Despite the ridiculously big 1.7m sales numbers for the iPhone 4, there are still a lot of people undecided between the latest Apple handset and one of the discounted iPhone 3GS models thatâ€™s currently being offered. If youâ€™re one of them, you might be interested in this latest signal test.
TUAW’s Erica Sadun developed a custom iPhone app that displays the raw signal strength, bars and what Apple refers to as â€œgraded signal strength.â€ The tests were run to address the fact that Cupertino is chalking up the iPhone 4′s antenna/reception issue to the inaccuracy of the onscreen â€œbars.â€ The 3GS and the iPhone 4 were loaded with the app, and then observed for fluctuations.
The result? Both phonesâ€™ reception dipped, then recovered, when similarly gripped by hand and then released. The 3GS, however, didnâ€™t drop as many calls. The tests also confirmed that the signal strength â€œbarsâ€ are indeed inaccurate, as Apple claims â€” AND that this has nothing to do with the iPhone 4â€™s lousy reception. (See the image at the bottom.)
If youâ€™re into the nitty gritty, take a look at the TUAW demo vids. The first one is aptly titled â€œKung Fu grip of doom,â€ which shows the signal strength of an iPhone 4 plummeting to nearly zero the moment itâ€™s held in hand. The second vid spotlights the reception of the iPhone 3GS.
Thereâ€™s also a photo below of the iPhone 4 (left) and the 3GS (right). Both devices are on AT&T, located the same distance from the cell towers, and are loaded with Ericaâ€™s app. (They look different, since the 3GS is powered by iPhone OS 3.1.2 and the iPhone 4 is running iOS 4.)
Both iPhones display 5 bars, but:
- Actual reception is stronger on the 3GS (at -85 dB) than the iPhone 4 (-95 dB).
- Apple Graded Signal Strength is also weaker on the newer device (29 vs. 45 on the 3GS).
Are you in the process of choosing between a 3GS and iPhone 4? Has this influenced your buying decision? Let us know in the comments.
Via: TUAW (links embededed)
Through all this, I keep wondering when Apple will finally address this in a serious way. They canâ€™t ignore it forever. After all, itâ€™s one thing to disappoint the tech geek audience; itâ€™s quite another when the core customer is the typical consumer, and national coverage of the phone’s glitches pops up on programs like NBCâ€™s Today Show. That canâ€™t possibly be a good thing.
Cupertino â€” if you tick off Meredith Vieira and her army of “mom” followers, there may be no recovering from that. You’ve been warned.
Thumbnail image via Gizmodo