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Death Grip Tested On iPhone Competitors

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the not-deathy-enough dept.

Cellphones 373

adeelarshad82 writes "Given Steve Jobs' recent claims about 'Death Grip' being a common problem among smart phones, PCMag tested out six major iPhone competitors to see how they would react to the grip. The test included Motorola Droid X, T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide, Droid Incredible by HTC, BlackBerry Bold 9650, and the Samsung Captivate. The signal strength was measured in dBm, which typically ranges between -50 to -110 dBm (numbers closer to zero show better signal). Interestingly, the test results video showed mixed results. T-Mobile myTouch 3G and Samsung Captivate showed drastic changes, dropping down to -89 and -97 dBm respectively. On the other hand, while the signal strength dropped for HTC Droid Incredible, Motorola Droid X and Blackberry Bold, it wasn't as severe. Results of testing showed that not all phones reacted the same way to the typical death grip and required variations of it to bring about results."

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What does this mean: (1, Insightful)

RabbitWho (1805112) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983686)

"On the other hand, while the signal strength dropped for HTC Droid Incredible, Motorola Droid X and Blackberry Bold, it wasn't as severe. "

Please forgive me if It was a typo and I seem like I'm being a smart-ass.

Re:What does this mean: (0, Redundant)

RabbitWho (1805112) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983694)

OH! Is "Incredible" a type of phone?

Re:What does this mean: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32983874)

The world may never know.

Re:What does this mean: (1)

Sinryc (834433) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983948)

That it is, its pretty incredible from what I hear.

Re:What does this mean: (2, Informative)

WitnessForTheOffense (1669778) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983958)

JFGI [justfuckinggoogleit.com]

Re:What does this mean: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32984052)

Oh pish. Googling it was impossible at first, it didn't make any sense; all the parts of speech were mixed up, what was I supposed to google?
Then I realized it was a mismake, and the problem was solved. You think using Google instead of your common sense is intelligence?

Re:What does this mean: (2, Funny)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983802)

Obviously, they meant that the death gripping in one hand it was ok, but on the other hand it dropped, but not as severe as the first. Sort of a six in one hand and 2 dozen in the other. A phone in the hand has the DBm of two in the bush. iPhone there for iAm.

Re:What does this mean: (4, Funny)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984064)

A phone in the hand has the DBm of two in the bush. iPhone there for iAm.

None of the phones cited were designed to be stuck in your bush.

Re:What does this mean: (2, Funny)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984194)

None of the phones cited were designed to be stuck in your bush.

I have a friend who worked in the emergency department in a hospital and she told me there had been cases of women who came in with phones stuck in there.

Apparently the "vibra phone" [gizmodo.com] feature has more uses than one imagines at first.
 

If everyone jumped off a bridge... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32983710)

Why is the standard response for anything anyone is caught doing is to reply that someone else is doing (insert catch word lie: more|also|worse|longer) than we have.

Re:If everyone jumped off a bridge... (3, Insightful)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983784)

Because, in competition, that's all there is. A phone will do better or worse in the marketplace based on how it compares to its possible substitutes, not how good it is in any absolute sense. If the iPhone were unique in losing signal depending on grip, it would be a serious mark against it and indicate that Apple was particularly inept. Since many other phones lose signal depending on grip, it's not a competitive disadvantage, and it doesn't mark Apple as inept.

It's sort of like proving that a problem is NP-hard. You don't know that there isn't a nice efficient exact algorithm to solve it. You do know that a whole lot of intelligent people have put in a great deal of work over decades and not found one.

Re:If everyone jumped off a bridge... (3, Insightful)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984106)

Since this article clearly shows others phone do not drop signals like the way iphone does, it does make apple inept, no matter how you want to spin it. Steve Jobs is a megalomaniac who wont accept the fact that his device was crap, and that his company lied showing more bars then what was real. But because of fanbois like you, he thrives.

Re:If everyone jumped off a bridge... (4, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984144)

Why is the standard response for anything anyone is caught doing is to reply that someone else is doing (insert catch word lie: more|also|worse|longer) than we have.

