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Cell Phone Signal Strength

by Toycar2 / February 20, 2008 2:18 AM PST

Your reviews do not give a priority to signal strength yet when I read reviews from cell users it seems to be a big issue.
The question is simple, I intend to sign up with AT&T and want a quality phone with excellent signal strength. Which phones are best? I purchased a AT&T go phone to test in my area (redwood forest near Santa Cruz)and have a signal to within 1/4 mile of my house.
Multiple reviews on another site praise the Moto V3xx for it's reception.......comments? Bells, whistles, cameras, etc are unimportant I just want a solid phone.


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Signal strength is my biggest issue, too.
by Meg003 / February 22, 2008 11:30 PM PST

I came to CNET today looking for advice on the best phone to purchase for AT&T cell signal strength. It was surprising to find that signal strength was not one of the categories for the phone finder. For most people I know, that is the most important attribute we look for in a new phone.

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How would you measure it?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 23, 2008 12:01 AM PST

It's not the bar count as that's just the phone's software.

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"Can you hear me now?"
by Meg003 / February 24, 2008 3:11 AM PST

I suppose actual usage tests in different locations, after establishing some standards to compare with. Some consumer agencies already perform such testing, but I'm not working in that field. The details would have to be worked out, like any other form of testing or scientific experiment.

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I'm at a small advantage.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 24, 2008 3:19 AM PST
In reply to: "Can you hear me now?"

I was on a design team with some base station. The equipment we used was a few million and that was 10 years ago. As such I doubt any reviews could do any scientific measure.

What makes the most difference is the base stations in your area. I rarely find any company smaller than a few billion that could do this right.


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I have no idea what you are talking about.
by Meg003 / March 3, 2008 11:03 AM PST

A few million what? A few billion what? We are not asking for a scientific review of base stations.

We were talking about cell phones, not base stations. From one phone to the next, which has better signal, is what we are trying to find out. I know phones make a difference, but CNET doesn't give a value for the signal strength. Anecdotal evidence would be better than nothing. Collect user opinions and rank the phones with those.

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by Jimmy Greystone / March 3, 2008 11:52 AM PST

Well how exactly do you think cell phones work then? In what magical realm do they not need to connect to some tower or base station that functions as a relay?

I'll let Bob answer for himself, but I think the point he was making is that coverage area depends entirely on the number of base stations you have for the network. Further, that constructing and maintaining these base stations is expensive.

I will agree that Cnet's reviews focus way too much on multi-media functions of phones, and gives very little time to how they function as a phone. I finally broke down and got my first ever cell phone (just arrived today), and I primarily want it as a phone. I don't care if it can play MP3s or much else. I want to know about the quality of the phone's construction and how well it functions as a phone. What is the sound quality like, did it seem to get pretty good reception, etc. Almost every place that isn't just rebranding the same Cnet review of phones covered that quite well, but then I already have very low expectations of Cnet. I really only use Cnet as a minor secondary source of information.

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Magical realm?
by Meg003 / March 4, 2008 8:48 AM PST
In reply to: Well...

Huh???? Who said anything about cell phones not needing towers and other infrastructure to connect? I cannot change any of that, however. I am trying to select the best phone for reception, because I cannot build a tower for AT&T; all I can do is buy a phone.

The whole point of this thread is this: Which cell phones, GIVEN THE SAME CONDITIONS, perform better at receiving a signal. Some phones do perform better than others. My son's new Samsung receives much poorer reception than his previous Nokia, so much poorer that after trying a new sim card and updates, he just went back to the old Nokia. My friends' Motorola Razor does not receive signal in places where her old Nokia would. What I would like to see is a rating system for phones, if only anecdotal, that ranked their ability to receive signal.

However, the Magical Realm idea sounds much better. Give me that, and stepping stones instead of a car and roads, and I would be very happy to upgrade.

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millions and billions of dollars.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 3, 2008 12:19 PM PST

Sorry for leaving out that item. The company I did this for had the letter M and was famous for a flip phone.

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by birdmantd Forum moderator / March 4, 2008 8:15 PM PST

You mean you worked for Nokia? (just kidding)

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AT&T Phone Choices
by Toycar2 / March 5, 2008 12:14 AM PST

I posted the original question, thanks to everyone for continuing the discussion. It seems that I'm not alone in thinking that a cell phone should be a quality phone first before adding gadgets.
The number of phones on the market (even confined to a single carrier) make it difficult to sort through. Based on user reviews on several sites I found 2 that praise the signal strength; Motorola Razr V3xx is one but there were lots of complaints of failure centered around electronic (or programing) and a weak hinge causing breakage. The other that sounds promising having a high percentage of positive consumer reviews is the Motorola V365 which seems to have been underrated by Cnet. Sounds like an industrial strength phone with comments about superior reception and survivability when dropped from great heights, favored by contractors. Down side is it's size which is thick.
So......any comments about these 2 phones or any others available FROM AT&T?
Thanks again,

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Just sharing.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 5, 2008 12:38 AM PST
In reply to: AT&T Phone Choices

I've had this happen -> I take 2 phones out of the box. One gets one bar more than the other and both work better and worse than the other depending on where I was. Not only would the test have to include a few phones but multiples of the same phone to see the product variations from device to device.

No review site could do this...

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Variation in phone quality
by Meg003 / March 5, 2008 7:08 AM PST
In reply to: Just sharing.

I bought two identical Nokias a couple of years ago. They performed exactly the same. Whether phones are consistent or not in signal strength would be useful information from users ratings, too. The consumer ratings could be done similarly to an auction site's feedback rating. Show the good and the bad and the neutral, with comments. People can draw their own conclusions.

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outbound transmission strength
by friarplum / February 1, 2015 7:02 AM PST

All cell phones transmit their signal to the tower. I was told that the iPhone 5 has one of the weakest OUTBOUND signal strengths on the market. I live in a remote area and I have a booster to enhance INBOUND reception of the signal from the tower that gives me up to full bars of 3g and sometimes partial bars 4g. However I can hear the inbound caller great but they cannot hear me. Is there a rating of cell phone and the horsepower (for lack of a better term) used in the transmission of the signal FROM the phone to the tower?

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Time to close this thread....
by birdmantd Forum moderator / February 1, 2015 11:17 AM PST was started almost 7 years ago and was last commented on in March 2008. If anyone feels it needs to be discussed further, start a new thread.

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