iPhone 5 call quality & data issues (Verizon/Chicago)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Zinthar, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. Zinthar macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2006
    I hate to be one to complain, as I've had half a dozen Apple products before without any issues, but I'm starting to think my iPhone 5 has a radio hardware defect. I have no scuffing problems, wifi connectivity issues, or purple camera lens flare, and my battery life seems to be quite good as well (coming from a Verizon iPhone 4). My 5 is a week 39 64GB.

    But, my call quality seems to be utter garbage. All of the reviews, both user and professional, rave about the iPhone 5's call quality. My calls seem to suffer from my voice being muffled so that the person on the other end can't hear me. I'm often told to not hold the phone so close to my mouth by the other person... but I'm not even doing that (and holding it further away doesn't correct the issue, either)! Speakerphone quality, on the other hand, is excellent, and far better than other phones I've used.

    With regard to data, usually the phone connects to LTE perfectly and gets great transfer speeds. However, when changing to an area with worse reception, the phone seems to be unable to use 3G without having LTE disabled in settings. That is, when walking into a building where service weakens, but where the Verizon iPhone 4 would still have at least some 3G data service, the iPhone 5 will show me 4-5 bars and the circle to indicate 2G.

    And, upon using anything data-related in the "4-5 bars w/ circle" mode (my name for it), the phone is unable to retrieve the data and in most cases times out, even for basic things (like just navigating to www.google.com). The iPhone 4 was always able to [slowly] retrieve data when connected to the 2G network.

    I should add that I've updated to the latest Verizon radio firmware (13.1) and reset network settings, with no change to either problem. I love everything else about this phone, so I'm leaning towards waiting until near the end of my 30 days and asking for a replacement (betting that later production week = lower chance of defect).

    I suspect, and hope, that these are uncommon issues and there's a hardware defect with regard to the LTE/CDMA radio in my phone that's responsible for both. Have other Verizon iPhone 5 users encountered either of these issues, or both in tandem?
  2. TonyC28 macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2009
    I just switched to Verizon when I get my iPhone 5 and I noticed the same thing with the call quality. Especially when I dial a number and put the phone to my ear, when it's ringing it sounds fairly garbled. It's not a big deal to me because I rarely make phone calls. But I was surprised since everyone rips AT&T and says Verizon is so much better. I never noticed this with AT&T. But I also didn't have an iPhone 5 on AT&T so I can't give a full comparison.
    Oh, I'm also in the Chicago area.
  3. Zinthar thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2006
    I used to have AT&T as well, and noticed better call quality, and fewer dropped calls, upon switching to Verizon 2 years ago. I'm not sure exactly what the issue is, but this garbled/muffled call quality was not present in the iPhone 4. I've not seen a single review that claimed the call quality on the 5 was inferior to the 4 or 4S, in fact quite the opposite.

    It might be a Verizon in Chicago issue. It seems odd that Verizon would be inferior to AT&T in Chicago, though, when reportedly they dominate the ownership of LTE spectrum in this area. I don't personally know any other Verizon iPhone 5 owners in this area, and those of us who come on the forums here often do so because we have a problem (I wouldn't have wasted anyone's time with a "my iPhone 5 is perfect" thread), so it's hard to pin down whether this is a local issue, or a hardware problem with the radio in some Verizon iPhone 5's.
  4. SilentLoner macrumors 65816


    Dec 29, 2007
    I am on verizon on the iPhone 5 and was on the iPhone 4S before then. Use it mainly in the lakeview/Lincoln park areas. I have had no data connection issues and signal literally everywhere except on the underground cta parts. Speed is not as fast as in other cities however.
  5. mstout macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2009
    Just got the iphone 5 in Chicago, switched to Verizon, call quality is awful. A nightmare, and I hated AT&T on my 3GS. I took the phone to Apple store, they tell me phone is fine. Verizon says they're not having any trouble. I always been loyal to Apple, but this blows. Not sure what to do, but I suspect there's something wrong here and nobody wants to own up to it.
  6. darster Suspended

    Aug 25, 2011
    having no problems on Verizon in Sioux Falls. Voice quality is good. if you want to test the way you sound on phone, call your voicemail and record your greeting and then listen to your message. If you have a bad phone it will sound crappy.

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