Imagine you've work with 10 people in one room for the last 3 years. At some point you say or do something that offends somebody else. From then on these people you work with take every little quirk you have and blow it out of proportion and endlessly crack jokes about it. Maybe one day somebody thinks you left the bathroom without washing your hands. Another day one of your neighbors is evicted and through some questionable rationale that was your evil doing, too. Every two weeks or so, a new thing comes up to heckle you about but nothing really sticks. One day, fatefully, you drop a pen. You bend over to pick it up and *Frrpbbtbt*, everybody hears you fart. Then, for the next 22 days, you sit there and listen to fart jokes and comments about how much you stink, how brown your undies are, and how everybody in the world pinches their nose when they around you.

Let's not sit here and pretend like the first words out of your mouth wouldn't be: "Yeah, right, like none of you ever fart."

So Jobs is not a liar? (-1, Flamebait)

hguorbray (967940) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983712)

apple-haters will be sad, but they can take comfort in the fact that he is probably still a douche

-I'm just sayin'

Re:So Jobs is not a liar? (2, Insightful)

JustASlashDotGuy (905444) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983780)

No ever said that blocking the antenna doesn't affect signal strength. The problem with the iPhone is that the simple act of holding it normally can cause it to completely lose all signal. That is a problem. No other phones have this problem, that is why it has never come up before.

The iPhone has a serious design flaw, there is no denying this. I just hope Apple with fix this flaw before too much longer.

Re:So Jobs is not a liar? (1, Redundant)

teh31337one (1590023) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983818)

Took the words out of my mouth! __ Sent from my mobile device

Re:So Jobs is not a liar? (5, Insightful)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983828)

What's this "completely lose all signal"? I haven't seen any source for this. What I've seen is that there is a large drop in sensitivity if you hold the phone in a certain manner. If you have any reference to a complete loss of signal, please post it. If not, please stop claiming there is such a loss.

I can lose connection out here, because AT&T has low signal strength out here. I can't where I live. That suggests to me a significant but not total drop in sensitivity.

Re:So Jobs is not a liar? (4, Interesting)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983972)

I know seven people with iphone 4s. All seven of them have dropped calls, or lose signal completely if they hold the phone in their left hand. If they leave the phone on a table it works fine.

With seven people out of seven people have the exact problem I would say there is a problem. They can repeat the problem over and over again. It is a design flaw. Five out of the seven are lefties who normally hold the phone in their left hand. They are really annoyed.

Re:So Jobs is not a liar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32984210)

Five out of the seven are lefties who normally hold the phone in their left hand.

Sheesh, that seems like a lot of lefties. I'm not sure I even know 5 Ned Flandersesses, let alone 5 that bought the new iPhone.

Re:So Jobs is not a liar? (4, Insightful)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984240)

They are really annoyed.

Why haven't they taken the device back for a refund? I know if I purchased a phone that didn't work properly I'd just take it back. This is the best way to teach Apple a lesson about quality control, if they are selling defective phones/phones which don't work with AT&T/phones you don't like/phones you can't hold normally - they should pay for it with a huge return rate. Take your pick of the list of purported reasons, whatever it is, if it's serious enough to lead to lots of dropped calls, why bother with the phone?

Luckily, I bought one of the magical iPhone 4s which isn't affected by any problem with dropped calls (0 over the last month), so I won't be returning mine.

Re:So Jobs is not a liar? (1, Flamebait)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984142)

WTF? Not a single article or video showing iphone dropping calls? NOT ONE? Jesus Christ - you fanbois are delusional.

Fuck my karma - here it comes - FUCK ALL APPLE FANBOIS, and FUCK STEVE JOBS. There, I said it. On /.

Re:So Jobs is not a liar? (2, Interesting)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984180)

See update 4 [gizmodo.com] . Completely losing your upload speed, and being unable to make a phone call, pretty much confirms a loss of all real-world signal.

Re:So Jobs is not a liar? (3, Insightful)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983848)

I thought the iPhone4 would only lose all signal if you're already in a low signal area?

That is, for all these other phones that lost signal strength, if they were in a low signal area, they could very well lose all the signal as well?

Re:So Jobs is not a liar? (3, Informative)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984148)

The problem with the iPhone is that the simple act of holding it normally can cause it to completely lose all signal....No other phones have this problem, that is why it has never come up before.

There are countless videos on YouTube submitted by users demonstrating the same effect with non-iPhones, and Apple has posted their own antenna page [apple.com] with videos of competing phones losing signal. It seems to be an issue in low-signal areas and is a fact of life for all smartphones.

