AT&T phones w/ better reception than iPhones?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by maverick22, Sep 23, 2017.

  1. maverick22 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 30, 2012
    #1
    I'm on T-Mobile and looking to switch to AT&T for reasons related to reception.

    Do other brands provide better reception than iPhones - do Samsungs? What are some AT&T phones that excel in somewhat low signal areas? Seems like I have seen several reports where people had better reception with older iPhones (5/6) as opposed to 7 - due to Intel modems in newer phones perhaps?

    Thanks
     
  2. QueenTyrone macrumors 6502a

    QueenTyrone

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    Sep 21, 2016
    #2
    My note 8 had bad signal and my 7+ had horrible signal. I think att in general sucks
     
  3. maverick22 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Not too encouraging to hear. Where do you live?

    Thanks
     
  4. QueenTyrone macrumors 6502a

    QueenTyrone

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    #4
    Tennessee memphis
     
  5. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #5
    Depends where you live, but ATT overall seems to have better reception IMO, I had them for 10+ years. Especially once you get out of the cities, Tmobile starts to decline quickly. I've also noticed Tmobile has horrible building penetration.

    I haven't seen much different in phone signal on ATT, and I've owned all the Note series, all the iphones, and assorted other phones over the years. The iphones seem to hang onto signal a bit longer than Samsung, but it's a minute difference. I do kind of agree that the older iphones, especially the 5 series had slightly better reception, but that's just anecdotal.
     
  6. maverick22 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I live in Dallas. Yes, building penetration is my main gripe (and my wife's). People frequently say I cut in and out during calls at my home, and I don't know if it's my Intel iPhone or T-Mobile.
     
  7. amac1302 macrumors newbie

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    #7
    I have a company iPhone 6 on AT&T, my family all has T-mobile iPhone 7s, and a iPad mini4 on Sprint, (my son had Verizon during the iPhone 4 days when att&t was really bad in NYC;) a coworker has iPhone 6 on Verizon while his personal family phone has AT&T. We believe Verizon has been sitting on the “best network” too long and have not kept up. In rural areas, like Montana and New Hampshire Verizon has the best signal although it might only be 3g. In major cities and suburbs, ATT was better. These days T-Mobile has been aggressively adding more bands, especially 700 MHz, and soon 600 MHz. This is great in buildings. We was in a museum in NYC and my family was able to call and text each other, I got nothing on AT&T. We have some problems in the countryside like on the way from NYC to Pennsylvania.

    We do not find AT&T much better than T-Mobile these days, as long as you have the most recent phone that supports all T-Mobile’s band. If you ask why do I have a mini iPad on Sprint? Sprint is not bad at my work, the other 3 does not.
     
  8. maverick22 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Thanks for the great input!

    I have complained about this in other threads. I have a 7 plus, and my wife has a 6. We constantly struggle to call, text, or use data inside buildings such as grocery stores, big box stores, malls, restaurants, malls, hotels. I could go on and on! It's frustrating when I see other people in the same places doing things our phones can't.
     
  9. GrumpyMom macrumors 604

    GrumpyMom

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    #9
    Where are you located? I'm in Mid-Atlantic region with an unlocked 7 Plus and I did get some choppy connections at home despite having a tower nearby, though lately it's been ok. I think another forum member had advised me to turn off my wifi calling to get a better sounding call. Anyway, my iPhone was hopeless in the mountainous national parks of California and Utah and I think only Verizon users got even a modicum of usable signal in those places.

    My HTC 10 was the best most clear sounding phone I have ever had. It was unlocked and I used it on AT&T no problem. It even had much lower SAR ratings for its cellular radio than iPhone has. Samsung also had safer ratings on its S7 Edge. The only thing I really hated about my 2016 Android phones was that Snapdragon 820 and 821 processor ran hot all the time and chewed through battery. If not for that, I would not have bothered upgrading in 2017.
     
  10. maverick22 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    I'm in Dallas. Thanks for the reply! So HTC got good reception? Never owned one before.

    Thanks again
     
  11. amac1302 macrumors newbie

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    #11
    A number of phones has better reception than the iPhone 5-7s because of the metal case which interferes with the signal (and wireless charging). The others are mostly plastic. The iPhone 8+X should be better as long as it doesn’t have the grip of death problem of the iPhone 4s. Like I said Verizon seems to work near the NPs, make sure you use google maps and download the regions maps or you’ll won’t be able to navigate using the phones.

