1. ZephyrsDream's Avatar
    I'm concerned about the new GS6 I picked up on Friday from Best Buy.

    First off, my old GS3 was able to connect fine to 4G data and had great signal strength.

    Reason why I'm asking is because when I turned on this new phone and saw the booting up graphic, it says "Sprint Spark."
    I'm also only getting around one or two bars of cell strength when my old phone had plenty. I went to two different Sprint stores and Best Buy to talk about the issue. Best Buy said that updating the PRL and profile (which I've done numerous times) and to leave my old phone turned off for this one to fully activate. By the way, I live in a major metropolitan area which should have great signal strength.

    One of the Sprint reps said that if the low signal strength continues to exchange it for a new one. When I went to the other Sprint store, the reps there said basically there wasn't anything wrong with the phone and that data was working fine.

    Am I just overreacting or is my phone defective and I should go back to Best Buy and get it replaced?

    And could someone explain Sprint Spark and whether or not the "network mode" on this phone matters?



    Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
    04-11-2015 06:40 PM
  2. Gekko's Avatar
    I'm concerned about the new GS6 I picked up on Friday from Best Buy.

    First off, my old GS3 was able to connect fine to 4G data and had great signal strength.

    Reason why I'm asking is because when I turned on this new phone and saw the booting up graphic, it says "Sprint Spark."
    I'm also only getting around one or two bars of cell strength when my old phone had plenty. I went to two different Sprint stores and Best Buy to talk about the issue. Best Buy said that updating the PRL and profile (which I've done numerous times) and to leave my old phone turned off for this one to fully activate. By the way, I live in a major metropolitan area which should have great signal strength.

    One of the Sprint reps said that if the low signal strength continues to exchange it for a new one. When I went to the other Sprint store, the reps there said basically there wasn't anything wrong with the phone and that data was working fine.

    Am I just overreacting or is my phone defective and I should go back to Best Buy and get it replaced?

    And could someone explain Sprint Spark and whether or not the "network mode" on this phone matters?

    https://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/04...20848e3ebb.jpg

    Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
    i don't think you have a defective device and i wouldn't worry about it as long as your voice and data connection functions solidly and you don't see any extraordinary battery drain from cellular activity. to put your mind at ease - you could pop into a Sprint corporate store and compare your phone to a store model but my guess is that they'll all be the same.

    also - read this -

    Four bars? The disconnect between bars and cell signal | Ars Technica

    personally i'm not a big fan of Sprint. i had them for a few years and switched to AT&T and never looked back. 4G LTE coverage was night and day.

    good luck!

    Nexus 5 + AT&T GoPhone
    ZephyrsDream likes this.
    04-11-2015 06:49 PM
  3. NateInThe440's Avatar
    I'm on Sprint too, just outside Cleveland. I have the same signal showing as you, but everything appears to be working just fine so far. Haven't ventured too far from home since getting the S6 yesterday. But the Wife got a S6 yesterday also and was about 35 miles South of home earlier and called me and there was no problem there either. Everything sounded fine. I wouldn't worry about it unless data stream is going very slow when you're not hooked into WiFi.

    The Sprint Spark as far as I understand allows the phone to utalize WiFi for making calls if you're connected to a WiFi Network. Haven't messed with that yet. I'm still trying to figure out how to add signatures to me texts. Can't seem to find that option anywhere.
    04-11-2015 07:07 PM
  4. NadaAddict's Avatar
    Your new phone is probably spark compatible, where your other was lte compatible... Sprint has both of them overlapping. Out here people get strong lte, but spark is barely picked up. The people with older phones are happy, and the spark crowd is mad because their signal is weak and batteries die quicker. I'm not sure if you can shut off spark, but if you can, try it. I'm on tmob.

    Posted via Android Central App
    ZephyrsDream likes this.
    04-11-2015 07:09 PM
  5. TimmE's Avatar
    My s6 does not get as strong of a signal as my previous phones.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    04-11-2015 07:56 PM
  6. jcthorne#AC's Avatar
    I think there is something up with the bar graph display. I get connections as fast or faster than the M8 or my wifes LG G3. Yet both of those show 2 bars, my S6 shows none but does have the LTE and spark icons and the connection works fine. On my old M8, if I had one or no bars, I did not get data or it was horrifically slow.
    04-12-2015 06:55 AM
  7. paul cook3's Avatar
    i have the same problem i went from my gs3 to the gs6 on sprint hoping for better signal connection i live just 10 min north of washington dc, and i get 1 or 2 bars mostly 1 even with prl updates but i should not have to do a prl update every time i want to use the phone. I checked my local towers i have 6 around me with in 10 miles. i can watch my battery drain 1 percent every 3 or 4 min