Re:So Jobs is not a liar? (3, Informative)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984158)

"No other phones have this problem"?

Riiiight. Then why do ALL of their manuals tell you NOT to hold it certain ways which decrease signal strength?

http://dontholditwrong.tumblr.com/ [tumblr.com]

If Apple put the 'death grip' in their manual, would everyone be ok with that?

Re:So Jobs is not a liar? (4, Informative)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984192)

There must be huge variation from iPhone 4 to iPhone 4. I'm right handed and almost always hold my phone in my left hand. (I keep seeing stories that suggest that this problem affects lefties more, because they hold their phones with their left hands, but this seems backwards to me.)

I can't detect any problem with holding my phone in my left hand. I do see a substantial improvement in apparent coverage. Works reliably in my office, where my iPhone 3g was spotty at best. Voice works (but data sucks) in the basement of my office, where I had NO coverage before. I can only attribute this to the antenna redesign.

I think there must be some marginal phones out there, but it seems that there are a lot of iPhone 4s out there that are working well. And I think there's an aweful lot of hype around this problem. Maybe the lesson is that if you live by hype you can die by hype?

-Peter

Re:So Jobs is not a liar? (0, Troll)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983868)

Apple haters have no need to be sad.

Steve Jobs has demonstrated himself to be a weasel that tries to deflect responsibility for his own failures on others.

It really doesn't matter how bad the alternatives are.

Fascinating Conclusions (5, Informative)

Jorl17 (1716772) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983714)

I think that the Banana significantly outperformed the iPhone.

No, really, I mean it.

Re:Fascinating Conclusions (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32983772)

Yea. Even though the iPhone has a vibrate mode, it just doesn't have the right shape.

Re:Fascinating Conclusions (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984014)

You are forgetting rule 34. It would appear (if you look for it) that the iphone 4 shape has no problem. As for how well it works for that purpose, I have no idea, and I have no plans to find out.

Re:Fascinating Conclusions (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983978)

While the iPhone was only tested with bars (just four of them), the other phones seem to have better resolution data when applying of the grip of dead... even the donut seems to provide significantly more information when not holding it properly.

Re:Fascinating Conclusions (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984018)

CONCLUSION: Even holding it wrong, a donut provided more feedback than the iPhone, and it didn't drop any calls. The iPhone however, remains considerably prettier than the donut, even when both may be absolutely useless when not holding them properly.
iPhone wins. /s

Re:Fascinating Conclusions (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984072)

Try a donut with rainbow sprinkles (or double rainbow sprinkles, all the way!). iPhone loses on pretty.

How many of them have bare metal antennas? (5, Insightful)

KonoWatakushi (910213) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983716)

How many of them have bare metal antennas on the surface of the phone? No matter what weasel words Steve chooses, there is no excuse for this defect.

So what if other phones require a "death grip" to affect signal strength? After all, all phones are subject to the laws of physics; if you block the signal, there is nothing the phone can do about it.

Re:How many of them have bare metal antennas? (1, Insightful)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983746)

How many of them have bare metal antennas on the surface of the phone? No matter what weasel words Steve chooses, there is no excuse for this defect.

So what if other phones require a "death grip" to affect signal strength? After all, all phones are subject to the laws of physics; if you block the signal, there is nothing the phone can do about it.

But it's "Magical!"

eughh... I cringe every time Ives or Jobs uses that word... They are so full of themselves its sick.
-Taylor

Re:How many of them have bare metal antennas? (3, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983870)

Yeah, the recent advertising from Apple has been unlike Apple. In the past, they usually acted too cool to describe their products that way and would use a simple tagline to let the product speak for itself (e.g., "Introducing Mac mini" or "240 songs. A million different ways." for the iPod shuffle).

Calling it magical is really corny, and so are the video interviews of Apple employees talking about how amazing it is. I liked the faceless, too-cool-for-the-room advertising from the time before the iPad.

Re:How many of them have bare metal antennas? (2, Interesting)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983984)

Yeah, the recent advertising from Apple has been unlike Apple. In the past, they usually acted too cool to describe their products that way and would use a simple tagline to let the product speak for itself (e.g., "Introducing Mac mini" or "240 songs. A million different ways." for the iPod shuffle).

