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ScipioUSA

Android Phone with Best Reception?

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Hello All.

I've been with Sprint a long time, and have been relatively happy with their service.  But I live in a rural area, and lately my work has had me traveling a lot.   I recently started using an Essential PH-1, which has a great feel and the fast updates are great.  But Im not sure if I am going to be able to live with the very poor signal that it can pull in.  I'm honestly not as concerned with the data speeds as much as just being able to make a voice call.

 

Does anyone have a thought/recommendation on a phone that gets better reception?  I would prefer to stick with Android just because I am in their ecosystem, if possible.  Not looking to buy a 2019 flagship, but just wondering what that is current or from the past few years might work a little more reliably....

 

Thanks in advance!

 

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Take a look at the Note 9.

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Thanks for the response. Ill take a look.  Any other thoughts on something that might be one iteration behind?  Hoping to stay sub-$500

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1 hour ago, ScipioUSA said:

Thanks for the response. Ill take a look.  Any other thoughts on something that might be one iteration behind?  Hoping to stay sub-$500

I am considering buying one on Swappa.  Much cheaper and you should get a barely used phone.  Paying $1000 for a new phone does not turn me on either.

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37 minutes ago, chamb said:

I am considering buying one on Swappa.  Much cheaper and you should get a barely used phone.  Paying $1000 for a new phone does not turn me on either.

Thanks!  

 

I have used Swappa in the past and had good luck with it, as well as some of the more trusted sellers on eBay for NIB phones.  I really dig my Essential, but it has to work as a phone first and foremost.  Not sure if Sprint has been working on any tower upgrades in my area lately, but it seems the past month that service has been spottier than I was used to, and this new handset has just further compounded things.  

 

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I believe the Moto Z2 Force has excellent RF performance. It's also pretty cheap (well under $300 new or like new), has a Snapdragon 835 (like the Essential), near-stock Android (will be updated to Pie), and excellent battery life. I believe it also supports HPUE and Massive MIMO, and will also support wifi calling. Hopefully at some point it will support VoLTE.

The one downside to the Z2 Force is the shatterproof screen. It's got a plastic top layer that is prone to scratches. Motorola will replace it for you, but I'd suggest getting a tempered-glass screen protector as soon as you get it. The tempered glass feels much better than the plastic and will protect the plastic from scratching, while maintaining the shatterproof glass. 

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On 11/9/2018 at 4:25 PM, Shade00 said:

I believe the Moto Z2 Force has excellent RF performance. It's also pretty cheap (well under $300 new or like new), has a Snapdragon 835 (like the Essential), near-stock Android (will be updated to Pie), and excellent battery life. I believe it also supports HPUE and Massive MIMO, and will also support wifi calling. Hopefully at some point it will support VoLTE.

The one downside to the Z2 Force is the shatterproof screen. It's got a plastic top layer that is prone to scratches. Motorola will replace it for you, but I'd suggest getting a tempered-glass screen protector as soon as you get it. The tempered glass feels much better than the plastic and will protect the plastic from scratching, while maintaining the shatterproof glass. 

This👆

     I had an Essential and am much happier with my Z² force.  Can attest to the screen issue.  I had problems getting a protector at first and ended up with a few minor scratches despite hardly using it.  My only other complaint is that it's too big, but it was in my price range after Sprint dropped the price significantly.

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Thanks for the responses, and I was hoping someone would say the Moto was a good performer.  I actually had tried to get some of them when Sprint/BB was closing them out super cheap, but they went before I could get there.  I was thinking of trying to nab one for my wife to use, as her old LG G5 is getting tired and the GPS is shot. 

I usually always try to put the tempered glass protectors on when I can, but it sounds like thats a big necessity for the Moto phones. 

I really like the feel of the Essential, but Im thinking I may need to part ways with it given where I spend most of my time.  The fact that the latest update seems to have interfered with the WiFi calling feature may have just sealed its fate...

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I think the scratch issue is mainly related specifically to the Z² Force.  There's some thin protective layer on top which I've not seen on other phones.  That's what gets marked up easily.  Their Moto E line is their budget jobs.  I have an E² which also has excellent RF performance on all 3 LTE bands  That's what attracted me to the Motorola phones.  The Force has slightly worse performance on B26 than the E² and Nexus 5X.  B25 and 41 reception is just as good as the E² and noticeably better than the 5X on B41.

