Does the iPhone 4 Really Have Reception Problems?

by Michael on October 20, 2010 · 0 comments

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard of the reception problems that the iPhone 4 has when you hold it the “wrong” way. Today I was at the local AT&T store shopping for an iPhone upgrade, so I had an opportunity to test it out myself.


Before I tell you, let me first set the stage… There were three iPhone 4 test models on the counter. None of them had a “bumper” or case, which supposedly cures the problem.

In other words, while I didn’t have a high-tech test facility like both Apple and Consumer Reports used during their very public pissing match, I was still able to run a low-tech, side-by-side test on several units.

To see if the “death grip” really had any effect, I simply grabbed each phone by the lower corners and watched the signal indicator. In each and every case, it dropped from 5 to 4 bars after a few seconds. I repeated this test a few times on each phone, and even saw it dip to 3 bars on occasion.

Bottom line: Yes, my highly non-scientific testing has revealed that the iPhone 4 signal reception is can be reduced depending on how you hold it.

Is this enough to really matter? It’s hard to say. In my case, a dip to 3 or 4 bars certainly wouldn’t (or at least shouldn’t) cause a dropped call, but you never know. And if you have a relatively weak signal to start with, I could certainly see how this could cause problems.

Of course, this wasn’t enough to stop me from upgrading my iPhone 3Gs to an iPhone 4… The antenna problem is truly a non-issue for me, as putting your phone in a case solves the problem entirely, and my iPhone has always lived in a case.f


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