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Thread: Weak T-Mobile signal with unlocked iPhone, why?

  1. #1
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    Weak T-Mobile signal with unlocked iPhone, why?

    Hi,

    Been a T-Mobile subscriber for years, and I've always had a good, 5 bar signal with my Dash and prior phones. This week I picked up a used, unlocked iPhone 3GS. The iPhone is only showing one or 2 bars, and I've totally lost the signal a couple of times.

    Does this seem normal? Or does the iPhone just have a poor receiver? If not normal, is there any easy way to find out if the problem is with the antenna, the receiver, or what?

    Thanks,
    bill

  2. #2
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    It varies by phone. I've used a lot of phones and the iPhone was toward the weak end (not as weak as some cheap Samsungs, though). My Nexus One had poor 3G signal, while most of my Nokias and Sony Ericssons have strong signal.

    These findings are sometimes difficult to come to if you live in a big city with a lot of cell towers/antennas, but if you live in a rural area (as I do) where you sometimes rely on just one or two cell sites, it's easy to notice what phone is weak.
    Past providers: Page Plus, AT&T, T-Mobile, Virgin, Straight Talk
    Past phones: Nokia 820, Motorola Atrix HD, iPhone 4S, HTC One V, iPhone 4, Nokia Lumia 900, Nokia N9, Samsung Focus, Samsung Captivate, Nokia N900, HTC 8525, iPhone 3GS, iPhone, Nokia E61i, Siemens A56...

  3. #3
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    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.2; en-us; T-Mobile G2 Build/FRF91) AppleWebKit/533.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/533.1)

    In my experience, iPhones tend not to hold onto signal as well.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies. Is there any way to check whether the iPhone is working as well as it can? Maybe it's just a loose antenna or something.

  5. #5
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    Thumbs down

    Quote Originally Posted by Volaris View Post
    It varies by phone. I've used a lot of phones and the iPhone was toward the weak end (not as weak as some cheap Samsungs, though). My Nexus One had poor 3G signal, while most of my Nokias and Sony Ericssons have strong signal.
    Same thing happened to me where i work, and is true, it depends on what kind of phone you are using; i had better experiences with nokia than htc and motorola...
    “Let your life mean something. Become an inspiration to others so that they may try to do more and to become more than they are today.”

  6. #6
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    The iPhone has a weak antenna, but it's just a little behind other phones. I know my second iPhone was clearly broken, it always showed a low number of bars. I got a new one and it worked better.
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  7. #7
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    the iPhone doesn't hold a signal that well. My TM506 will hold a signal were the iPhone simply gives up.

  8. #8
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    Iphone is well known notorious for reception even with at&t.



    Optimum/Cablevision

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    I have an iPhone 3G and have very good signal strength. Perhaps there is something wrong with that particular phone. If you have good signal with other phones, that phone likely has something wrong with it. But it is not the iPhone in general.


  10. #10
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    I had an iPhone 3GS and it held signal just fine in my apartment compared to my new Vibrant (dBm wise). Jailbreak and get the "Signal" app and you can see a lot more information about towers and signal strength. Or if your on 4.2 (or maybe 4.1, but not 4.0.x), you can get into the field test mode.

  11. #11
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    My unlocked 3gs and 2g work just fine with T-Mobile (gps is flaky on the 3gs, but that's a total different gripe).. My apartment is hell on all phones, and the iPhone works just fine in here whereas my other T phones sometimes find it difficult to have clear conversation
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  12. #12
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    I guess it varies depending on the area. My area, iPhone's tend to have problems indoor's and in fringe signal area's, or at least my 3gs does. Now my HTC G2 shocking is fair for holding on to a 4G signal but GREAT on holding onto a GSM signal. My Motorola Defy is great at holding onto a 3G signal but not as good as the G2 for GSM which is odd!

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