1. lindseybp's Avatar
    Currently on verizon but thinking about switching to ATT. I'm not sure how good their service is in my area without actually owning an ATT phone. Is there a way to tell how good service might be for me in my area?
    09-23-2014 12:03 PM
  2. Almeuit's Avatar
    I would check sensorly.com and Root Metrics as well. This will help you to get an idea about the coverage AT&T offers for your area .
    09-23-2014 04:56 PM
  3. VooDooCC's Avatar
    Both of those show my house and my dad's as not having service at all. My dad just bought a cheap basic AT&T go phone, and I have Verizon. Here's my findings.
    On Verizon I get okay signal outside, but can't make a call inside. Go phone was full strength outside, never dropped below 3 bars of 3G inside.
    A new tower recently went online close to my dad's house, so now they are about the same.

    All of that to say you could try picking up a cheap go phone at Walmart, put $10 of credit on it. Won't be able to test 4G coverage, but can at least check 3G. Don't rely too much on maps

    Posted via the Android Central App
    09-23-2014 11:27 PM
  4. Unobtanium's Avatar
    I am not sure about GSM phones, but on Verizon, the bars do not indicate your data signal strength. Settings > About Phone > Status > Network Type and Strength. Lower numbers are better.

    I have a year left on my Verizon contract, and I am pretty happy with them - their phone CSR's and salespeople in their corporate stores have helped me save money several times.

    However, I had a landline number on AT&T available to port, so I have it on GoPhone (AT&T prepaid, no contract) to "test drive" AT&T for the next year. I bought a Moto G LTE on Amazon for $200.00 to do this.

    I have unlimited data on Verizon, so I am on the $60 go phone plan which includes 2.5 GB of data, but I might drop down if my data usage isn't high after a couple of months.

    The G LTE is carrier unlocked and so I can try T Mobile or a MVNO like Straight Talk later. I travel by car for work, so I am especially curious about more rural areas.

    So far, data throughput speeds are higher on Verizon (more LTE-A coverage) but I am not convinced it is that different in actual use.

    Posted from my XT1080M
    09-24-2014 07:45 AM
  5. Almeuit's Avatar
    I am not sure about GSM phones, but on Verizon, the bars do not indicate your data signal strength. Settings > About Phone > Status > Network Type and Strength. Lower numbers are better.


    Posted from my XT1080M
    On majority of Android phones the bars do indicate data signal strength and not phone signal strength. Google changed this a while back.
    09-24-2014 08:14 AM
  6. VooDooCC's Avatar
    I only used the bars as reference because on the basic go phone I couldn't find anywhere that have the actual signal strength. My Verizon galaxy nexus gets me 105-100 outside and 120 most places in the house, one room I can get 115. Yes all those numbers are negatives, but forgive me for not putting the symbols in.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    09-24-2014 03:40 PM
  7. lindseybp's Avatar
    Good info guys and great suggestion on the go phone. I think I will do that just to test signal strength. I would hate to switch and have coverage that is significantly worse. One other question. Does AT&T have to "approve" phones on it's network like Verizon does....or can I buy any unlocked phone and pop in the AT&T sim and it will work as long as it has AT&T bands supported on the phone? Seems like AT&T gets all kinds of phones but verizon is more limited in selection. That's one of the main reasons I am considering switching, i.e. want to buy the Sony Z3C and it looks like I could use that on AT&T.
    09-25-2014 09:01 AM
  8. VooDooCC's Avatar
    The way it sounds to me is any (gsm) phone will work, but you may not be able to get lte, depending on the bands the phone has on board.
    I don't have AT&T, so I can't confirm this, just passing along what I've read.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    09-25-2014 04:45 PM
  9. lafountain's Avatar
    Simplest way is talk to friends who have AT&T, but that isn't always an option. Sensorly and Root Metrics are good, but they rely on people who have that carrier to use the app to map the area.

    As for the phones, yes, any unlocked phone that uses a sim can be used, as Voodoo said, you are limited by the bands built into the phone. If they don't support AT&T's LTE frequencies then you won't get LTE.
    09-25-2014 11:05 PM
  10. Unobtanium's Avatar
    I only used the bars as reference because on the basic go phone I couldn't find anywhere that have the actual signal strength. My Verizon galaxy nexus gets me 105-100 outside and 120 most places in the house, one room I can get 115. Yes all those numbers are negatives, but forgive me for not putting the symbols in.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    On my Moto G LTE - Settings > About phone > Status - there is a "Signal strength" line giving the signal in -dBm and "asu" (Arbitrary Strength Unit)
    09-26-2014 06:55 PM
  11. Unobtanium's Avatar
    Good info guys and great suggestion on the go phone. I think I will do that just to test signal strength. I would hate to switch and have coverage that is significantly worse. One other question. Does AT&T have to "approve" phones on it's network like Verizon does....or can I buy any unlocked phone and pop in the AT&T sim and it will work as long as it has AT&T bands [?].
    AT&T entered the IMEI of the Moto G when I went in to do the swap, but the guy said after that it would work in any unlocked phone.
    09-26-2014 07:00 PM

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