1. sfhub's Avatar
    Not saying this applies to everyone, but I figured out why the particular E4GT I was testing had such jumpy signal levels. I was doing side-by-side comparisons with an Optimus S using menu->settings->about phone->status.

    It appears the E4GT has very little granularity with signal strength reporting. It only goes by increments of 5 dBm, whereas the Optimus reports signal levels at a granularity of 1 dBm.

    For E4GT, -106 dBm = 0 bar, -101 dBm = 1 bar, -96 dBm = 2 bar, -91 dBm = 3 bar - 86 dBm = 4 bar, -81 dBm = 5 bar, and -76 dBm = 6 bar.

    Problem in my main test area is the signal is somewhere between -93 dBm and -98 dBm according to the Optimus S. Whereas the Optimus S can react to small changes in dBm with equally small changes in reported signal strength and "# bars", the E4GT tends to like jumping from -91 dBm to - 101 dBm and back. It only reports certain discrete levels and it appears to be rounding up and down (based on side-by-side signal comparison to Optimus S) They both go up and down at roughly the same time, but Optimus S does it smoothly over time. E4GT just does the signal change reporting very abruptly with 5-10 dBm jumps.

    Second thing I noticed is hand and phone positioning really affect the signal strength. The antennae/transmitter appear to be at the bottom hump on the phone. If I place my hands over that area holding the phone normally I can go from 3 bars (-86 dBm) down to 0 bars (-106 dBm). Data starts getting very iffy at -106 dBm but still kind of works, just real slow. If I hold the phone in the middle or near the top, I almost always get the same or better signal. I also found the phone gets the best signal when it is held flat, rather than perpendicular to the ground. In fact the best signal I get is when I'm not holding the phone at all, and instead lay it flat on the table.

    Again, I'm not saying every phone behaves this way nor am I saying this explains everyones' signal issues. I'm just relaying my experiences.

    BTW the signal levels when laid flat on a table side-by-side to the Optimus S is very comparable, almost the same (minus the lack of granularity). However when I'm holding both phones, the E4GT has generally 5 dBm worse signal, sometimes 10 dBm if I'm holding normally and covering the bottom of the phone.
    10-16-2011 07:43 AM