who says iPhone 4 has better reception than the 3GS?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by p01ntbLanK, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. p01ntbLanK macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2007
    i've been noticing on multiple occasions that my iPhone 4 has lower signal strength than my girlfriend's 3GS in the same location. for example, in my home, i get around 4 bars on the iPhone 4, but my girlfriend gets a consistent 5. the other night we went out to a restaurant and my i4 would fluctuate between 3-4 bars while hers would be at 5. what gives? i wasn't even death gripping the phone. any ideas? both phones are running iOS 4.0 btw.
  2. marksman macrumors 603


    Jun 4, 2007
    But you will likely see in places of low signal strength the iPhone 4 will more likely be able to make and hold a call compared to a 3GS.
  3. p01ntbLanK thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2007
    ok that may be true. but is this normal for other iPhone 4 users as well? have you guys noticed this? it just bugs me that if both phones are right next to each other, flat on a table, the iPhone 4 will show lower signal.
  4. diabolic macrumors 68000

    Jun 13, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    I have several spots around here that my 3GS would always drop the connection. 100% certainty. I would tell people that I was about to drop the call and would call them right back.

    My iPhone 4 has been maintaining the connection passing through every one of those spots.

    I'm definitely getting better reception than I did with my 3GS.
  5. UTVOL06 macrumors member


    Jun 15, 2010
    South East, USA
    My iPhone 4 gets a good deal more reception than my 3GS and less dropped calls too. I also do not have the antenna issue.
  6. p01ntbLanK thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2007
    i believe that the iPhone 4 is better at HOLDING CALLS, but have others noticed that in some areas, the iPhone 4 is showing less bars than the iPhone 3GS? what is the reason for that?
  7. chakraj macrumors 65816


    Feb 6, 2008
    So Cal
    My reception has been better. And my bars about the same, although it seems the 4 when not being used drops the bars and when I pick it up and start doing something they come back (unless I hold it just right ;))
  8. 8CoreWhore macrumors 68020


    Jan 17, 2008
    Big D


    The Antenna is Improved
    From my day of testing, I've determined that the iPhone 4 performs much better than the 3GS in situations where signal is very low, at -113 dBm (1 bar). Previously, dropping this low all but guaranteed that calls would drop, fail to be placed, and data would no longer be transacted at all. I can honestly say that I've never held onto so many calls and data simultaneously on 1 bar at -113 dBm as I have with the iPhone 4, so it's readily apparent that the new baseband hardware is much more sensitive compared to what was in the 3GS. The difference is that reception is massively better on the iPhone 4 in actual use.

    With my bumper case on, I made it further into dead zones than ever before, and into marginal areas that would always drop calls without any problems at all. It's amazing really to experience the difference in sensitivity the iPhone 4 brings compared to the 3GS, and issues from holding the phone aside, reception is absolutely definitely improved. I felt like I was going places no iPhone had ever gone before. There's no doubt in my mind this iPhone gets the best cellular reception yet, even though measured signal is lower than the 3GS.
  9. 8CoreWhore macrumors 68020


    Jan 17, 2008
    Big D
  10. dwella1 macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2009
    I was the same as you until I had back to back to back conference calls which lasted 5hrs and the phone became hot and started dropping calls. I had to get a case and then all was well again but I cannot use without the case now. Strange eh?

  11. GSPice macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2008
    Where I work my 3GS would go between "searching" and 1 bar of EDGE or 3G. Couldn't send texts or make calls, and I disabled Push email because a full charge would drain down to ~10-20% in a work day (with Push disabled, my 3GS would drain to ~50%).

    With my 4 I have 1-2 bars of 3G, I can text and make calls with no problem - *and* by the end of the day, my battery is at about 60% *with* Push enabled.

    Granted, AT&T's coverage is still bad where I am, but for all the iPhone 4 quirks and glitches that have been mentioned, I'm pleasantly surprised with these fundamental improvements.
  12. Ferris23 macrumors 68020

    Sep 24, 2007
  13. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    Just like those threads about how hot your CPU is or how much health your battery has...is it really worth obsessing over the number of bars?

    Have you had situations when the 3G could complete a call and your 4 could not? I rarely, if ever consult my signal-strength meter before making a call or surfing the web. If it's slow or doesn't work, THEN I might do it.

    It's also been said that perhaps there is a software issue that under-reports the signal strength anyway...so that may be what you are seeing. BUT if it's not causing you any problems in your day-to-day usage, don't worry about it. :)

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