    sprint you need to fix this within 5 days or i turn the phone is and get my money back and switch to tmobile.
    04-12-2015 07:48 AM
  8. caperailfan's Avatar
    I have never had a phone on Sprint's network but I have found that the mobile network settings have greatly affected the signal strength on other carriers in the past. Sprint Spark I believe is Sprint's version of 4G LTE. You indicated that with your S3 you had no problems with 4G data. I would go into Settings --> Mobile Networks --> Network Mode and shut LTE off by choosing CDMA. If your signal strength improves the LTE / Sprint Spark signal at your location is most likely weak but strong enough that the phone uses LTE.

    Depending on your area it is possible that not all towers have been upgraded to support 4G LTE / Sprint Spark and that more towers are available with 4G increasing your signal strength.
    04-12-2015 07:52 AM
  9. ZephyrsDream's Avatar
    I have never had a phone on Sprint's network but I have found that the mobile network settings have greatly affected the signal strength on other carriers in the past. Sprint Spark I believe is Sprint's version of 4G LTE. You indicated that with your S3 you had no problems with 4G data. I would go into Settings --> Mobile Networks --> Network Mode and shut LTE off by choosing CDMA. If your signal strength improves the LTE / Sprint Spark signal at your location is most likely weak but strong enough that the phone uses LTE.

    Depending on your area it is possible that not all towers have been upgraded to support 4G LTE / Sprint Spark and that more towers are available with 4G increasing your signal strength.
    I did try changing the network mode to CDMA and I lost 4G capabilities with it. It was only giving me 3G data, but cell signal was very strong. One of the Sprint reps said to not change it to CDMA only for that reason. I have it currently on the LTE/CDMA option. When it was originally activated, it was set to "Automatic."

    Barely there cell signal (Sprint)-uploadfromtaptalk1428845354538.jpg

    Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
    04-12-2015 08:30 AM
  10. scotty729's Avatar
    Yes leave your phone on lte CDMA mode. And I can tell you first hand that you cannot always go by the signal indicator, reason being is that where I live my phone shows all the bars of signal and I get 10 mbps to 13 mbps of data speeds,where I work I show 2-3 bars and I get 20+ mbps download speeds. It really depends on the tower you are pinging off and whether or not they have completed the upgrades on those towers. Where I live I am getting 4g lte and where I work it is sprint spark. Average speeds for sprint 4g lte is between 8 and 12 mbps and on spark it is 20 mbps and higher, I have got as much as 60 mbps with only one bar of signal showing. As long as your phone is working well, no dropped calls, texts go through with no problem ect, ect I really would not worry about it. Keep in mind we are on sprint network lol.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    ZephyrsDream likes this.
    04-12-2015 08:55 AM
  11. jreink01's Avatar
    I have never had a phone on Sprint's network but I have found that the mobile network settings have greatly affected the signal strength on other carriers in the past. Sprint Spark I believe is Sprint's version of 4G LTE. You indicated that with your S3 you had no problems with 4G data. I would go into Settings --> Mobile Networks --> Network Mode and shut LTE off by choosing CDMA. If your signal strength improves the LTE / Sprint Spark signal at your location is most likely weak but strong enough that the phone uses LTE.

    Depending on your area it is possible that not all towers have been upgraded to support 4G LTE / Sprint Spark and that more towers are available with 4G increasing your signal strength.
    Sprint spark is multi band capability. Sprint has purchased spectrum in 3 different frequencies and the newer phones have the capability to pick up all 3 of these bands. With sprint spark, your phone uses whatever band is the strongest.
    04-26-2015 12:47 AM
  12. LordLugard's Avatar
    I'm concerned about the new GS6 I picked up on Friday from Best Buy.

    First off, my old GS3 was able to connect fine to 4G data and had great signal strength.

    Reason why I'm asking is because when I turned on this new phone and saw the booting up graphic, it says "Sprint Spark."
    I'm also only getting around one or two bars of cell strength when my old phone had plenty. I went to two different Sprint stores and Best Buy to talk about the issue. Best Buy said that updating the PRL and profile (which I've done numerous times) and to leave my old phone turned off for this one to fully activate. By the way, I live in a major metropolitan area which should have great signal strength.

    One of the Sprint reps said that if the low signal strength continues to exchange it for a new one. When I went to the other Sprint store, the reps there said basically there wasn't anything wrong with the phone and that data was working fine.

    Am I just overreacting or is my phone defective and I should go back to Best Buy and get it replaced?

