue or a v3 issue?

paj
Jul 1, 2009, 07:42 PM
Looks like others are seeing the same issue... not only in the US either.

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2048173&tstart=50

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2049575

jmpage2
Jul 1, 2009, 08:45 PM
Genius can run a test on the phone that shows signal level and dropped call log (the iphone actually logs data on this stuff). From that diagnostic they can determine if the radio in the phone is bad, requiring a replacement.

MythicFrost
Jul 1, 2009, 09:07 PM
So is that the AT&T network is bad atm, the iPhone 3GS signal is shocking, or some people are getting ones with bad batteries and bad signals (requiring a replacement)?

I'm in Australia, and I am on the 3 Network, I want to buy an iPhone 3GS 32GB (unlocked), and get it working, but not if I'll have no signal? can I take it back if there is none?

Kind Regards

titaniummd
Jul 1, 2009, 10:53 PM
I actually get significantly better reception where I live. Side-by-side, I have compared my 3GS to 3G phones in different areas and I get 3-4 3G Bar signal whereas the 3G gets 2-3 Edge signal.

It is likely variable based upon location.

AHDuke99
Jul 2, 2009, 12:01 AM
I get zero bars now at my beach house, and with the 3G I got 3-4 bars most of the time on EDGE (no 3G out there). I am wondering if the EDGE chipset in the 3GS is much weaker than the one in the 3G. The 3G reception seems about the same, but EDGE is much weaker.

It really is a problem though. I'm wondering if I need to take my old RAZR with me now to use when I am out there, because I don't like being without a phone.

labman
Jul 2, 2009, 12:26 AM
my 3g was almost always 5 bars in my house the 3GS goes up and down I had it drop call etc. I might have to call the Apple store and go talk to them. so far this the only thing I am not happy with my phone..

sal
Jul 2, 2009, 12:30 AM
So you are getting better signal strength with your 3gs over your 3g?
I upgraded from the first gen and yes, I am getting better signal strength with the 3gs than I did with my 2g.

5 bars compared to 3 bars.

Morn
Jul 2, 2009, 01:27 AM
Seems slightly worse on Optus here in Australia. Finding it goes to GPRS more often. But it's not significantly worse enough to worry about, Optus was already plenty bad on the 3G. ;)
Can't tell any difference on Telstra's network, their network is amazing and it's nearly always full bars anyway.

Nicholas.C
Jul 2, 2009, 03:10 AM
My 3GS signal is better then my 3G signal. At the moment, I have four bars on one phone, and full bars on my 3GS.

Pagemakers
Jul 4, 2009, 04:00 AM
There is absolutely no doubt the 3GS has MUCH poorer reception.

I drove down the M6 from Manchester to Birmingham last night and I had 3G reception for about 2 minutes in the 90 minute journey.

Much of it had no data reception at all.

It's awful compared to my 3G iPhone.

Definately a bug.

Reported to Apple.

Dr. Cabrera
Jul 4, 2009, 08:59 AM
wow it's not like there are 20 other factors that could play into this :rolleyes:


funny how everyone says they have worse reception, yet I have yet to see a single proof of evidence

Pagemakers
Jul 4, 2009, 09:05 AM
I have 4 iPhones in my house. 2 3g and 2 3gs

The 3gs continually perform the worst no matter where I am in the uk.

For me I don't need any more proof and I stand by my statement that the 3gs has a poorer reception than the 3g. Unless of course I have TWO faulty phones.

jmpage2
Jul 4, 2009, 09:39 AM
I have 4 iPhones in my house. 2 3g and 2 3gs

The 3gs continually perform the worst no matter where I am in the uk.

For me I don't need any more proof and I stand by my statement that the 3gs has a poorer reception than the 3g. Unless of course I have TWO faulty phones.

Or maybe a simple firmware update from Apple will tweak the radio reception in the 3GS and solve your problems.

Pagemakers
Jul 4, 2009, 09:49 AM
Which is exactly what they did with the iPhone 3g last year and a software update fixed the problem.

Let's hope the 3gs fix is not too far away.

I've had a 3g since day 1 and the performance of my 3gs radio reception on my new phone is blindingly obvious.

xraydoc
Jul 4, 2009, 12:17 PM
Suboptimal iPhone 3GS reception as well, though clearly part of it is AT&T's fault since the iPhone 3G had it's own signal issues here.

I'm expecting the BlackBerry Tour I have on order will have none of these issues.

MythicFrost
Jul 5, 2009, 02:09 AM
Anyone else in AUS have any feed back on how their 3GS reception is?

Is it more likely the 3GS has a flaw with it's radio transmitter, or AT&T is just really bad :O?

Should I wait a few weeks before buying the 3GS, if at all? currently just have a 2nd gen touch :D

Kind Regards

Pagemakers
Jul 5, 2009, 02:21 AM
I'm on o2 UK and it's bad.

Pagemakers
Jul 5, 2009, 04:29 AM
Another thing the 3gs does it sit there for ages with no signal at all.