    The Intel vs Qualcomm is mostly speed not signal performance differences.
     
  12. Yankee512 Suspended

    Yankee512

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    Apr 29, 2017
    #12
    If you want good signal everywhere in Texas, you need to get AT&T. I just left Verizon because Verizon is terrible in Texas in rural areas. I had no signal. AT&T has signal pretty much everywhere in Texas. Plus, if signal is weak and it falls back to 3G, it's still fast internet where Verizon it's unusable. I live west of Dallas myself.
     
  13. maverick22 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Great to know! Thank you very much for letting me know. I just need to pay off the $500 I owe so I can switch. I think I'm going to go with a sim-free phone for my next one.
     
  14. amac1302 macrumors newbie

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    #14
    Once it’s paid off, you can request to unlock the phone and try it out before committing with a new phone commitment. If you owe $500 on a single phone, you have over a year left, T-Mobile network may improve a lot in that time period, but they seems slower than they promise. (We love T-Mobile but if it doesn’t work where you need it, it’s useless.) No single company works everywhere.
     
  15. maverick22 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Thanks, yes I will pay it off early (next month). Tired of an unusable phone once I go in buildings. AT&T is likely better now.

    After a year or two back with AT&T I'll research the improvement by T-Mobile.
     
  16. amac1302 macrumors newbie

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    #16
    For me, AT&T is not better in buildings, it is better in houses. My company had to install AT&T repeaters in the building to help. For me, Sprint oddly, is better which is why I have the mini iPad on Sprint.
     
  17. Yankee512 Suspended

    Yankee512

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    Except Sprints coverage is terrible.
     
  18. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    I wonder what's up with the museums? I was at the NY museum of natural history about a year ago and my Verizon phone had zero reception, nothing. I was so incredibly disappointed. And this was at the reception desk not too far from the front glass doors, but extended all the way inside.

    It's funny because that's the issue I've had with Tmobile, the indoor penetration. At my hospital Tmobile has 5 bars of reception right outside, but once I get to my office inside it has zero bars/reception. ATT and Verizon keep full reception. I'm hoping once 600mhz is fully released Tmobile will be a good alternative, although with the Sprint merger I fear Tmobile will become less competitive.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 25, 2017 ---
    ATT has awful house penetration in my situation. 2-3 bars outside my house, down to 0-1 and tons of dropped calls inside my house. They always sent me reduced cost repeaters for the house which fixed the issue, but caused other issues such as wifi/cellular handoff issues and issues when I was in spotty wifi coverage like my back yard or basement. Verizon was a bit better and at least I have 1 solid signal bar. Interestingly enough both Tmo and Sprint give me very good reception inside my house.
     
  19. maverick22 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #19
    I agree with the building issue with T-Mobile. Always great reception outside. The second I step in a building, usually always unusable. Very frustrating! Especially when I see other people waking around me using their phones.

    AT&T was always great at my house, and from what I remember, good inside most buildings.
     
  20. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #20
    Yeah ATT was always excellent, the only issue was in my house for some strange reason. I complained a lot, but ATT said the service was perfect right outside my house and pretty much washed their hands of it, although they did pretty much give me a free repeater. But it caused me to severe almost 10 years of service with them and go with Verizon. My suspicion, based on looking at cell tower maps and speaking with some of their senior tech staff, is that I was in between a LTE tower and an older 3g tower and my phones could never truly lock onto either one.

    I'm not really thrilled with Verizon either. I was up in the Poconos a couple of months ago and Verizon had zero service, absolutely none. We had a large group of friends so could compare phones. The ATT ones had no reception as well. Tmobile had a sliver of reception, just enough to place calls and get data for navigation apps.
     
  21. amac1302 macrumors newbie

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    #21
    The performance varies based on the model of phone. The higher the MHz, the less it will penetrate the buildings, not all older phones support 700 MHz (band 12) let alone t-mobile has not updated all locations. Worse, none of the new iPhone 8/X supports 600 MHz. Reason not to buy the X and expecting to keep it a long time. AT&T use to use a slightly lower frequencies than t-mobile. They learned their mistake paying less for those frequencies.

    It you have an T-Mobile iPhone 5s or older, you are losing out on a number of new towers.

    I have decent coverage with Sprint in the NY metropolitan area and in rural area when you roam, you are on Verizon.
     

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20 September 23, 2017