Consumer Reports: signal issues not unique iPhone 4, no reason not to buy

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by pugnut, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. pugnut macrumors 6502a

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    There's no reason, at least yet, to forgo buying an iPhone 4 over its reception concerns," writes Consumer Reports

    A new article in the research group's Electronics Blog notes that the "signal woes" of iPhone 4 are not a unique problem, and "may not be serious."

    "Underplayed in the discussion is the fact that all phones are subject to interference from the human who is using them," writes Mike Gikas. "And even if the alleged signal loss is real, there's an absence of hard evidence that iPhone 4 reception is problematic compared to past iPhones; indeed, there's evidence of just the opposite."

    The group adds, "most of the web sites reporting dropped signals and even dropped calls have demonstrated several techniques, or 'death grips' for recreating the problem (which we've yet been able to reproduce in a meaningful way). But those almost always require squeezing the phone hard, in an unnatural way. Those grips may also produce sweaty palms from exertion, with the sweat increasing conductivity—and possibly the degree of signal loss."

    Gikas cites testing performed by Anandtech, which "determined that the iPhone 4 performs much better than the 3GS in situations where signal is very low, at -113 dBm (1 bar)."

    That report further noted, "previously, dropping this low all but guaranteed that calls would drop, fail to be placed, and data would no longer be transacted at all. I can honestly say that I've never held onto so many calls and data simultaneously on 1 bar at -113 dBm as I have with the iPhone 4, so it's readily apparent that the new baseband hardware is much more sensitive compared to what was in the 3GS."

    Using a cover, iPhone 4 performed even better. "With my bumper case on, I made it further into dead zones than ever before, and into marginal areas that would always drop calls without any problems at all," Anandtech wrote.

    "It's amazing really to experience the difference in sensitivity the iPhone 4 brings compared to the 3GS, and issues from holding the phone aside, reception is absolutely definitely improved. I felt like I was going places no iPhone had ever gone before. There's no doubt in my mind this iPhone gets the best cellular reception yet, even though measured signal is lower than the 3GS."

    Consumer Reports concluded that even if problems do materialize, "Apple's Steve Jobs helpfully reminds new iPhone buyers that 'you can return your undamaged iPhone to any Apple Retail Store or the online Apple Store within 30 days of purchase for a full refund.'"

    http://www.appleinsider.com/article...not_unique_iphone_4_no_reason_not_to_buy.html
     
  2. rotobadger macrumors 65816

    rotobadger

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    #2
    I love how this article, and others, mention "squeezing the phone hard". The amount of pressure applied to the phone's antenna would make no difference. It's simply the contact and coverage of the antenna.

    If I squeeze it REEEAAALLY hard I can make it go to "negative bars"!
     
  3. mcees4life macrumors newbie

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    #3
    the wind blows hardest at the top of the mountain. Iphone been sitting on top of the mountain since 07, complaints are always exaggerated when you're on top.
     
  4. rotobadger macrumors 65816

    rotobadger

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    #4
    My wife keeps telling me that.:p:p:p
     
  5. Goaliegeek macrumors 6502a

    Goaliegeek

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    #5
    I noticed one post from a fellow in Germany says he nor anyone he knows has been able to replicate this issue. Any other Europeans able to say the same thing? I'f it's just a US thing, then it's gotta be more on ATT, you'd think.
     
  6. Steviejobz macrumors 68000

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    #6
    Agreed. I never understood why people think its a defect when pressing one fingertip hard against the band decreases signal. Do people normally take one finger and press hard on any phone when using it?

    Holding this phone normally does nothing to signal strength and I have yet to actual evidence to the contrary. Just BS anecdotes.
     
  7. iPhoneHome macrumors 6502

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    #7
  8. Steviejobz macrumors 68000

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    #8
    Please post video of calls dropping when you lightly touch the phone. Otherwise, its a non-issue.
     
  9. Mark Booth macrumors 65816

    Mark Booth

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    #9
    Great blog post by CU!!! I particularly like John Gruber's take on the CU article:

    "Who am I supposed to believe, the sensationalist hacks at Consumer Reports, or the straight-shooters at Gizmodo?"

