iphone 4s v 4 call quality with good signal strength

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Peterg2, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. Peterg2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #1
    I have done various searches here and elsewhere regarding call quality of the 4S (both to you and the person whom you are calling) and really have not got a good handle as to whether there is a material improvement in the voice quality of the calls *when* signal strength is good - let's say 4 bars minimum or say -90 dBm.

    I am thinking of buying a 4S (while keeping my 4 as a backup) but it is not because of the cpu, or siri. My main reasons for upgrading would be the antenna issue (I don't like using cases with my 4 anymore but simply work around the problem) which I know is essentially fixed with the 4S and also if there is a real voice quality improvement in calls (not interested in the quality of the speakerphone or using Bluetooth).

    Before someone says "just try it out", here with Rogers (and others in Canada) any return must be within 14/15 days or 30 minutes call time, whichever comes first.

    As I said, it does not bother me if voice quality is less compromised with the 4S in areas of mediocre or poor signal quality. Simply how calls sound to you and how you sound to the other party when the signal is strong. I am probably more interested in how I sound to others as I use this phone a lot for business calls when I am in my study.
     
  2. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #2
    How is that policy incompatible with "just try it out"?

    FWIW I had no antenna or voice quality complaints with my 4 (which my wife still uses), and my 4S is doing fine as well.
     
  3. Peterg2, Nov 25, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2011

    Peterg2 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #3
    In essence I will be limited to 30 minutes of calls (does not matter if incoming or outgoing) and perhaps I end up with a couple of phone calls which are made from people's mobile phones calling from weak signal areas. Yes, I can reject the calls unless I make the calls myself to known quality landlines but I just feel that, for my purposes, this period of time might not be enough for me.

    Thanks for your comments regarding the voice quality.
     
  4. soco macrumors 68030

    soco

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Yardley, PA
    #4
    I concur with my first-name-sharing demi, seanfranklin. Never had much of an issue with the 4, 4S has been flawless.

    Do 30 minutes of tests.
     
  5. M Quick macrumors 6502

    M Quick

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #5
    I think the call quality is GREAT, with capital letters, it sounds great and works great, even with little reception it sounds as good as with full reception.

    You have to keep in mind that the other part also has to have a problem free phone and reception :)

    But i love how the sound is in the 4S when you talk to someone, somehow it feels like in stereo even though you just have it against one ear..
     
  6. Peterg2 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 28, 2008
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #6
    Thanks Mr. Pink,

    I suppose what I can derive from the two replies here is that I am not going to see a material improvement in terms of outgoing voice quality with the 4S under the circumstances I mentioned.

    I know my 4 has decent outgoing quality but it is not as stellar as some older Motorola or Nokias I have used.
     
  7. M Quick macrumors 6502

    M Quick

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
  8. scaredpoet, Nov 25, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2011

    scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #8
    Well, one thing is for sure: for the vast majority of people who have upgraded to the 4S from the 4, the audio quality of a good-signal voice call hasn't gotten any worse.

    For the most part, a phone has to be really bad to perform badly when network conditions are the best they can be. So all things being equal, they're pretty much going to sound the same.

    It's in the moderate to poor signal areas where differences are found.

    Nor will it for the foreseeable future. All modern phones have vocoders with the ability to respond to network requests to sacrifice individual call clarity for overall increased network capacity, by reducing the effective bitrates of each call and using higher compression. Older phones are "inefficient" by today's standards, in that they use older vocoders designed when compression technology wasn't mature enough, and there weren't as many people on the cell networks. Back then, there was also a desire to lure people to use their cell phones more by making them sound as close to a landline call as possible. So, older phones are "stuck" using high bitrates for each voice call, with the side effect that they'll sound better.

    Today, carriers are just happy if a call doesn't drop. So "carrier grade" audio isn't a priority anymore.

    All 3G phones sounded great back when UMTS was new and most users were still on EDGE (which sounded pretty horribly by comparison). But, most people have migrated now, and so half-rate, 1/4 rate and 1/8-rate codecs that used to be the stuff you'd find only on EDGE are now commonly used on 3G as well.

    In fact, if the Motorola or Nokia phones you used were recent vintage (2007 or later), you might be surprised to find that if you tried those same phones again today, they might not sound as good as you remembered them. That's because they could make use of the full-rate voice codec back when they were new, but are being network-restricted to lower bitrates now.
     
  9. Peterg2 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 28, 2008
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #9
    Thanks everybody for the replies. Scaredpoet I appreciate your reply regarding the earlier and newer vocoders and their role in voice quality.
     

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