Turn airplane mode off and on and bam, full signal and 3g.

Apple please sort this. I'm beginng to hate the phone that I've loved for the l past 12 months :(

macmedal
Jul 5, 2009, 06:01 AM
I have upgraded from a year with 3G to 3GS. I regularily travel by train and I know where the black spots are on the journey for data connections which on the 3G goes from GPRS to Edge to 3g on the 02 network but with the exception of one area rarely had no signal. With my 3GS nearly half the journey shows No Signal. I have also noticed that the signal strength indicator often shows no signal in 3G or Edge but still holds the E or 3G symbol not sure if this is a 3.0 feature but my 3G never did this as it would switch to GPRS instead. I also agree when it jumps to no signal it takes a Long time to recover a signal. As previously said switching airplane mode off and back on resolves this No Signal time out. Not so happy so far with 3GS experience!

daneoni
Jul 5, 2009, 06:13 AM
I haven't had any issues in fact i was in a bulding where people with other phones weren't getting any signal and my 3GS managed 1-3 bars and i could make calls just fine.

*Shrug*

MythicFrost
Jul 5, 2009, 06:19 AM
If you e-mail apple about this, do they actually reply :O?

If they would I'd just ask, whether it's the network, the phone, or a combo, I really want a 3G O_O hope they get some fix soon! beats my Nokia N95, heck a stick is more entertaining than it :D

Pagemakers
Jul 5, 2009, 06:26 AM
Email your feedback here: http://www.apple.com/feedback/iphone.html

parguy69
Jul 5, 2009, 10:06 AM
I just bought an iPhone 3GS as my first iPhone. I've had signal reception issues since I first activated it. It will have 2 or 3 bars and then (while staying in the same place) it will go down to "no service". I've traveled a bit in the last week and reception will be 5 bars and a few minutes later go down to 2 or 3 bars. Obviusly the worst condition is when it goes from some bars to none. I called AT&T when I activated the phone and they said it was poor 3g coverage in my area, although the coverage map shows me in the best reception area. It looks like an Apple problem, especially since I'm not the only one experiencing this problem.

daneoni
Jul 5, 2009, 10:37 AM
Maybe you guys should try resetting your network settings and see if that helps

Pagemakers
Jul 14, 2009, 01:42 AM
It does not.

Gershon
Jul 14, 2009, 06:40 AM
Genius can run a test on the phone that shows signal level and dropped call log (the iphone actually logs data on this stuff). From that diagnostic they can determine if the radio in the phone is bad, requiring a replacement.

yeah. u should go to apple n run a check to see if it's ok..:)

Gershon
Jul 14, 2009, 06:40 AM
Email your feedback here: http://www.apple.com/feedback/iphone.html

yeah. put ur feedback at the link :)

Pagemakers
Jul 14, 2009, 08:11 AM
Like I said initially I have 2 3GS and 2 3G here and the ALL display the same properties.

3G good reception
3GS poor reception

Gix1k
Jul 14, 2009, 08:18 AM
Not as good on my 3GS either. My buddies tell me all the time..."your new phone sucks".

John T
Jul 14, 2009, 09:21 AM
Not as good on my 3GS either. My buddies tell me all the time..."your new phone sucks".
They're probably jealous :)

TheSpaz
Jul 14, 2009, 09:39 AM
Try resetting your network settings.

Settings>General>Reset>Reset Network Settings

McMenace
Jul 14, 2009, 09:55 AM
I'm having reception problems on the 3GS too, since upgrading from a 2G, and I've noticed that when it's been out of range for a while, it doesn't pick up a signal when it's back in an area of good service (it's like it stops polling for a signal after a while). A reboot is usually needed to get it back online.

I left feedback on the Apple link - thanks for that.

steve-p
Jul 14, 2009, 10:32 AM
I'm getting "No service" for a minute or so at a time quite frequently using the 3GS in all the same places I used the 3G. I never once got "No service" with the 3G so I'd say there's a problem.

lavinci
Jul 14, 2009, 10:37 AM
I do get the Searching... thing up at the top of my phone every once in a while. But then again, I have bad reception to begin with at home. I find the signal to be good though.

Pagemakers
Jul 28, 2009, 06:30 AM
Strangely, I find I get better reception when my phone is docked!

jjprusk
Jul 28, 2009, 07:32 AM
The reception is definitely worse on the 3GS vs 3G. We had two 3G phones and "upgraded" to 3GS and in both cases the quality of the reception went down. We live .75 mile from a tower and have always received 5 bars of 3G. Now, there are times when it will flip into EDGE - what's up with that? There appears to be something wrong with these phones - hopefully it can be fixed with a firmware upgrade.

AHDuke99
Jul 28, 2009, 08:33 AM
I'm suddenly back to getting 5 bars at my beach house. Perhaps they had put the tower closest to me out of maintenance for a while? It was strange.