    And could someone explain Sprint Spark and whether or not the "network mode" on this phone matters?

    https://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/04...20848e3ebb.jpg

    Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
    Your phone is fine. The signal bar you're seeing is most likely the weaker LTE representation which is just fine.

    If you use an app like Signal Check Pro, it'll show you the SNR (represented in +/- values) of all the RF's (1x, 3G, LTE) and you'll see that your 1x and 3G are usually stronger than LTE.

    When in a strong Spark area, LTE signal is more stronger.

    ***Can't live without Signal Check Pro...

    Posted via the Android Central App
    Attached Thumbnails Barely there cell signal (Sprint)-45715.jpg  
    ZephyrsDream likes this.
    04-26-2015 05:30 AM
  13. Gator352's Avatar
    I have the exact same problem as the OP. In fact, this is plastered all over the Sprint community forums about this issue. They did say however that Sprint and Samsung are working on a fix but it's more likely a "I'm gonna tell you this so you'll stop whining" post.

    What happens with mine is that I'll have one bar. Then I'll drive a 1/4 mile and bam, 4 bars. Then within 2 blocks, one bar again. I still have data and it'll be fast, then it will slow, then I'm on 3G. It's sporadic at best. Regardless, it's a "known" issue that when the bars at 1, it tricks the phone into thinking there's a weak signal and drains the battery looking for a "better" signal.

    As far as network mode, leave it on automatic unless you don't travel far and away from Sprint towers. Automatic switches from LTE/CDMA to GSM when needed, especially when roaming or in fringe areas....the idea is so that you don't drop calls. If you leave it on LTE/CDMA and travel into roaming territory, you'll drop a call faster than a High School freshman wide receiver.
    04-26-2015 06:31 AM
  14. Gekko's Avatar
    Please wait while I transfer your call
    Sprint and T-Mobile were the first two major wireless carriers in the U.S. to support Wi-Fi calling. The lack of network coverage, especially in rural areas, made it a necessity to compete with AT&T and Verizon. Sprint and T-Mobile usually pay roaming fees to use the bigger networks to connect their customers. Getting more customers to connect over Wi-Fi saves those roaming charges.

    But users may be hesitant to turn on Wi-Fi calling if they know it's going to result in a dropped call should they leave their router's coverage. The problem stems from Sprint's undeveloped LTE network. The key to transferring a call seamlessly is to treat the voice call like any other data connection, then just flip a switch to route the data. This is easily done with LTE by utilizing Voice over LTE, or VoLTE.

    So, Sprint is getting hit twice by its poor network. It's paying to connect calls through Verizon's network, and when it tries to offload users to Wi-Fi, they're hesitant again because of its network. The only solution is to build out the network faster, but considering the company just fired thousands of employees last fall, including hundreds of network engineers, it doesn't look like that's in the plans.

    Why Sprint Subscribers Might Drop Calls if They Turn on Wi-Fi Calling (S)
    04-26-2015 08:58 AM
  15. ZephyrsDream's Avatar
    Your phone is fine. The signal bar you're seeing is most likely the weaker LTE representation which is just fine.

    If you use an app like Signal Check Pro, it'll show you the SNR (represented in +/- values) of all the RF's (1x, 3G, LTE) and you'll see that your 1x and 3G are usually stronger than LTE.

    When in a strong Spark area, LTE signal is more stronger.

    ***Can't live without Signal Check Pro...

    Posted via the Android Central App
    I do use Signal Check Pro. Here's what it looks like when I'm at home connected to LTE.



    This is from the first level of my house. If I go to the second level (the attic), I somehow get it up to 3 bars.

    Also if anyone can elaborate on what "Clearwire" is? Is that a partner tower of Sprint's?

    I'm not too concerned with it anymore since I have made calls when connected to WIFI (not WiFi Calling though). But the signal strength would then jump to the highest level while on that call and then go all the way back down afterwards. Kind of strange.

    I haven't dropped any calls or been on roaming while in my neighborhood.

    I do appreciate all of the replies to this thread though.

    Sent from my Sprint Galaxy S6 using Tapatalk
    04-26-2015 10:10 AM
  16. Gator352's Avatar
    I do use Signal Check Pro. Here's what it looks like when I'm at home connected to LTE.

    https://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/04...f1fa66b860.jpg

    This is from the first level of my house. If I go to the second level (the attic), I somehow get it up to 3 bars.

    I'm not too concerned with it anymore since I have made calls when connected to WIFI (not WiFi Calling though). But the signal strength would then jump to the highest level while on that call and then go all the way back down afterwards. Kind of strange.

    I haven't dropped any calls or been on roaming while in my neighborhood.

