Why does my iPhone 5 have 1 bar when sitting next to my 4 with 3 bars?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Nicklaus, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. Nicklaus macrumors 6502

    Nicklaus

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    Jun 19, 2010
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    Winter Park
    #1
    Consistently I have two more bars on my iPhone 4 when next to my 5. Anybody know why this is? I think the call quality is equal or maybe a little better on the 5. Both are Verizon.
     
  2. gsugolfer macrumors 6502a

    gsugolfer

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    Jul 11, 2010
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #2
    Because "bars" are pretty pointless.
     
  3. Nicklaus thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nicklaus

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    #3
    Yes I remember when AT&T adjusted their bars, to have more bars in more places. But if they are both the same carrier wouldn't it be more comparable?:)
     
  4. Radiating macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    #4
    When Apple released the iPhone 4, they had issues with users creating attenuation with the antenas by holding the phone a certain way. i.e. Antennagate.

    To "fix" this issue Apple released a software "patch" to "recalculate" how the number of bars were calculated on the iPhone 4 (which carried over to the 4S) so for example it would display 4 bars when it actually had what everyone else says is two bars. To make a long story short they made the phone display more bars than it was getting and they averaged out the number of bars you got so people wouldn't notice that when they held the phone a certain way their bars would instantly drop.


    Further reading:

    http://www.informationweek.com/storage/portable/iphone-4-update-wont-fix-antenna-glitch/225702779

    For the iPhone 5 there is no issue with holding it wrong so the phone displays the correct number of bars.

    ----------

    Also honestly I preffer the old way of calculating bars because it let you use Siri when the phone now says "no service" (but there is still some limited service when it says no service)
     
  5. SprSynJn Guest

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Japan
    #5
    Because you're using LTE on the 5 and 3G on the 4? Or am I missing something?
     
  6. Nicklaus thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nicklaus

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    #6
    WOW thanks guys for the quick responses! Radiating that makes sense I thought the adjustment was just for the AT&T phones.
     
  7. Blorzoga macrumors 68030

    Blorzoga

    Joined:
    May 21, 2010
    #7
    Exactly. They're two different signals. My phone regularly bounces back and forth between a strong 4g signal in the 65-90 range to a weak LTE signal that's usually over 100.
     
  8. darster Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    #8
    The difference is there because the iphone 5 shows the strength of LTE, the iPhone 4 shows the strength of 1x on Verizon.
     
  9. Nicklaus thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nicklaus

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    #9
    Oh, I thought the bars were something separate for voice calls and the LTE or 3G icons just referenced data speeds.
     
  10. NM08SRT8 macrumors 6502a

    NM08SRT8

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    Jan 18, 2010
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    New Mexico
    #10
    I bet you always want your phone at 100% too, huh?

    :rolleyes:
     
  11. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #11
    Wow:D
     
  12. jamesvdm macrumors regular

    jamesvdm

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    Mar 28, 2011
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    #12
    The real answer here is that the iPhone 5 (and iPad 3) have 3G/4G chips that aggressively drop into low power states.
     
  13. Nicklaus thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nicklaus

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    Jun 19, 2010
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    Winter Park
    #13
    Okay you have to cut me some slack. I have only had a LTE phone for a few days and it switches between 3G and LTE often but the bars seems to stay about the same. :)

    ----------

    No not really, I am the first on the literal block to get the iPhone 5 and as the early adopter in the neighborhood the neighbors are wondering if they should get one and if they should use AT&T or Verizon and its marginal where I live, so I just want to help my friends and understand whats going on. :)
     
  14. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #14
    I see.
    3G and LTE are 2 different systems that will display different bars and have different speeds when connected using them.
    On Verizon 3G you will get around 1mbps up to 3mbps typical CDMA 3G speeds. With their LTE you can get a up to 60mbps according to some peoples speedtest results posted. Not every place is the same. Depending on your location, network traffic, time, signal strength and many other variables your speeds may vary.
    So your 3G bars and LTE signal bars are not the same. They might be similar sometimes but they are different frequencies and celltowers might be in different locations. The 3G tower close and the LTE tower further away and so on.
     
  15. Nicklaus thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nicklaus

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    Jun 19, 2010
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    Winter Park
    #15
    Thanks Applejuiced! Thats the best explanation I have heard of how it works. I am mostly a mac fan and the cellular part seems like mostly voodoo and black magic.
     
  16. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    Apr 16, 2008
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    At the iPhone hacks section.

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