Calling it magical is really corny, and so are the video interviews of Apple employees talking about how amazing it is. I liked the faceless, too-cool-for-the-room advertising from the time before the iPad.

Yeah, it was a video interview of Ives talking about the new unibody laptops that made me first realize it. He had this twinkle in his eye when he said the word magical, like it was just the most amazing thing ever. I'm a mechanical engineer and a machinist and I think its pretty cool that they machine the laptops now - it takes a lot of skill to pull off that much machining on such a mass market product... but magical? No.

They're just taking themselves too seriously now.
-Taylor

Re:How many of them have bare metal antennas? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32984268)

They're not talking about the processes. Those are just means to an end, and they're a necessary ordeal.

The magic is a magnetic power connector that you don't realize until it pops off when it needs to.
Or the little sleep light which simply doesn't exist until it needs to (like the camera).

With the iPad, it's not in what it does - tablets have been around for ages -, but *how* it does it.

The fact that scrolling to the edges rebounds in just the right way to make it completely organic. The fact that the machined boxes are just incredibly tactile. That, specifically on the iPad, the body fades away to leave you with a fluid and organic (yadda yadda ad keywords) experience that's more engaging than any other mobile device out there and, in a (very real) Arthur C. Clarke sense, "magical", i.e. indistinguishable from magic.

Yeah, I'm a fanboy, and no, the iPad is gonna need a few more crucial features - mainly peripherals - until it becomes an eligible investment here, but DAMN if they don't hit my nerve as a guy who just wants to *use* his stuff every once in a while.

Re:How many of them have bare metal antennas? (4, Interesting)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983778)

The issue was the death grip affecting signal strength. You even used Apple's "physics" defense to state that it affects all phones. What does a bare metal antenna have to do with it if all phones are affected?

Re:How many of them have bare metal antennas? (3, Interesting)

WARM3CH (662028) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984088)

The point is that iPhone 4 has 2 problems: one due to metal antennas (yes, there are two antennas and they should not be connected together) and another one due to the death grip. Apple basically deflected the question by talking only about death grip while the real issue was this specific design flaw that bare metal antennas could be bridged together if you hold the phone in a certain way. Anandtech showed that bridging bare metal antennas add another 10 dBm attenuation on top of what you get from death grip.

Re:How many of them have bare metal antennas? (5, Informative)

donny77 (891484) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984260)

Sorry but you don't even know what you are talking about. I refer you to http://www.anandtech.com/show/3821/iphone-4-redux-analyzing-apples-ios-41-signal-fix [anandtech.com] . People are assuming "bridging" or "shorting" is the problem. Anadtech shows a 10db performance difference, they do not specify the cause. The redux article above clearly states they talked to metallurgists that stated stainless steel is a poor conductor, and your hand is a poor conductor.

Find an old radio. Touch the middle of the antenna, it effects the sound quality. Now touch the tip of the antenna. It effects quality much more drastically. THIS is what the iPhone 4 is doing.

Re:How many of them have bare metal antennas? (3, Informative)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984204)

While its absolutely true that a 'death grip' can cause signal loss on any phone, just as sticking it in a Faraday cage can, Apple is currently conflating two different problems. The first, where your hand blocks some signal is common to all phones.

However, there is a second problem with the iPhone 4. When you touch it in the wrong place, you, a conductor, connect two different antennae that each are designed to work at a specific wavelength. When you bring the two together, and throw your body into the mix too, the antenna geometry is decidedly sub-optimal, and this can damage reception significantly. This second problem is why bumpers/cases are suitable correction to the majority of the problem.

And I say this as someone who still plans to get an iPhone 4, because even while they hem and haw and obfuscate on the fact that there is a design flaw, they've taken appropriate actions to help those troubled by it, and if it really bothers me some tape or some clear nail polish should fix it.

Re:How many of them have bare metal antennas? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32983884)

troll!? Try insightful.

Re:How many of them have bare metal antennas? (1, Funny)

BondGamer (724662) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984028)

I could stick my hand in a blender and have my fingers it chopped off. There are no excuses for this defect.

Will it blend? (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984270)

I could stick my hand in a blender and have my fingers it chopped off. There are no excuses for this defect.

All blenders I know of have caps which should be in place before you turn them on. I have even seen one that has a safety switch making it impossible to be turned on without the cap.

