Author Topic: Cell phone purchase....  (Read 2445 times)

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Offline Splitrail

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Cell phone purchase....
« on: November 08, 2021, 11:49:19 AM »
Living in an area with a weak cell phone signal, I'm wondering if some phones (brands or models) are more sensitive than others as far as their ability to send and receive signals.
I'm looking to purchase a new phone, but want to try to find something that will maximize this capability.
As a cell phone and service contract aren't easily returned or reverseable, I'm trying to gather as much information as I can before making any decision.
I don't know if there's an answer to my question, but I thought that as tech oriented as this forums members are, that someone may be able to shed some light on this.
Thanks!

Offline worachj

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Re: Cell phone purchase....
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2021, 02:30:59 PM »


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Offline Splitrail

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Re: Cell phone purchase....
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2021, 02:56:04 PM »
Mobile LTE Coverage Map
https://www.fcc.gov/BroadbandData/MobileMaps/mobile-map

Thanks, but how does that help me with my quandary?  :???:

Offline worachj

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Re: Cell phone purchase....
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2021, 03:49:02 PM »
I believe the cell phone company and their signal strength and frequency bands in your area is more important than picking a specific cell phone.

https://www.wilsonamplifiers.com/blog/frequencies-by-provider/


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Offline ocala

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Re: Cell phone purchase....
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2021, 04:05:44 PM »
I believe the cell phone company and their signal strength and frequency bands in your area is more important than picking a specific cell phone.

https://www.wilsonamplifiers.com/blog/frequencies-by-provider/
Agree with this. Do some research and find out what company has the strongest signal in your area. As far as I know there aren't any phones that are better then others when it comes to picking up a signal. A phone that couldn't do that wouldn't last on the market.
As for contracts etc you could go with an MVNO. Mobile Virtual Network Operator. That's just a company that resells phone service but they do it at a discount and with no contracts. Example would be Cricket. They resell ATT service. So find out who has the strongest signal in your area. Look for the phone you want and make sure it will work on that service. Then research the MVNO's who have that service and see who best fits your needs. 

Offline Splitrail

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Re: Cell phone purchase....
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2021, 04:11:02 PM »
I believe the cell phone company and their signal strength and frequency bands in your area is more important than picking a specific cell phone.

https://www.wilsonamplifiers.com/blog/frequencies-by-provider/

Oh, OK, thanks.
It appears that my current service provider has the strongest coverage on the map, so what I need to know now is, what phones might work better than others for me?
I found several articles on the subject, but they're a bit outdated as far as some of the new phones that are available now.
There doesn't seem to be any spec or standard for rating phones in this manner (like there are for rating cars for avg MPG or top speeds for example).

Offline worachj

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Re: Cell phone purchase....
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2021, 04:29:54 PM »
I would try matching a phone’s frequency bands with those of your cell phone company, or vice versa. Not all cell phones can handle all the different frequency bands. You need to make sure your cell phone matches your cell phone company’s frequencies. That’s one reason people will buy phones only from their cell phone companies instead of an unlocked phone off the internet. Check the frequencies of both the phone and cell phone company.

Haven't seen anything that rates coverage by the different frequency bands by cell phone companies.







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Offline ocala

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Re: Cell phone purchase....
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2021, 04:46:57 PM »
If you go to this site.
https://www.gsmarena.com/
It gives all the specs of what ever phone you input. As worachj said pay attention to the bands the phones use and compare that with what the carrier has.

Offline Splitrail

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Re: Cell phone purchase....
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2021, 05:09:40 PM »
If you go to this site.
https://www.gsmarena.com/
It gives all the specs of what ever phone you input. As worachj said pay attention to the bands the phones use and compare that with what the carrier has.
Thanks ocala!
At the website you linked, what are the "bands" in the specs?
And are the corresponding "bands" indicated on the providers websites, or is that something one would need to call them about?
I'm looking at the iPhone 13 mini.