    I do appreciate all of the replies to this thread though.

    Sent from my Sprint Galaxy S6 using Tapatalk
    When your phone is sitting at idle and your looking at the bars, they are showing the data signal. When your on a call, the bars flip showing your cellular signal. They switched them back at the beginning of kit kat.

    But it's the same with me. Right now on my porch, i have 1 bar with lte/spark. If i get a call, it will jump to 5 bars. Great cellular service but crap data.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    ZephyrsDream and Aggie PT like this.
    04-26-2015 10:18 AM
  17. Gator352's Avatar
    Please wait while I transfer your call
    Sprint and T-Mobile were the first two major wireless carriers in the U.S. to support Wi-Fi calling. The lack of network coverage, especially in rural areas, made it a necessity to compete with AT&T and Verizon. Sprint and T-Mobile usually pay roaming fees to use the bigger networks to connect their customers. Getting more customers to connect over Wi-Fi saves those roaming charges.

    But users may be hesitant to turn on Wi-Fi calling if they know it's going to result in a dropped call should they leave their router's coverage. The problem stems from Sprint's undeveloped LTE network. The key to transferring a call seamlessly is to treat the voice call like any other data connection, then just flip a switch to route the data. This is easily done with LTE by utilizing Voice over LTE, or VoLTE.

    So, Sprint is getting hit twice by its poor network. It's paying to connect calls through Verizon's network, and when it tries to offload users to Wi-Fi, they're hesitant again because of its network. The only solution is to build out the network faster, but considering the company just fired thousands of employees last fall, including hundreds of network engineers, it doesn't look like that's in the plans.

    Why Sprint Subscribers Might Drop Calls if They Turn on Wi-Fi Calling (S)
    VoLTE is supported by the sprint S6. It's just not turned on because it's underdeveloped and not ready to be implemented. But reading the threads, I'm not sure i want it.

    Sure, sprints network is still a work in progress by its works great for me. The problems is not the network, it's the phone. In sprints community forums, this is a known issue where sprint and Sammy say they are working on it. I've had just about every flagship to date and no phone but this one has had this kind of problem.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    04-26-2015 10:25 AM
  18. ZephyrsDream's Avatar
    I don't think anyone saw this cause I edited my post as people were replying, but would anyone care to elaborate on what "Clearwire" is? Is it a partner tower of Sprint's?

    Sent from my Sprint Galaxy S6 using Tapatalk
    04-26-2015 10:35 AM
  19. warpdrive's Avatar
    I don't think anyone saw this cause I edited my post as people were replying, but would anyone care to elaborate on what "Clearwire" is? Is it a partner tower of Sprint's?

    Sent from my Sprint Galaxy S6 using Tapatalk
    If I'm bit mistaken, Sprint purchased spectrum from clearwire... Or maybe they outright purchased clearwire. I don't remember because I'm no longer on Sprint for a long time.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    04-26-2015 11:29 AM
  20. Gator352's Avatar
    I don't think anyone saw this cause I edited my post as people were replying, but would anyone care to elaborate on what "Clearwire" is? Is it a partner tower of Sprint's?

    Sent from my Sprint Galaxy S6 using Tapatalk
    They bought spectrum from clearwire for sprints wimax rollout years ago then paid clearwire to maintain it. They were going to buy them but it fell through. ...or something like that.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    04-26-2015 11:50 AM
  21. LordLugard's Avatar
    I don't think anyone saw this cause I edited my post as people were replying, but would anyone care to elaborate on what "Clearwire" is? Is it a partner tower of Sprint's?

    Sent from my Sprint Galaxy S6 using Tapatalk
    Clearwire - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Long and short, Clearwire provided Sprint the 2500mhz spectrum (2.5 GHz) (B41) they use for their tri-band LTE (Spark). They used to provide WiMax and were Sprint's major partner during their initial (WiMax) 4G rollout.
    ZephyrsDream likes this.
    04-26-2015 08:43 PM
  22. ajt1995's Avatar
    This thread sounds like your old phones were not SPARK phones, therefore only connecting to Sprint's band 25 (1900 PCS) LTE network.

    The galaxy s6 is SPARK compatible, meaning you guys are most likely connecting to band 41, 2.5 GHZ, which, even at lower signal strengths will have faster data connection than band 25 or 26

    This is why, when you place a call, your bars jump up to full, because you're connecting to band 26, or 800 mhz spectrum.

    BTW; "B41, CLEARWIRE" confirms this to me. Sprint bought clearwire, who had huge amounts of 2.5 ghz spectrum nationwide.
    ZephyrsDream likes this.
    07-09-2015 01:52 AM

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