Re:How many of them have bare metal antennas? (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984274)

Most modern blenders have protective lockouts so that the blade won't spin if the pitcher is not attached. Though you could still reach down inside the pitcher to destroy your hand at least the kitchen wouldn't get as bloody. The iPhone 4 offers no such protection.

Re:How many of them have bare metal antennas? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32984134)

"How many of them have bare metal antennas on the surface of the phone? No matter what weasel words Steve chooses, there is no excuse for this defect."

Exactly. You basically just stuck a giant capacitor (your body) between the antenna and ground. How could the resonance of that circuit not be affected? I'm baffled how this defect made it all the way to production...

Death Grip? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32983724)

Is that what you call it when your iPhone is stuck in your boyfriend's rectum, and not matter how hard you try to fish it out with your cock it just won't budge?

The guys at the glory-hole all say the "Death Grip" problem is overblown and can be fixed with just a rubber band and a little lube.

Enough already! (3, Insightful)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983736)

How many more stories about this crap? The holy iPhone has a small defect. Guess what, it is not the biggest problem that the "form over function" philosophy has brought to the device. Those who value form will always buy the stupid device, its ability to complete calls (if you don't hold it the wrong way) is just an extra.
As for the "death grip". We were not talking about any death grips, that was never the issue and people don't usually hold their phone like that. The problem was with simply touching the device at the bottom corner and only the iPhone 4 has a problem (for "why" and "does it matter" see first paragraph of post).
And can we get on now? This is getting more annoying than dupes.

Re:Enough already! (0, Offtopic)

sethmeisterg (603174) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983892)

Mod parent up, kindly :).

Re:Enough already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32983920)

You are very easy to annoy.

It is a good thing you don't sit next to me. You would have died from nerd rage long ago.

Re:Enough already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32983930)

It can stop when Apple stops its multi-million dollar promotions.

Re:Enough already! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32984068)

No one is forcing you to read these and you certainly aren't required to come in and post. The point here is Steve Jobs refusal to admit it's even a defect, to the point of making statements that sound clearly false in my opinion. All other phones do not have the same problem. If they did, providing a sleeve to insulated the antenna wouldn't help. You can short you the antenna easily and drop calls. I don't know any other phone that does that, but I heard Jobs say the other day that it was an industry wide problem. I don't know if he's an idiot or he's trying to deliberately deceive people, but this is seriously a new low. Just admit the defect and go on and there will be a lot fewer stories.

Re:Enough already! (0, Flamebait)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984182)

About as many stories as we read about "cool new app on iphone" ones.

Can't stand it? Let me try a standard apple fanboi reply - "Then don't read. Nobody is forcing you to read these stories."

Re:Enough already! (0, Flamebait)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984238)

How many more stories about this crap? The holy iPhone has a small defect.

If you consider the inability to use the phone AS a phone a small defect, then of course you're 100% correct...

Re:Enough already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32984254)

aww did they strike a nerve fanboi?

Re:Enough already! (-1, Troll)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984284)

No don't stop yet! The Apple fanboy nerd-rage when you insult their phones is hilarious.

I think this confirms what Jobs was saying (1, Informative)

jerdo (674382) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983742)

Steve Jobs hasn't ever admitted to the iPhone 4 losing all signal or dropping calls when held in the "death grip". He only admitted to a loss of signal strength, which he said all phones experience when held in a similar manner. This article just seems to confirm what he said. The real world difference is, that the iPhone 4 can actually drop calls and appear to lose all signal when held this way. Notice there is a difference between reality and what Apple (or any company that doesn't want to admit they have a flaw in their product) will admit to.

Re:I think this confirms what Jobs was saying (5, Informative)

donny77 (891484) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983836)

All of these phones CAN drop calls and lose service, it all depends on the starting signal strength. The iPhone 4 doesn't automatically lose service or drop calls either. In medium to strong signal areas it works fine EVEN touching the dreaded antenna spot. The only reason this is being discussed is Apple pointed out the external antenna.