Offline ocala

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Re: Cell phone purchase....
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2021, 05:27:28 PM »
Who is your current provider

Offline Splitrail

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Re: Cell phone purchase....
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2021, 05:46:18 PM »
Who is your current provider
Verizon

Offline ocala

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Re: Cell phone purchase....
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2021, 06:00:24 PM »
Verizon is a CDMA carrier. If you click CDMA at the top near Network Technology you will see all the bands it supports. That phone will work fine with Verizon. Now just do some homework on which MVNO you want to use. If you want to go the MVNO route. With an MVNO your speed can be throttled but it's usually not a problem unless you are a heavy downloader.

Offline scudwatcher

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Re: Cell phone purchase....
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2021, 06:01:49 PM »
I also have Verizon as my carrier.  I purchased the Apple Iphone Xs Max over two years ago.  Now, I have recently upgraded to the Iphone 12 Pro Max.  Most of the time, even in the new 5G network, I have about two to three network strength bars on my cell phone.  I can't do anything about the carrier network.  But, what I have done, is increase my ISP speed (Atlantic Broadband) and also purchase an Amazon EERO MESH WIFI System with satellites throughout my house.  That has ENHANCED my cellphone usage in my home.  This is my experience at my home and specific location within the carrier network.  You may want to consider a cellular signal booster for your specific location, but they are rather expensive!

Offline NyasiaRogers

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Re: Cell phone purchase....
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2023, 08:48:58 PM »
Good luck with your phone hunt, and may you find the perfect device to keep you connected even in those weak signal areas!

Offline Garth Bock

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Re: Cell phone purchase....
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2023, 09:27:23 PM »
A friend of mine had trouble with his Verizon phone. Called support and they had him go get a replacement and still got 1 bar even seeing the tower in the distance. Called back and support did some investigating and may have done something with his tower and suddenly he was getting 3 bars.

Offline DaleReid

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Re: Cell phone purchase....
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2023, 09:44:43 PM »
The frustration of finding a 'good' phone.
For ham radio operators the idea of evaluating the antenna, the front end receiver specs and the goodness of the internal build makes us think there might be one better than another.  On the other hand the whole network and the towers and the controlling software sort of expects all phones to behave the same, so a lot of that is taken out of the equation.

I live where Verizon is behind a hill. Some neighbors put up external antennas and then a 'repeater' inside their homes, with mixed but generally good results.  I've even seen commercial contractors who have a similar mobile setup inside some of their pickups to make connection much more reliable while going down the road in weak signal areas.  The problem is they are, as mentioned, expensive and not easily tried before  you buy.

I've found using the WiFi calling in my home (where I have multiple access points set up to help) is of benefit, but not perfect.

I did, out of frustration, buy one of the Verizon in-home 'mini-cell tower' boxes.  It plugs into internet, has to get a gps signal to work, and lets you have a somewhat better coverage for maybe 50 to 60 feet.  Pretty pathetic but I guess they didn't want to have people next to each other in their houses having competition from the various signals from boxes and goofing things up .

I think that the device alone helped in the room of the house I was using for phone meetings during the pandemic, but it sure didn't cover the house with a bulletproof signal.  WiFi calling has done that better for me. 

We need some sort of reliable signal strength or quality meter.  Are there any good aps for phones that look at the signals?
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Offline AlexaDuffy

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Re: Cell phone purchase....
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2023, 02:43:55 AM »
You're definitely asking the right questions when it comes to maximizing your cell phone signal strength, especially in areas with weak coverage. It's a smart move to gather as much information as possible before making a decision, considering it's not an easily reversible one.

For insights on specific phone models or brands known for their signal sensitivity, you might find some valuable information over at multitechverse.com. They often cover topics related to phone technology and connectivity.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2023, 10:32:38 PM by AlexaDuffy »

Offline cjohlandt

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Re: Cell phone purchase....
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2023, 08:02:06 PM »
We need some sort of reliable signal strength or quality meter.  Are there any good aps for phones that look at the signals?

If you've got an Android, take a look at Network Cell Info.  It has signal strength guages, maps, and more.  I have used it to document poor signal in parts of my neighborhood.

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