Poll: Reliability of Signal Bars

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by orangebluedevil, Sep 4, 2012.

?

Is your signal strength accurate?

  1. I have Verizon - the signal strength is accurate

    18.5%
  2. I have Verizon - the signal strength is often NOT accurate

    11.1%
  3. I have ATT - the signal strength is accurate

    48.1%
  4. I have ATT - the signal strength is often NOT accurate

    22.2%
  1. orangebluedevil, Sep 4, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012

    orangebluedevil macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    #1
    I have noticed that the number of signal bars does not correlate to my actual service. Specifically, my iPhone 4S will show 5 bars of 4G ATT service, but will actually have <0.1 Mbps or no connection. Same goes for voice connection.

    I'm wondering if this is common? I've put up an an easy poll. Please answer it if you have time. I realize the comments are going to lend themselves towards ATT vs Verizon, and discussing the iPhone 4 sweet spot, but let's try to not to go off into that cavern too far.

    Thanks for answering -- Ryan
     
  2. gmanist1000 macrumors 68030

    gmanist1000

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    #2
    Mine seem to be accurate... I have the 4 and when I touch it's sweet spot my bars drop all the way to Searching... and I can't text or call anyone. I'm on AT&T.
     
  3. Want300 macrumors 65816

    Want300

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #3
    Just because you have good signal strength, it does not mean you will have a strong data connection.

    For example, if you have 5 bars of service but your connection is slow... you will still have good reception for calls. From my experience with AT&T and Sprint... My data connection speed fluccuates throughout the day, even if I am in the same general location (my bedroom for example).

    With Sprint, I will bounce between 0.05 Mbps and 0.9 Mbps. I have had great service with Sprint, had no problems making calls or sending texts... but I could get my phone to download a 7 Mb app... it failed and I clicked retry 5 or 6 times over the next 20 minutes. So I gave up and waited until I had wifi.
     
  4. orangebluedevil, Sep 4, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012

    orangebluedevil thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    #4
    It does this for both data and voice. Calls to me will go directly to voicemail even though it says 5 bars.
     
  5. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #5
    I believe with "slow connection", everyone felt that data was implied...

    nyway, calls going directly to voicemail is not normal, no.
     
  6. w00t951 macrumors 68000

    w00t951

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #6
    Bars simply indicate how well your phone can communicate with the cell tower. The cell tower's connection to your carrier is another story, and often plays a bigger part in speeds than just bars do.
     
  7. ixodes macrumors 601

    ixodes

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Location:
    Pacific Coast, USA
    #7
    Signal strength indicators are NOT meant to be perfectly accurate.

    They are merely there to give you a rough idea of the strength the phone is receiving. There are many additional factors that govern the call quality.
     
  8. sviato macrumors 68020

    sviato

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    HR 9038 A
    #8
    I'm not from the states but up here in Canada when I have 3 bars and 3G I often don't have any signal (what I mean is I could be in an area where I'd expect to have poor signal, but often get that instead and that's how I know there's no signal lol)
     
  9. s15119 macrumors 65816

    s15119

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    #9
    They seem to give me a pretty good idea. I don't expect it to be more than an indicatoon and it does that.
     
  10. orangebluedevil thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    #10
    I don't need it to be perfect, but at least get close. No data or voice connection when showing 5 full bars of 4G is not even close.
     
  11. AllieNeko macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    #11
    Well, I can tell you this, I often get BETTER service with 1 or 2 bars on AT&T than with 4 or 5. Here's why - the stronger signal is much more likely to be on AT&T's one 850MHz (CLR) channel here, whereas the weaker signal is likely going to be on one of the 1900MHz (PCS) channels. Where there is much less load, and it can hand off to an 850MHz channel if needed.
     
  12. ixodes macrumors 601

    ixodes

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Location:
    Pacific Coast, USA
    #12
    Yes I certainly agree. My Antennagate iPhone 4, wouldn't even place a call when in the exact same place as my 3GS. A dreadful excuse reflecting Apples complete lack of concern. A well documented article in the Wall St Journal told of the engineers advising Steve about the problem long before release.

    However the external band antenna being Jobs idea, he was bent on being right and ignored their advice, instead demanding it be shipped. Just another example of his sensitive ego.
     
  13. orangebluedevil thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    #14
    Thanks for the poll answers everyone. Good stuff. Keep it up!
     
  14. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    #15
    That's because signal strength isn't the only variable. Tower congestion, etc also matters.
     
  15. orangebluedevil thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    #16
    It's ALL day, EVERY day, when I'm downtown. So I just don't believe thats my case. Even when I go downtown at random times (less people), still the same case.
     

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