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iPhone 5 Antenna


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Had the chance to compare signal strength between an iPhone 5, EVO LTE and SIII yesterday between family members. In my mom's house in a rural location but only ~1.5 miles from the nearest tower. Old building construction from the 1800's which has a considerable impact on reception.

 

All of these were for 1x btw:

 

iPhone -92dbm

EVO LTE - ~-98-99dbm

SIII - ~98-99dbm

 

EVDO:

 

iPhone -86 dbm

EVO LTE -94dbm

SIII -93dbm

 

So obviously, I saw very similar performance between the EVO and SIII, both were pretty low. iPhone maintained a much better connection no matter where I moved inside staying right around -92dbm. Has anyone else noticed much superior performance of the iPhone's external antenna? Thanks!

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Your empirically observed figures seem reasonable. The iPhone's external, Rx diversity antenna system has some definite advantages. But as you recorded your readings, did you confirm that all devices were on the same PN offset and channel? Any variations in PN or channel render all comparisons spurious.

 

AJ

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Your empirically observed figures seem reasonable. The iPhone's external, Rx diversity antenna system has some definite advantages. But as you recorded your readings, did you confirm that all devices were on the same PN offset and channel? Any variations in PN or channel render all comparisons spurious.

 

AJ

 

Good point, forgot to mention that. I did confirm this via the field test menus. On that note, the code to get to field test in iOS is ridiculously long.

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Good point, forgot to mention that. I did confirm this via the field test menus. On that note, the code to get to field test in iOS is ridiculously long.

Just add it to your contacts and then put it in favs in the phone app and copy and past from there :)

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I took a cross country trip with a friend in October and had my 5 along with his Android phone and work issued Blackberry. When we were way out in the sticks (went from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio etc) the iPhone5 routinely got a tower much more consistently than the other two phones along with and at one point the 5 was able to receive and make calls when the other two weren't. The only thing I can say about that is they obviously improved the antenna design over past iPhones and/or it was at least 2 years newer than the droid and 3 years newer than the blackberry. Anecdotally.

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I have a GS3 and a family member has another line with an iPhone 5, I regularly compare them, and while I see the iPhone almost always reading a stronger signal in fair to good signal areas, I see them perform equally in poor signal conditions. If I go for instance into my mom's business which is in a typical (for Chicago) old 3 story building with 12" thick brick they both start reading the same in db, calls die out at the same spots, calls won't go out if you walk past a certain point into the building etc.

 

I've seen the same behavior in a very rural area that was right on a fringe spot for Sprint too, and the GS3 has a slight advantage IMO because it will switch to roaming faster then the iPhone.

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Well they are spending the money on R&D, it's no surprise their engineers are coming up with some good designs. I think the "antenna gate" issue also drives them to make sure no one can ding their radio performance ever again.

 

gusherb: I would assume the issue there is just plain old signal absorption... Not much you can do at 1900 MHz. When 800 SMR goes live you should see good improvements for in-building coverage. Around here, my LTE signal at home has gone from 1 bar to 2 bars since the leaves have fallen off the trees. I'm at the edge of an elevation hole and there isn't much anyone can do about it until the 800 SMR LTE gets turned on. Plano is mostly a flat plain but we're near an old creek, one of the few places it isn't.

 

I know the iPhone doesn't officially list LTE 800 SMR but does list CDMA voice for that frequency. My understanding of the antenna system and the MDM 9615 says there is nothing technical in the hardware that would block this frequency, so I'm really hoping it supports it or can be updated to support it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I don't want to bump an older thread but I just returned a Galaxy S3 for the iPhone 5.

 

My S3 would be roaming in my house while the iPhone 5 is showing 2 bars and I can make and place calls.

 

I don't know how to get the dB reading off the iPhone but the S3 was sitting around -105 when it would catch a signal.

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I don't want to bump an older thread but I just returned a Galaxy S3 for the iPhone 5.

 

My S3 would be roaming in my house while the iPhone 5 is showing 2 bars and I can make and place calls.

 

I don't know how to get the dB reading off the iPhone but the S3 was sitting around -105 when it would catch a signal.

 

Post #5 above: *3001#12345#* in the dialer.

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Post #5 above: *3001#12345#* in the dialer.

 

Thank you, I didn't see the * at the end of the command (this getting older stuff stinks) and once I read your post I ran the command and got a -91 reading.

 

Same spot I would go off into roaming land on the S3.

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Thank you, I didn't see the * at the end of the command (this getting older stuff stinks) and once I read your post I ran the command and got a -91 reading.

 

Same spot I would go off into roaming land on the S3.

 

As you can see from my first post, I saw VERY similar results. Impressive how good that external antenna is, definitely have some newfound respect for Apple's engineering. Wish I would have realized this before I got an EVO LTE!

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I watched and interacted with an S3 and IP5 for a few months when I had the s3 and my roommate had the new fruit.

 

The setting threshold for roaming is definitely much higher on the fruit than the galaxy. The gs3 is very quick to roam...and the svdo seems to also play a role in that because my gs3 would jump to roaming even in decent signal areas if I was , say, streaming music and sending texts at the same time. My service was never interrupted and I dont talk enough to care if im roaming or not.

 

Flipside, my roommates ip5 will resist roaming well beyond the sprint signal usability. So its a bit of a trade off.... ip5 may save you roaming in some fringe areas but is going to make you wait longer for a usable roaming signal... the gs3 is going to jump to a usable roaming signal as soon as it sees questionable sprint reception. Which one frustrates the average user more?

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I watched and interacted with an S3 and IP5 for a few months when I had the s3 and my roommate had the new fruit.

 

The setting threshold for roaming is definitely much higher on the fruit than the galaxy. The gs3 is very quick to roam...and the svdo seems to also play a role in that because my gs3 would jump to roaming even in decent signal areas if I was , say, streaming music and sending texts at the same time. My service was never interrupted and I dont talk enough to care if im roaming or not.

 

Flipside, my roommates ip5 will resist roaming well beyond the sprint signal usability. So its a bit of a trade off.... ip5 may save you roaming in some fringe areas but is going to make you wait longer for a usable roaming signal... the gs3 is going to jump to a usable roaming signal as soon as it sees questionable sprint reception. Which one frustrates the average user more?

 

I didn't find that at all.

 

I was in Atlantic City this past weekend and usually in the middle of the casinos Sprint looses its signal. Verizon must have installed some type of repeater system because they have solid signal through out.

 

My iPhone 5 immediately hopped onto Verizon when the signal (while still showing Sprint service) was showing 1 bar. Never did It show (or I never saw) a searching for service message. I even changed the settings so it would not roam and a Sprint signal reappeared. I switched it back to allow roaming and bang, the "extended" message showed up.

 

Overall I was happy as the iPhone 5 seemed content to stay roaming and didn't kill the battery constantly looking for a native signal.

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I didn't find that at all.

 

I was in Atlantic City this past weekend and usually in the middle of the casinos Sprint looses its signal. Verizon must have installed some type of repeater system because they have solid signal through out.

 

My iPhone 5 immediately hopped onto Verizon when the signal (while still showing Sprint service) was showing 1 bar. Never did It show (or I never saw) a searching for service message. I even changed the settings so it would not roam and a Sprint signal reappeared. I switched it back to allow roaming and bang, the "extended" message showed up.

 

Overall I was happy as the iPhone 5 seemed content to stay roaming and didn't kill the battery constantly looking for a native signal.

 

Oh, it does kill the battery looking for native service. Believe me. The native signal at one of my good friend's house is very weak, and the iPhone will usually roam. But I once spent the entire day there helping him with some home improvement, and my phone was flat out dead by 3PM.

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