reception

Nokia has taken an opportunity to go into some detail about the Lumia 925 and its antenna improvements, utilising the aluminium to wrap around the sides of the Windows Phone. The "ring" of metal acts as part of the phone's radio system, with stripes that separate the antennas (main antenna at the bottom with two more towards the top of the device) from the other sections of metal.

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On Sunday we covered some user complaints about the reception on the HTC HD7, specifically that holding it a certain could diminish the reception significantly. While we started off skeptical about the complaint, by the end of the video we were left a little more convinced that indeed something awry.

Now HTC has responded to the charges in a statement to Computer Weekly stating:

Quality in industrial design is of key importance to HTC. To ensure the best possible signal strength, antennas are placed in the area least likely to be covered by a person's face or hands while the phone is in use.

However, it is inevitable that a phone's signal strength will weaken a little when covered in its entirety by a user's palm or fingers. We test all of our phones extensively and are confident that under normal circumstances reception strength and performance will be more than sufficient for the operation of the phone when network coverage is also adequate

While we don't think the HD7's reception issues are nearly as bad as the iPhone 4's, it certainly is demonstrably worse than other handsets available today, including HTC's own Mozart. Still, we'll take them at their word that they do testing and take this seriously but we'll still rank the HD7 has having below-average performance when it comes to reception. And T-Mobile's network doesn't help the situation either.

Source: Computer Weekly; via wmpoweruser

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In a new video on YouTube, it's alleged (and seemingly demonstrated) that the HD7 suffers from an antenna/reception issue similar to the Apple iPhone 4--namely if you grip it a certain way, it has a noticeable effect on the reception, up to the point where calls and data are dropped. This so-called "death grip" problem dubbed antenna-gate by many is related to having the antenna near the bottom of the phone, which is a design choice to keep the antenna (and radiation) away from the head.

At first, we were skeptical of the evidence found in the video, noting that in general, T-Mobile's coverage and reception is worse than AT&T and to put it bluntly, the HD7's overall signal reception was not the best to begin with. In turn, we tried to duplicate the situation numerous times and in the video above, you'll see our results which came as a surprise. In short, the HD7 does appear to have a death-grip problem--even to the point where data can be held up.

By way of comparison (not in the video though) the Samsug Focus seems to be just fine.  Combined with the "pink camera" issue, the HD7 to looks have a few notches against it. Feel free to chime in with your experiences in comments! See the original YouTube video after the break.

Source: YouTube, via: Geekword; Thanks, Muhammad A., for the tip

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iPhone 4 Day schadenfreude

While we don't normally like to throw stones, especially at the competition which pretty much decimated our OS marketshare, who can resist pointing out some of the problems with the new iPhone 4? Sure, when mass-launching such a complicated device, issues are bound to pop up and no doubt 'quality control' is a tough thing--heck Microsoft lost a billion dollars on the Xbox RROD. Holla.

But here are the major ones for the iPhone 4, most of which can be expounded upon by our sister site TiPB.com:

  1. Reception: holding the phone in the wrong way absolutely kills voice/data reception, see video above and this Gizmodo post
  2. Yellow splotches on the screen, which may be temporary
  3. So-call Gorilla Glass is not so tough after all

Will Microsoft and its partners have the similar issues when launching this fall? Lets hope not.

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