iPhone 5 Wi-Fi Death Grip

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ImperialX, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. ImperialX macrumors 65816

    ImperialX

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    Jul 17, 2007
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    Tokyo, Japan
    #1
    Let me start by saying that I am by no means an Apple hater. I have owned every iPhone, every iPad and has been using Macs for a very long time. However, I don't sugarcoat things. I am posting this video because this is a genuine issue that is present with the iPhone 5 hardware.

    If anyone has owned the iPhone 4 (I know I have), you should know the famous 'death grip' where you lose cellular signal when you hold your iPhone in a certain way. The iPhone 5 actually has a similar problem as I have discovered, although it is related to Wi-Fi. If you actually cover the top part of the iPhone's back (the part made of glass) in a specific way, you will actually lose Wi-Fi signal strength just like the iPhone 4 lost signal strength when you held it in another way.

    Here is a video showcasing I made just now. This is very real. I am literally 4 meters away from my AirPort Extreme base station. This problem exists regardless if you use 2.4GHz or 5GHz.


    Now, this problem isn't nearly as big as the iPhone 4, because only a retard who is deliberately trying to reproduce this problem (cough) would ever hold the phone that way. The reason why I haven't discovered this bug up till now is because if you hold the phone normally, there's no way you'll completely cover the top glass area with your hands. I did it accidentally and suddenly my Wi-Fi signal vanished. That's how I discovered this bug.

    iPhone 5 is the most beautiful piece of hardware Apple has ever designed, and I can see that as soon as I unboxed it. This is definitely the best phone mankind has ever made, both in form and function. All the bad press the iPhone 5 has received has been the Maps, but to be honest I never found any problems with Apple Maps where I live. However, this Wi-Fi problem is very real, and I would just like to bring this to the attention of everyone.

    It's not like I'll be returning this phone because of this. Again, this is still the best smartphone in the World...and by a large margin.
     
  2. 1080p macrumors 68020

    1080p

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  3. as0016 macrumors regular

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    Sep 24, 2012
    #3
    Mine goes right back up to 3 wifi bars about half second after dropping down to 2 bars when I do that, so may not be affecting all phones or something.
     
  4. Givmeabrek macrumors 68040

    Givmeabrek

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    NY
    #4
    So you can cover up the antenna with your hand and block the signal.....

    Not sure this is really news. :confused:
     
  5. ImperialX thread starter macrumors 65816

    ImperialX

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    #5
    I said in the OP that you wouldn't hold your phone like that, so it's not a huge issue, however, that doesn't mean the issue isn't real.

    This is news. You can hold another phone like the Galaxy S III or One X...or pretty much every other phone on the planet in any way you want. You won't lose any Wi-Fi signal. It's bad design for it to lose signal because of a way you hold it, even if it's a unnatural way.
     
  6. tl01 macrumors 65816

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    Jun 20, 2010
    #6
    Confused.... Why would you hold your phone like that? It's hard to type or really do anything with it. If you block the signal then you will decrease reception. Where do you want them to put the antenna?? At some point people need to stop looking for issues. Get a hobby!
     
  7. ImperialX thread starter macrumors 65816

    ImperialX

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    #7
    I already said this in the OP, I discovered this by accident. I don't care where they put the antenna - you should be able to hold the phone in any way you like and the signal shouldn't be affected. Do you think the SGS3 or the One X loses signal just because you held it in a different way? I haven't heard a problem like that yet.

    I'm not saying the SGS3 is a better phone. No one will hold their phone like this normally. However, you have to admit there is a design fault here.
     
  8. apierrec macrumors 6502

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    Sep 18, 2012
    #8
    LOL That is so old news with iP4 & iP4s, yeah, let's pretend we are stupid and hold our phones like that. Wasteland. This is no longer fun!
     
  9. boshii macrumors 68040

    boshii

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    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #9
    I tried to recreate it but I couldn't. My wifi refused to drop any bars.
     
  10. ImperialX thread starter macrumors 65816

    ImperialX

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    #10
    I don't know about you, but I've never managed to make my 4S lose signal strength like that. I'm amazed that none of you even bother reading the thread.

    I'm not claiming that anyone would deliberately hold the phone like that. However, are you saying it's not a design flaw that if you cover up a part of the iPhone with your hand, you lose signal strength? I sure know that the SGS3 or the One X don't have this problem. Nor do most cheap as fake iPhones from China. You can hold those phones however you want, and you won't see a single drop in Wi-Fi signal strength.

    As I said, because this issue doesn't affect day to day use, I will keep using the iPhone 5 and I think it's the best phone on the market. However, that doesn't change the fact that this is a design fault.

    2.4GHz or 5GHz? Router?

    I tried with an AirPort Express and a cheap Belkin router I got for free from my ISP. They both had problems.
     