Re:I think this confirms what Jobs was saying (5, Interesting)

jerdo (674382) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984308)

I have an iPhone 4 and I've been able to drop to no bars in the same spot I had 5 bars previously, so in my experience the "depends on how strong the original signal is" argument doesn't stand up. I can stand in the same spot (so the signal strength shouldn't be wildly different) and experience little to no signal loss with a clean dry hand touching the lower left corner, but if my hand is damp from perspiration or the natural build up of oil I experience a drop to zero bars in a matter of seconds. All this makes sense though, since the salty sweat/oil should be more conductive than a clean dry hand. I like the iPhone, but I don't care for the apologists who refuse to admit there is a problem anymore than I care for the company that won't admit there is an issue.

Re:I think this confirms what Jobs was saying (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32984188)

...he said all phones experience when held in a similar manner.

Which is false. My phone shows no signal drop (using field test app which shows raw signal strength) when being held normally with either hand. I was able to degrade the signal by cupping my hand tightly over the top of the phone, but that is in no way a normal way of holding the phone.

Both hands?? (4, Insightful)

markdavis (642305) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983748)

"[HTC Incredible] By using a death grip of both hands covering the phone we saw the results go from -57 to -64 dBm"

"[Droid X] can be difficult[...] We used two hands on this larger phone."

"[BlackBerry Bold] was a little more resistant [...] hold of it with two hands, we saw the signal strength go from -80 to -87 dBm."

Yeah, cause covering the entire phone with two hands is a perfectly normal way that people would ever use the phone. I bet if I shoved a smart phone up my a**, it would lose a lot of signal too...

Re:Both hands?? (2, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983814)

I don't like to look at my HTC with Win-Mobile on it - so I use both hands so I don't have to look at it, or if my gaze somehow crosses that plane, it is at least a little obscured by my hand.

Re:Both hands?? (5, Insightful)

MooseMuffin (799896) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983830)

The iPhone4 was accused of having a flaw where touching a single spot on the phone can significantly degrade its signal and Steve Jobs successfully managed to change the discussion to two-handed death grips of other company's phones. Unbelievable.

Re:Both hands?? (2, Informative)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983904)

Perhaps you should watch/read the press conference that Steve Jobs gave the other week. He specially pointed out X marks the spot on the iPhone, and then pointed out how holding other phones in certain other ways affected signal as well.

Re:Both hands?? (1)

IQgryn (1081397) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983932)

You might even say he single-handedly changed things around.

(sorry!)

Re:Both hands?? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984016)

I know. That is some David Blaine or Chris Angel magic right there.

Re:Both hands?? (0, Troll)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984050)

That's because the other phones do not have any magic, and thus need to be treated differently. Magic is delicate, you see.

Re:Both hands?? (2, Insightful)

Kozz (7764) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984172)

Actually, I thought the stupidest comment of Jobs' entire press conference was to say that this is the age of the smartphone, and that these things simply happen (I'm paraphrasing). To say that it's inescapable is what's utterly stupid -- if a small piece of scotch tape can fix this "flaw", I'd say that there's some engineers who weren't doing their jobs correctly.

Re:Both hands?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32984214)

Yes, the force is strong in that one. [youtube.com]
"These are not the antenna issues you are looking for."

Re:Both hands?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32984258)

Jobs never changed the discussion, his paid lackys and fanboys have done that.

Re:Both hands?? (1)

sethmeisterg (603174) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983882)

LOL. I would think it would depend if you had some rectal surgery with some sort of Faraday cage-like construct.

Re:Both hands?? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983918)

Well, mine is so big that I have to use both hands to hold it... wait, were we talking about phones?

Re:Both hands?? (1)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983942)

Have you seen a Droid X? They're monsters! You might actually need two hands.

Re:Both hands?? (1)

tofubeer (1746800) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983992)

I bet if I shoved a smart phone up my a**, it would lose a lot of signal too...

Be sure to set it to vibrate first...

Yep, The iPhone 4 Is A Piece Of Shit (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32983996)

When you have to go to such inane and absurd attempts at doing damage control for a fundamentally defective design you might has well just give up trying to defend the piece of junk iPhone.

No wonder Android is destroying the iPhone in sales. 160,000 new phones a day/ 50 million or so a year. And that is just the rate as of a few months ago. Android has been doubling its marketshare every quarter since last year.

Re:Both hands?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32984042)

certainly a more realistic use case.

