An old cell better than new iPhone?

old-wiz

macrumors G3
Original poster
Mar 26, 2008
8,315
225
West Suburban Boston Ma
I have a Verizon LG VX8100, purchased in 2005 (yes it is ancient) and was in the Verizon store yesterday talking about iPhone 4S. The Verizon rep said that the older VX8100 will get better reception than an iPhone 4S since the VX8100 has an external antenna (which is about an inch long), and I would not do better with an iPhone 4S.

Does this make sense to anyone?

The reason I was asking is I keep dropping calls in my house with the VX8100, even though I live only 5 miles from Route 128 in west suburban Boston. I was hoping an iPhone might do better.
 

Rocko1

macrumors 68020
Nov 3, 2011
2,070
4
You have 14 days to return it. Get it, try it, and return it if it doesn't work. Your 8100 could be malfunctioning also.
 

wordoflife

macrumors 604
Jul 6, 2009
7,563
34
Considering how much technology has improved since 2005, I don't think it would get better signal than an iPhone or any other relatively new phone.
 

Arnezie

macrumors 65816
Oct 10, 2011
1,314
110
If anything the newer phones get better reception because they capitalize on the available signal better than older phones. This is especially true with the iPhone 4s
 

Leonard1818

macrumors 68020
Nov 15, 2011
2,459
401
Take anything you hear at any Verizon store from one of their "experts" with a GIANT grain of salt...

Obviously the rep you spoke with isn't extremely knowledgable.

Try the iPhone. My iPhone gets much better signal than my Samsung Galaxy S. (both 3G and wifi signal).
 

old-wiz

macrumors G3
Original poster
Mar 26, 2008
8,315
225
West Suburban Boston Ma
I suspect the Verizon store people were rather trying to get me to upgrade to anything but an iPhone. Maybe they get better commission on Droids or something?

Thanks for the responses. I kept thinking that 5+ years of technology should be able to get better reception!
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
342
A little secret about those extendable antennas on the old flip and candy bar phones: most of them are cosmetic only, intended to comfort the user and act as a placebo. Been that way since the first Motorola flip phone.

Meanwhile, your sales rep at Verizon apparently didn't get the memo that the iPhone 4S HAS an external antenna. Two of them in fact. They make up the metal band that's sandwiched between the two panes of glass. And they work really well. You should point them out to that sales rep when you get your iPhone. :)
 

iSayuSay

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2011
3,315
429
I suggest you try it for yourself, that CSR person may be right too, my old Sony Ericsson P990i get better signal than iPhone 4s with the same carrier. Sony always get 3G when I'm home, not so much with 4S I can only get mostly EDGE. I have to switch back and forth Airplane mode just to force iPhone picking up 3G signal (for a while)

Plus iPhone still get this deathgrip issue albeit what Apple claimed about it having smart dual antenna. You can grip original iPhone without worrying about signal loss.

I may agree that iPhone is a cellphone only with OK reception but have great OS and features. With iPhone you wont have reception problem on area with strong 3G signal .. But so does a cheapo $100 dumbphone. :rolleyes:

And please, no excuse of how much technology have improved since 2005 so 2011 phone must be infinitely better.

Old school phone development focus heavily on radio reception quality. It doesnt have much complicated apps, OS etc.

As relevant analogy:
My 5 years old Yamaha audio receiver still sounds much better than most modern receiver out there with similar price. It doesnt have HDMI, Dolby so called True HD, dedicated iPod dock, Airplay, bluetooth, YPAO calibration blah blah blah, but it does one thing ... Sounds great!!

So yeah, old phone =/= worse reception.
 
Last edited:

DollaTwentyFive

macrumors 6502a
Nov 11, 2010
747
4
Parts Unknown
Wow. Just wow. I need a minute. Especially because I grew up outside of Boston and I know exactly where the OP is located. The iPhone will provide a reception experience equal to or better than an old VZW cell phone.
 

jzuena

macrumors 65816
Feb 21, 2007
1,051
72
I suspect the Verizon store people were rather trying to get me to upgrade to anything but an iPhone. Maybe they get better commission on Droids or something?