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I havent looked into the E line, would probably go with one of the G series phones to stay on the cheap without a good deal.  

Im going to check into the Z2 Force, although Im also wondering what might crop up next week for the Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal.  I would consider one of the Moto X4 devices on the Android One platform, but I know that hardware is getting to be a little long in the tooth.

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Take a look at the G7 ThinQ. I've heard that recent LG phones (V30 and newer) have some very impressive RF performance, and the G7 is a 6 month old phone going for under $400 on Swappa.

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4 hours ago, jakeuten said:

Take a look at the G7 ThinQ. I've heard that recent LG phones (V30 and newer) have some very impressive RF performance, and the G7 is a 6 month old phone going for under $400 on Swappa.

I've been happy with my G7 so far.  Solid.

Robert

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So managed to find a Moto Z2 Force to try out, and the results are pretty substantial sitting at my desk.  The Moto is better pulling LTE by 3 dbm, and the 1x (which I believe is what I want for just making a voice call, right?) was better by 16 or 20 dbm. 

Might have me shopping soon...

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I second the LG V30+.

I've had mine for over a year now, and I'm very pleased with the RF performance. I too live in a somewhat rural area, and also travel quite a bit, and I haven't been disappointed at all. RF performance is high on my list of must-haves when shopping for a new phone.

The V30+ also makes use of all the current network technologies offered by Sprint, as far as I know. I haven't been able to test out VoLTE yet (not live in my home area), but it's on the compatibility list.

I haven't been shopping, but I have seen the V30+ offered at very good prices recently.

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My two previous devices were LG, and I was a little disappointed in the lack of timely updates.  That said, I would go for a V30 or G7 for the right price.  Coming off a G5 that had issues with screen burn, lack of genuine replacement batteries, and a faulty GPS has me needing it to be a really good deal.

 

I really like everything about the Essential excpet that it doesn't actually like to work as a phone...  

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Took advantage of the 15% off coupon on eBay and got a Moto Z2 Force for around $200.  Still getting it transferred over (wouldnt find my Google Drive backups for some reason), but seeing much better signal at my office.  Pulling in multiple neighbor cells that I couldnt "see" before, and seeing probably 10 or more dBm improvement for the 1x.  Phone calls work all over the building now.  

 

Thanks very much for the recommendation!  Its a huge help.

 

Ill probably be listing my Essential for sale shortly, which makes me sad because I really liked the size and feel of that device.  But a phone should be a phone first.  

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On 11/9/2018 at 7:40 AM, ScipioUSA said:

Hello All.

I've been with Sprint a long time, and have been relatively happy with their service.  But I live in a rural area, and lately my work has had me traveling a lot.   I recently started using an Essential PH-1, which has a great feel and the fast updates are great.  But Im not sure if I am going to be able to live with the very poor signal that it can pull in.  I'm honestly not as concerned with the data speeds as much as just being able to make a voice call.

 

Does anyone have a thought/recommendation on a phone that gets better reception?  I would prefer to stick with Android just because I am in their ecosystem, if possible.  Not looking to buy a 2019 flagship, but just wondering what that is current or from the past few years might work a little more reliably....

 

Thanks in advance!

 

I am so depressed with the RF performance of the Essential phone. It's a great phone with everything other than the RF reception, and that's basically a deal breaker. I live in an area that has pretty good coverage so it's not as much of an issue, but when I'm traveling there are places I know I should have coverage and I don't. 

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2 hours ago, Thomas L. said:

I am so depressed with the RF performance of the Essential phone. It's a great phone with everything other than the RF reception, and that's basically a deal breaker. I live in an area that has pretty good coverage so it's not as much of an issue, but when I'm traveling there are places I know I should have coverage and I don't. 

Yup, I agree entirely.  I had hoped that what I had been reading online before I bought it was just people who are complainers, but turns out this was a time to listen to the internet.  Also, was worth listening to Shade and Joski above who suggested going Moto.  The formfactor still has me cringing a little, but making phone calls without fear is way worth it.  (Plus it has great specs and is cheap!)

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