    [​IMG]


    Speaking of John Gruber..... I really love his translation of Apple's letter, which is stabbed right at the hearts of the whiners:

    http://daringfireball.net/2010/07/translation_iphone_4

    Mark
     
  10. mcees4life macrumors newbie

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    #10
    :fistpump
     
  11. Cambot macrumors regular

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    #11
    lmao

    Used the supplied headphones and talked to my dad for an hour, zero problems. Never used it before but just may start using it a lot more.
     
  12. Loiterer macrumors member

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    #12
    CR cites that Anandtech review which explicitly stated that their phone experienced 20 dB of attenuation while "holding naturally" and they still spread this FUD about having to use this unnatural "death grip?" My phone certainly drops calls when I hold it naturally.
     
  13. rotobadger macrumors 65816

    rotobadger

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    #13
    I think you might have missed my point.

    Regardless of whether one thinks this issue is legitimate or not (obviously there have been arguments going both ways ad nauseum here on MR), actually squeezing the phone (applying force) will not make a difference in signal strength. The antenna is not pressure sensitive.

    "I'm stronger than you so I can make the signal weaker!" :p

    That's why I thought it was funny that so many article talk about squeezing the phone hard.
     
  14. jrbdmb macrumors 6502

    jrbdmb

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    #14
    so you consider the Anandtech article "anecdotal?"

    Perhaps this issue is not as big as some make it out to be. But to continually claim this issue does not exist is beyond ridiculous.
     
  15. Steviejobz macrumors 68000

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    #15
    I agree, not pressure sensitive, but the harder you squeeze, the greater the band is covered by even more skin without it ever moving off the band. That is not natural in my opinion.
     
  16. ChrisJSNh macrumors regular

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    #16
    that is sad, consumer reports based on other reports and didn't properly state the facts.. when consumer reports uses other sites for their "scientific" analysis ,, lacks any wieght at all

    now if they did their own tests and posted results it might be meaningful
     
  17. iphoneZ macrumors regular

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    #17
    how much does apple pay for puff pieces like this?
     
  18. Steviejobz macrumors 68000

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    #18
    Did not say that. I think it is an issue. I can recreate it but i have to smother the damn phone to get 1-2 bars to drop. But I still get better data speeds (sppeedtest app) than I did with prior models. And that was one of Anandtech's main point. If you hold this in your palm naturally, there is no issue. If you squeeze, yes there is an issue but performance is still better.

    No one was conscious of applying some hulk-like squeeze on prior models because the antenna was buried and less sensitive.
     
  19. tallyho macrumors 6502a

    tallyho

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    #19
    Er, what? Nobody's talking about squeezing (apart from Jobs hinting at it in his annoying email responses). Holding the phone naturally in the palm of your hand is precisely how to cut the signal!


    http://9to5mac.com/node/18982

    Not calls, data transfer. This video shows the problem: no "death grip", the slightest of touches is all it takes to completely stall the data connection. This is what people are complaining about...
     
  20. Loiterer macrumors member

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    #20
    How can you make generalizations like that? Look at this video, 1:00 mark:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUMn7CEAtmw&feature=watch_response

    Does that look like a "hulk-like squeeze" to you? It looks pretty natural to me.
     
  21. -aggie- macrumors P6

    -aggie-

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    #21
    I’m surprised to see Consumer Report citing other reports for their data. I always thought they did their own tests.
     
  22. Mark Booth macrumors 65816

    Mark Booth

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    #22
    It's a blog posting, not a magazine article.

    Mark
     
  23. Steviejobz macrumors 68000

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    #23
    Looks like he is squeezing the meat of his hand and smothering the lower area of the phone. not sure if you can determine pressure from that video. the harder he may be squeezing, the more skin will stay stationary on that one spot with little air in between. if he were to bring the phone to his with that grip, he would look like a complete fool.
     
  24. murdercitydevil macrumors 68000

    murdercitydevil

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    #24
    totally awesome
     
  25. iphoneguy123 macrumors regular

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    #25


    Owned.
     

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