MacGiver
Jul 28, 2009, 03:28 PM
I will get my 3GS soon...this thread worries me..
The question is...is it HW or SW driven...if SW i would keep it...if HW i return it.
Have you seen this...Some say it is due to the antena location so it would be HW driven? Did the antena location changed from 3G to 3GS? Some say it is SW driven and others due to the netwrk provider...well...no one knows...hopefully it is SW and an update will fix the issue.

Don't mind the french just look at the video
http://iphone-apple.fr/2009/07/16/problemes-de-reception-avec-le-3gs/

Pagemakers
Jul 28, 2009, 03:52 PM
My old 3g was the same and a software update fixd it. I'm hoping the same can be said of the 3gs

t0mm
Jul 28, 2009, 04:24 PM
I'm in the UK.
Mine 3GS signal is better then my 3G. I would get GPRS / no signal in some places i went where i live on my 3G. I've only seen GPRS a few times on my 3GS since launch day.

glamourkills
Jul 28, 2009, 04:34 PM
I actually get far better signal service with my Iphone 3GS than I used to with my 3G.

Hmm.

jefflmorris
Jul 28, 2009, 08:25 PM
I was having all the reception problems described on my first 3gs. The phone cycled from full bars down to no signal. I went the apple store and they ran some tests, said my modem was resetting a lot (but was within normal range), but gave me a new phone. The problem is NOT present with my replacement. No more cycling or dropped calls.

As a bonus, the battery on the replacement is significantly better than my first phone.

beefstirfry
Sep 11, 2009, 04:08 AM
I had iPhone 3G and the 3G reception was poor whilst I was at work in office. I can't remember which software update it was (I think it was 2.2.1), but after that it improved greatly and I had no problem with streaming radio. I figure that if I can stream radio uninterrupted for longer than 30 minutes, then that's a good benchmark of reception.

Now with my 3GS, sitting in exactly the same spot, the 3G reception is in and out frequently. I can barely stream radio for longer than 5 minutes before it cuts out, sometimes reception for data going all the way out to nothing before eventually returning back to 3G.

There are 2 other people with iPhone 3G in the office, and when we put all our phones together in the same place, they consistently get better 3G reception.

I think this is pretty good indication that there is something wrong with the 3GS reception. I will report it to Apple and see if they offer me a replacement phone.

warburg
Sep 11, 2009, 10:04 AM
I'm getting normal reception on my 32gb 3Gs iphone but since the update to 3.1 software, I no longer see the Edge symbol or the 3G symbol to the right of "AT&T" at the top left of the screen. They have been replaced by a symbol consisting of two arched lines above a dot. What does this mean :confused:

nateo200
Sep 11, 2009, 11:27 AM
Someone run a speedtest with the app. Do EDGE and 3G on both phones in the same area. Make sure u set the same server.

Pagemakers
Sep 11, 2009, 11:37 AM
I hope 3.1 fixes my issue. Iíll find out tomorrow when I get home.

Jazzandmetal?
Nov 24, 2009, 11:42 PM
I figured I would revive this one as my phone decides sometimes to go to the Edge network when my 2 coworkers 3G phones are still on the 3G network. I have to go to airport or whatever to get it to go back to 3G. But it will usually switch back. This only happens at my job, although twice now it has stayed on E even at my house where I have full 3G signal strength. A quick switch to airport and back and it was fine.

I got a new sim card, have restored not from back up and did network resets. Are people still finding the 3GS to have worse reception?

TheSpaz
Nov 24, 2009, 11:56 PM
I figured I would revive this one as my phone decides sometimes to go to the Edge network when my 2 coworkers 3G phones are still on the 3G network. I have to go to airport or whatever to get it to go back to 3G. But it will usually switch back. This only happens at my job, although twice now it has stayed on E even at my house where I have full 3G signal strength. A quick switch to airport and back and it was fine.

I got a new sim card, have restored not from back up and did network resets. Are people still finding the 3GS to have worse reception?

Perhaps it's not worse reception but a downside to having a fast iPhone. The phone is soooo fast that it is able to immediately switch to EDGE when 3G is out of range, but with the iPhone 3G, it takes so long to SHOW that it's on EDGE that you've already passed the EDGE area and you're back in 3G so it doesn't bother changing the symbol.

Jazzandmetal?
Nov 25, 2009, 12:10 AM
Perhaps it's not worse reception but a downside to having a fast iPhone. The phone is soooo fast that it is able to immediately switch to EDGE when 3G is out of range, but with the iPhone 3G, it takes so long to SHOW that it's on EDGE that you've already passed the EDGE area and you're back in 3G so it doesn't bother changing the symbol.

They will both have 3-4 bars of 3G for long periods of time where I won't have any bars or will be on E. I am not sure though if you are messing with me or not either.:)

Pagemakers
Nov 25, 2009, 04:35 AM
The reception on the 3GS is just awful full stop.

Not just on mine button just everybody I know who has the phone on o2.

powerbook911
Dec 31, 2009, 12:56 PM
Has anyone noticed if newer produced 3Gs still have the problem of worse reception than 3G phones?

My June 3Gs gets about 100 times worst signal than my 3G.