Dropped calls (5, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983756)

One of the things I've wondered about is that Apple said the iPhone 4 does drop more calls than the 3GS. However, the iPhone 4 gets reception in locations the 3GS doesn't, so if iPhone 4 is dropping calls in situations where the 3GS wouldn't even have bars in the first place, it makes it look worse than it is.

Its a radio signal (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983758)

Of course it can be degraded depending on its environment.

What is next, the 'discovery' that batteries run down differently depending on the temperature?

What the!? (5, Insightful)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983764)

They're seriously comparing phones that lose signal with a standard grip to phones where hold the phone with both hands deliberately trying to cover the antenna and pretend the result is somehow meaningful?

Wouldn't a sane signal comparison compare them using reasonably common grips? It's sorta stupid to say "When you deliberately cover both antennas with an awkward two hand grip it'll lose 10 dBm", everyone knows the antenna will lose signal if you cover it, the point is that the iPhone is so easy to cover by accident.

Re:What the!? (2, Insightful)

CTU (1844100) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983816)

They're seriously comparing phones that lose signal with a standard grip to phones where hold the phone with both hands deliberately trying to cover the antenna and pretend the result is somehow meaningful?

Wouldn't a sane signal comparison compare them using reasonably common grips? It's sorta stupid to say "When you deliberately cover both antennas with an awkward two hand grip it'll lose 10 dBm", everyone knows the antenna will lose signal if you cover it, the point is that the iPhone is so easy to cover by accident.

I'm sure they fix it in a few months with the next version of the Iphone

Re:What the!? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984232)

I'm sure they fix it in a few months with the next version of the Iphone

With magical predictive powers, I predict Apple will release the iPhone 5 sometime in June 2011. I also predict that touching that spot on the iPhone 5 won't drop signal compared to the iPhone 4. Of course, I can't predict if touching a different spot drops signal. Oh yeah, the iPhone 5 will be bigger and badder than the iPhone 4, too.

Considering they're still shipping every single unit they make, it would seem Antennagate is a tempest in a teapot. Hell, I'd suspect a good few complaining never noticed it until someone showed them as they couldn't reproduce it. (You know people will try to, and they'll probably start noticing it because its trendy).

With the iPhone 5 coming out in a few months, there's always the option of waiting. All the iPhones on the planet don't stop working when Apple releases a new one. (Is there even a public jailbreak for the iPhone 4 yet?)

Hell, BP is probably cursing Toyota for not being in the news when that spill happened. They are, however, thanking Apple for Antennagate (and probably placed a few million orders for iPhone 4s as thank yous). Considering the noise Antennagate made, you'd think it was the end of the world or something, and BP's oil spill was a that someone dropped a bucket overboard. (And let's not forget BP's disaster affects people involutnarily - last I checked Antennagate didn't affect people who don't own iPhone 4s.)

Re:What the!? (5, Funny)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983860)

It's not a question of where he grips it. It's a simple question of attenuation ratios.

Re:What the!? (1)

Necron69 (35644) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984058)

Listen, in order to maintain a signal, a cellphone needs...

Where are my mod points when I need them?

+5 Funny for the Monty Python reference. :)
http://www.armory.com/swallowscenes.html/ [armory.com]

Necron69

Re:What the!? (4, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983888)

They're seriously comparing phones that lose signal with a standard grip to phones where hold the phone with both hands deliberately trying to cover the antenna and pretend the result is somehow meaningful?

Of course it is meaningful - by showing that you have to go extreme measures to get even a watered-down version of the effect on these other phones it means that Jobs was full of shit when he made that claim about other phones having similar problems.

*shock* (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32983774)

Attenuation happens. Film at 11...

News from last month, Stuff that we already know (1)

Confusador (1783468) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983798)

This is all very interesting, but any tech site that hasn't been using this method in their smartphone reviews since this started is behind the 8 ball. Consider Anantech's coverage of last week's update [anandtech.com] , with numbers before and after the software update and comparisons to the field. Heck, their Droid X [anandtech.com] review today treats the test as a standard benchmark.

This is probably Apple's fault (2, Interesting)

Cogneato (600584) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983806)

So I hope all of these manufacturers do the right thing and recall their phones. If it possible to do something to a phone to get it drop in signal, then the only right answer is a recall. Originally I thought that the only right answer was a free case for everyone that bought them, but then Apple gave out free cases and I had to revise my opinion. I haven't yet figured out how to make the signal drops on phones from other manufacturers somehow Apple's fault, but if I can, then I will again revise my opinion to demand that Apple recalls the phones on behalf os the other manufacturers as well. There has to be a class action lawsuit somewhere here that I can peg on Apple...