Thanks for the responses. I kept thinking that 5+ years of technology should be able to get better reception!
Don't know if they get better commissions, but carriers pay a smaller subsidy on non-iPhones. If Verizon wants their salespeople to help steer customers away from iPhone, sharing some of that savings would probably be a good idea.
 

old-wiz

macrumors G3
Original poster
Mar 26, 2008
8,315
225
West Suburban Boston Ma
You have 14 days to return it. Get it, try it, and return it if it doesn't work. Your 8100 could be malfunctioning also.
I've thought of that, but I've also heard that if you buy an iPhone and return it even within the 14 days you still have to pay Verizon's $350 ETF. I don't want to get a new phone, then find out it's no good and then have to pay $350 to return it.

Verizon has checked the 8100 several times, updated the software and says "it's fine".

It drives me nuts that I live in such a major metropolitan area and cell phone service sucks.
 

quietstormSD

macrumors 65816
Mar 2, 2010
1,026
328
San Diego, CA
I think you'd get worse reception with previous iPhones. However, with the iPhone 4S, it looks like Apple finally fixed issues iPhone users were having with reception.
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,266
1,357
I've thought of that, but I've also heard that if you buy an iPhone and return it even within the 14 days you still have to pay Verizon's $350 ETF. I don't want to get a new phone, then find out it's no good and then have to pay $350 to return it.
Early Termination Fee only applies if you cancel your Verizon service while you're still under contract.

If you buy an iPhone from a Verizon store and return it, they may charge you a 10% restock fee. If you buy your iPhone from Apple and return it, Apple won't charge you a restock fee.
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
342
I've thought of that, but I've also heard that if you buy an iPhone and return it even within the 14 days you still have to pay Verizon's $350 ETF.
Also completely wrong. If you return the phone and cancel service within 14 days, there is no ETF.


It drives me nuts that I live in such a major metropolitan area and cell phone service sucks.
There are two other carriers that sell the iPhone. Maybe one of them would provide you with better coverage?
 

Thedeathbear

macrumors 6502a
Apr 18, 2010
604
2
Maybe this old Verizon phone has just run its course. Most technology isn't made to last forever. Im sure a new iphone will get better reception.
 

Invincibilizer

macrumors 6502a
Aug 18, 2011
769
2
iPhone 4s supposedly has two advance antennas for signals, it is highly unlikely that an old phone can have better reception especially when Cook explained that the second antenna acts when the first antenna drops so its a virtually a safety net.
 

Rocko1

macrumors 68020
Nov 3, 2011
2,070
4
Do you know anyone who has a 4S or 4 and can go try it at your house?
 

old-wiz

macrumors G3
Original poster
Mar 26, 2008
8,315
225
West Suburban Boston Ma
Do you know anyone who has a 4S or 4 and can go try it at your house?
I'm trying to find someone right now. If I can do that and it works I'll buy an iPhone the next day!

Thanks so much for all the help!

I haven't kept up with all the phone details....the technology is changing fast and I have enough trying to keep up with OSx and my Macs.
 

PNutts

macrumors 601
Jul 24, 2008
4,839
347
Pacific Northwest, US
Field mode gives you signal strength and would be one more tool on which to base a decision.

I found a link that shows how to put your phone can go into field mode here.

Instructions for the iPhone4S are here.

I wouldn't take the numbers literally (treat them as a good estimate) and I would also turn off the other phone while looking at the other.
 

takeshi74

macrumors 601
Feb 9, 2011
4,974
68
It drives me nuts that I live in such a major metropolitan area and cell phone service sucks.
Being in a major metropolitan area should help your odds but it's no guarantee. Any of a number of factors can affect coverage in a given area even within a major metro area. There are certainly coverage holes in central Houston for all of the carriers.
 

speed4tu

macrumors member
Mar 30, 2009
98
0
I would say yes in terms of durability. I had old phones that took a beating and kept on ticking. iPhones will break easier. :D
 

macingman

macrumors 68020
Jan 2, 2011
2,147
3
I have a Verizon LG VX8100, purchased in 2005 (yes it is ancient) and was in the Verizon store yesterday talking about iPhone 4S. The Verizon rep said that the older VX8100 will get better reception than an iPhone 4S since the VX8100 has an external antenna (which is about an inch long), and I would not do better with an iPhone 4S.

Does this make sense to anyone?

The reason I was asking is I keep dropping calls in my house with the VX8100, even though I live only 5 miles from Route 128 in west suburban Boston. I was hoping an iPhone might do better.
I would never trust a sales rep with any information other then the price of the phone. You can always get the iPhone and return it should you not be able to get reception. The iPhone 4S has excellent reception compared to previous iPhone models (1 or 2 bars higher I have noticed) so you should notice a difference.
 
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