iPhone 4 RF failing?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ghanwani, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. ghanwani macrumors 6502a

    Dec 8, 2008
    Lately, I've been noticing HUGE variations in the signal strength on my iPhone 4. It goes from 1 bar to 5 bars and back to 1 bar over a short period of time sitting in the same place. At home too I have been noticing such variations...previously I always had 3 to 4 bars.

    Today, I went by the Apple store and my phone had variable signal between 1 bar and 4 bars. An employee there had an iPhone 5 with 4 bars at the same time that mine showed only 1 bar.

    Is the phone failing? Or has something been changing with AT&T's network?
  2. awesomest47 macrumors member

    Mar 24, 2012
    How are you holding the phone? The AT&T iPhone 4 was built so that you couldn't squeeze the phone from its base (google death grip.) The iPhone 4S and 5 both have corrected this issue. You may want to consider upgrading if it drives you crazy (a case won't help.)
  3. ghanwani thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 8, 2008
    It doesn't matter how it is held. Even if I just hold it flat on my palm I can see these huge signal variations.

    Are there any tests that can be run on a phone to check the health of the RF?
  4. CubeHacker macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    You can enable the iphone field test mode by doing the following:

    From the iPhone keypad, dial *3001#12345#* and hit “Call”

    This will bring up the true signal meter to replace the bars. You can use that to determine just how badly the signal is fluctuating. If you are standing outdoors with the phone on a level surface and not moving, the meter shouldnt really change more than 10db. If you have two iphones, you can put them both in this mode to compare the signal strength they receive to determine if yours is defective.
  5. ghanwani thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 8, 2008
    Thanks CubeHacker!

    I did this and I observed signal reports anywhere from -82 to -116 within a few minutes all sitting at the same location in my apartment. If I walk around I see similar variations.

    I don't remember seeing this level of variation a few months ago...this is quite recent. When I first got the phone I remember having a signal of 3-4 bars at all times within the apartment. Now it is anywhere from 0-5.

    Fortunately I don't make a lot of calls, and when I'm at home, if someone calls on cell phone, I immediately call them using my landline (even if I end up having to pay long distance). However, it is really bothersome when driving or when I'm on the road away from home because it is nearly impossible to have a conversation without breaking up or dropping the call.

    Do you know if there is some kind of recalibration that can be done? Would resetting to factory defaults and restoring the phone help with such an issue?
  6. CubeHacker macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    There is no recalibration that can be done. A factory reset might help and its worth a shot, but it sounds more like a hardware issue to me. Especially if you put your iphone next to another one (on the same network), and that shows a steady signal and yours is dropping out.

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