Squeeze with both hands... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32983832)

The crushing the phone with two hands seems significantly different from touch the bottom left corner.
That's not surprising with any antennae. It'd be more convincing if the others had that drop when holding it normally to talk.

I'm just not seeing a drop from the table to just in my hand with my old phone, and well, I don't need to juice my phone to talk - I do usually touch it though.

Well, duh ;) (2, Insightful)

sethmeisterg (603174) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983866)

Of course Jobs cherry-picked the phones that would most-illustrate a similar effect. I have an iPhone 4 and I love it -- never had any signal issues (but I use a Belkin Vue Grip case). I was a bit annoyed at the photos Apple showed, though -- if you look at the pictures, you can clearly see that they're squeezing the *SHIT* out of the phone to get the analogous effect (seriously, look at the guy's thumb who's squeezing the Blackberry -- he's pressing so hard, most of his thumb is WHITE). I'm a huge Apple fan, but I really don't appreciate attempts at manipulating results like that. NO ONE is going to squeeze their phone that hard. If they do, they deserve the signal loss. Oh, and that September 30th date? I bet they're actively working on an antenna redesign and that's when they'll be rolling it out in new iPhones delivered starting on that date -- it will be very interesting to dissect an iPhone made in October to see if this theory hold water.

So Steve isn't a liar? (1, Troll)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983872)

Can I stop explaining to people why I intend to purchase this phone despite a minor defect that won't affect me now?

Death Grip?? (2, Insightful)

MTTECHYBOY (799778) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983890)

I think the Death Grip is referring to the relationship between Steve and the Fan-boys..

Why does this surprise anyone? (2, Interesting)

khb (266593) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983938)

Perhaps only old fogeys recall rabbit ear TV antennas for analogue TVs ... touching can improve or degrade signal. Depends on where, what frequencies, etc.

No matter how clever the engineering, there's no cheating the law of physics.

I always use a bluetooth headset and seldom hold the phone during calls; and use a case. So it all seemed like a tempest in a teacup to me.

Re:Why does this surprise anyone? (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984208)

> No matter how clever the engineering, there's no cheating the law
> of physics.

The laws of physics to not apply to Apple.

Why bother if you have to use two hands? (1)

novar21 (1694492) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983964)

Really, that is not what the iphone users were complaining about. Yes you can cause cell phone signal strength to fall by covering it with both hands. I know the video was a parody, or meant as humor, but people will think that all cell phones are equal. They are not. And much depends on your provider and location also. It's easier to degrade a weak signal than a strong signal. So anyone saying Jobs was right by saying all phones have that problem is wrong. I have an HTC Incredible. I do not experience what iphone users are complaining about. The recent iphone release was just a bad design esp. for weak signal areas. People just need to move on. If the phone doesn't work for you, send it back.

WoW (1)

barkingcorndog (629651) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983994)

I had no idea you could play World of Warcraft [wowhead.com] on a smartphone.

People adapt (1, Interesting)

jmichaelg (148257) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984024)

People adapt to their phones to optimize their signal. Just as you stand where the signal's strongest, you adjust your grip so the signal is strongest. It's just not that big a deal when you actually use the phone.

I can now make and receive calls from locations that I couldn't before I got the phone and the call is cleaner. In exchange, I had to learn to hold my phone slightly differently than I used to. I can live with that. If you can't, don't get an iPhone.

Death Grip = Force choke? (3, Funny)

zill (1690130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984032)

You may have joined the dark side and control an entire evil empire, Mr. Jobs, but you are not a Sith Lord ... yet.

Not a 'Death Grip' issue to begin with (2, Interesting)

bdrewery (1317617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984044)

The issue with iPhone 4 isn't about *gripping it*, it's about simply touching this spot to affect the signal.

Just yesterday I was on the phone and my pinky accidentally touched that spot ... *instant* loss of sound quality to the point I couldn't understand anything for several seconds.

Thats not a Death Grip (1)

toxonix (1793960) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984130)

I will show you a death grip that nothing can survive.
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