In the course of conducting our standard suite of iPhone 4 performance tests, iLounge has discovered that the Verizon CDMA iPhone 4 suffers from signal attenuation problems similar to ones discovered in the original GSM version of the iPhone 4. As seen in this Verizon iPhone 4 antenna attenuation video, the CDMA iPhone 4 can still lose substantial cellular signal strength when held in the prior “death grip” position, as well as Wi-Fi signal when held in a different position, in each case noticeably slowing or completely stalling the reception of data.
The problem with Wi-Fi reception appears when the device is held snugly in landscape orientation with two hands, a position common when playing games or using the widescreen keyboard. Prior to the Verizon iPhone 4’s launch, sources told iLounge to be on the lookout for the issue, which was being referred to as the “death hug.” It should be noted that although early Apple-sanctioned reviews of the Verizon iPhone 4 claimed that the antenna problems had been fixed in the CDMA model, the same reviewers failed to notice the antenna problems in their original coverage of the GSM model. iLounge’s testing so far has found that the Verizon iPhone 4’s issues appear in the same geographic location as the AT&T iPhone 4’s, indoors with an average of three bars of signal strength. Once again, use of a protective case appears to fix the antenna issue, and antenuation may not be noticeable in areas with stronger signal strength.
Updated: We’ve added pictures above showing how a normal grip on the bare phone can reduce Verizon’s four-bar signal down to one bar, along with the Speedtest results—a 1.1Mbps download speed gets cut down to 0.1Mbps, and uploads are cut from 0.5Mbps down to 0, or no uploading capability.
Read our detailed review of the new Verizon iPhone 4.