  11. boshii macrumors 68040

    boshii

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    #11
    2.4 GHz Airport Extreme
     
  12. BigRingIt, Sep 27, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012

    BigRingIt macrumors member

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    Oct 12, 2011
    #12
    wow i just discovered this very problem earlier! I have this piece of carbon fiber backing that I used to stick on my iphone 4, I decided to use it temporarily on the iphone 5 until I get my new phone sleeve that I ordered. After I stuck the backing on, I noticed my wifi signal dropped to two bars just like how it is in your video! I thought perhaps the carbon fiber had some weird effect on the wifi signal, so I removed it. later I took the carbon piece out again to test it with the phone to understand what is going on. I noticed that every time I cover the upper part of the phone where the camera is, the signal would go down. If i cover it below that glass area, the signal was fine. Now seeing your video I can confirm that is indeed a death grip problem.

    For those who are thinking of ordering phone backings to stick on will have problems with this issue for sure.
     
  13. ImperialX thread starter macrumors 65816

    ImperialX

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    #13
    That's precisely what I used in the video. 5th gen AirPort Extreme, 2.4GHz.
     
  14. Brettka7 macrumors regular

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    Nov 5, 2011
    #14
    I discovered this too while typing sideways. Not hard to cover that area then. But you have to cover the entire rear glass piece to drop a bar.
     
  15. ImperialX thread starter macrumors 65816

    ImperialX

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    Tokyo, Japan
    #15
    That is correct. I tried only covering half the glass and didn't drop a single bar. You do have to cover up the entirety of the glass and I don't think you can ever do that in normal use.

    Again, just pointing this out. Not saying that this is a huge problem that will affect day to day use...as with the iPhone 4.
     
  16. apierrec, Sep 27, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012

    apierrec macrumors 6502

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    #16
    I am not accusing you of anything. This is a non-issue because we don't actually do that to kill a technical feature. This is like accidentally or deliberately covering the mic or speaker, and ooh, it should've not been design like that or we can't hold it like that else it will not work or cause an issue (not hear anything or be heard at the other line). Sorry, nothing personal, am just tired of this non-sense. It's stupid, man. Am with you, we have to do, what we gotta do or report real issue, regardless we are big fan or not.

    I was able to do that with my iP4 now (with a bar left) but with almost 2 years owning & intensively using it, I've never thought or even by accident holding and at the same use my iP4 like that. :D

    It was designed as it is because it's highly improbable to use & hold the phone like that.

    Cheers mate, take it easy.
     
  17. boshii macrumors 68040

    boshii

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    #17
    Tried it again on my 5 GHz network and I was able to drop 1 bar.
     
  18. FullSky macrumors member

    FullSky

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    Mar 26, 2010
    Location:
    Dana Point, CA. USA
    #18
    I tried and tried, but could not get mine to drop signal like that. I'm using a Cisco E3000 WiFi router, and am sitting about 7 or 8 feet away from it. (The router is mounted high on the wall; 2.4 Ghz.)
     
  19. ImperialX thread starter macrumors 65816

    ImperialX

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    #19
    I tried again right next to the AirPort Extreme on the 5GHz network and nothing happened. I moved to the next room, and I made it drop from 3 to 1 by doing the same thing.

    I'm not saying that this will affect me in my day to day use. If Wi-Fi signal goes down just because I pick the phone up, you bet I'll be returning this phone and going back to a 4S.

    I'm not posting this thread to start a sh*tstorm or anything like that. I think the iPhone 5 is beautiful and it's the best phone I've ever used. However, I've come to expect perfection from everything Apple does, and you have to agree that they overlooked this area. I've never seen another phone lose Wi-Fi signal because of the way you hold it. Apple demoed some losing cellular signal during the iPhone 4 fiasco, but no one managed to reproduce them...

    Don't worry, I'll keep enjoying my iPhone 5. I'll probably have forgotten about this problem in a few days. However, that doesn't change the fact that this problem is still there.
     
  20. Gathomblipoob macrumors 68040

    Gathomblipoob

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    Mar 18, 2009
    #20
    If I hold my iPhone 5 in a vise and then tighten the vise, it breaks. I think it's a problem that can be duplicated on many other iPhone 5 models.
     
  21. iPhonedemon macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2011
    #21
    Maybe easy to avoid gripping the phone in this manner but how bout cases? I've got a wallet style case and noticed 2 bar wi-if a lot. Saw this thread speedtest with case on was like 200 ping dl and ul under 2. Horrible. Can't use that case apparently and expect decent wi-fi.
     
  22. ImperialX thread starter macrumors 65816

    ImperialX

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    Jul 17, 2007
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #22
    I don't really know about cases. I use the iPhone naked with film all the time since I don't want to cover up such a good design. We should ask some people who have cases on their iPhones.
     
  23. BigRingIt macrumors member

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    Oct 12, 2011
    #23
    It's very possible that any tight fitting (non transparent) case for the iPhone will cause this wifi weakening problem, so watch out for it. We may start to see postings of people complaining about this very shortly, as people start to receive their cases in the mail.
     
  24. boshii macrumors 68040

    boshii

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    #24
    My Incipio Frequency case does nothing to Wifi.
     
  25. Sir Ruben macrumors 65816

    Sir Ruben

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    Jul 3, 2010
    #25
    Hi OP,

    The white iPhone 5 looks stunning, Im glad Im exchanging my black one for it!

    By the way though, pointless thread. Have you heard that if you press the HTC One X in a certain place on its plastic back, it causes the wifi to disconnect as you are pressing on the wifi adapter inside the phone? THATS A FAULT LOL
     

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