Antennagate - with a 4S?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Dented, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. Dented macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2009
    I've just come from an iPhone 3GS on O2 in the UK, to a 4S on Vodafone. I live in a fairly rural location so reception has always been spotty for me, but Vodafone at least offers 3G in the nearest town where I work, unlike O2, and their 2G at home is a little better too. Combined with the antenna improvements in the 4S I was expecting things to be much better and on the whole they are.

    One thing bothers me though. At home where I generally have 2-3 bars, I can make them disappear almost immediately just by covering the antenna join on the lower left - from up to 4 bars to "No Service" in a matter of seconds.. A fingertip will do it, a palm works even quicker. I never owned an iPhone 4, but surely this is the famous "death grip" I heard so much about?

    It works regardless of whether I'm touching the side of the phone anywhere else. What happened to this dual antenna and automatic switching?

    In fairness, the old 3GS (which now has my wife's Vodafone sim in it) will drop bars just as quick if gripped by that corner, but that never made the same signal claims and doesn't have a single line on the bottom left which can compromise the antenna with a single misplaced digit.

    Am I expecting too much here or is there something wrong with my 4S? I'm looking forward to testing it tomorrow at work where there's strong 3G signal - if I lose bars in those conditions something must be wrong, right?
  2. Solosmooth, Oct 30, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011

    Solosmooth macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2008
    Not sure if this is related to your problem, but my Verizon iPhone 4S looses signal whenever any location aware app is running. Its driving me nuts!! My phone looses all signal when doing a search in google maps, earth, find my friends etc.. Anytime the purple location app is running my phone goes into a loop which looses signal, searches for signal, aquires signal... constant loop. Its drops my phone calls whenever I leave any location aware app running in the background. Test side by side with an iPhone 4. Only the iPhone 4S has this issue!! NOT GOOD!! This is a replacement iPhone 4S. The first one had the same issue!! Only thing that helps is to disable location services all together which defeats the purpose of siri.
  3. Buckeyestar macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2011
    I was able to drop bars simply by applying a fingertip to the lower left black strip on my iPhone 4, I could do it every time and even duplicated it on my 3GS (with a full fist grip). I am completely unable to do so on my 4S, I tried it almost immediately after activation and was quite happy to be unsuccessful.
  4. BoxerGT2.5 macrumors 68000


    Jun 4, 2008
    I can't get anything to happen on the 4s like I could the 4. 4-5 bars at all times except for a spot or two around town.
  5. powerbuddy macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2006
    Similar issues with the Verizon iPhone 4s. Goes from full bars to searching in zero seconds. You're right the location services could be an issue.
  6. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    I think this is your problem. I don't think it's the 4S.
  7. Dented thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2009
    Quite possibly - and I'm hoping that in a slightly stronger signal area I'll see none of this - but I just find it surprising that even in a low signal area, bridging the gap on one antenna on a dual antenna phone can still have this effect. Surely if I'm bridging the bottom antenna it should switch to the top and maintain the same (albeit poor) signal?

    On the plus side, I don't seem to have any of the location services problems others have mentioned.
  8. Dented thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2009
    Well an update - in town today with strong 3G signal, I couldn't (reliably) lose any bars via bridging the antenna or generally gripping it in any realistic way, so I guess you could chalk that up as a success for the 4S. Then again, this was in a location where I could literally see the mast on a nearby building, so it would be pretty shocking if I had managed to kill that.

    Just not sure. I'd really hoped from the reviews that this new antenna system was immune to however you held it, and as far as I can see - as soon as the signal is a little weaker at least - it just isn't.
  9. Paulshaqz macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2009
    at&t said wear gaining another tower 2 miles away from me and should be finished today it's really funny how i get 1 to 3 bars in the house but when i go outside and go half a block or so i get amazing reception i have no idea why i can't get 4 bars in the house?

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