iPhone 4: See Reception Drop From 5 Bars to 0 In A Hand | iLounge Backstage


iPhone 4: See Reception Drop From 5 Bars to 0 In A Hand

Remember the iPhone 4’s applause-worthy stainless steel antenna and frame system? Well, do yourself a favor and don’t actually hold the device in a way that covers it. This video demonstrates how the iPhone 4’s wireless signal strength drops from 5 to 0 bars when it’s cupped in a hand. Truly amazing.

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Not to deny the correlation, but any phone sitting still on a hard surface will have much better reception than when held in hand. Regardless, that’s pretty dramatic right there.

Posted by Jeremy on June 23, 2010 at 7:24 PM (CDT)


Does the signal stretch reduction shown have anything to do with actually making, receiving or talking on the telephone?  I would think that this needs to be tested as well.

Posted by Warren Shaw on June 23, 2010 at 7:28 PM (CDT)


Really, Jeremy?  I’ve never heard that, or observed that in any phone I have ever had.

This is a pretty damning video.  I’m pretty sure that many people will encounter this issue in the coming days.  How in the hell does a hand block cell reception?  I assume a case completely covering the sides of the phone doesn’t block cell signals? 

I don’t think the hand is actually blocking the cell signal, that doesn’t make any sense.  The hand must be creating some kind of short circuit between the sides of the phone.

Posted by 0megapart!cle on June 23, 2010 at 7:31 PM (CDT)


I just tested this same therory on my 3G and it lost 2 bars when i held it and went full when i placed it flat. looks like it always did this.

Posted by xtreo on June 23, 2010 at 8:11 PM (CDT)


Wow. How’d they miss this? Even holding it at the tips of 4 fingers on on side and thumb on the other takes it down to 2 bars from 5.

I wonder if a case makes it better or worse.

Plus, I thought the body acted as an antenna extension not a blocker. But I guess I’m wrong there.

I love this phone, but that sucks. Better keep the bluetooth headset nearby!

Posted by Chris Werner on June 23, 2010 at 9:09 PM (CDT)


My iPhone 3GS looses 2-3 bars in my right hand and 4-5 bars in my left hand. Every other phone I’ve had gained a bar or two.

Posted by Allan on June 24, 2010 at 12:12 AM (CDT)


I’ve had this happen in the UK on Nokia, HTC and Apple handsets and on three different networks (Orange, O2 & Three), so it doesn’t just affect Apple.

Posted by rdsh on June 24, 2010 at 1:11 AM (CDT)


Remember the first cell phones that had a pull-up antenna?  Well, I would not be disappointed if they added such an antenna to the iPhone, as long as it was almost completely recessed into the case when not in use. Then, if reception was poor, all we need to do is pull up the antenna - preferably a flexible one, that would nt break off.

Might be a great idea for the makers of iphone cases, if they had a way of interfacing it to the iphone’s antenna system.

Posted by Paul on June 26, 2010 at 10:37 AM (CDT)


Guys Apparently it isn’t just about your hand covering the antenna. The steel band around the phone has to be covered with a non-conductive coating to make sure your hand doesnt interfere with the energy from the antenna. Simple fix IF apple had done it before releasing the phone.

Posted by HJ on June 30, 2010 at 10:50 PM (CDT)

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