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jntdroid
What's DOS?
Posts: 260
Registered: ‎06-03-2011
Location: United States
Views: 834
Message 1 of 31

4G to 3G and back...


I'm adding myself to the list of people with this "issue".  I say "issue" in quotes, because the most important thing is that I never drop data, so I don't want to sound like I'm complaining too much here.  I have read of others that do lose data, but I don't.  That said, if I'm doing something while on 4G and it switches to 3G, sometimes what I'm doing will continue, and sometimes it won't - i.e. sometimes it cuts it off on the switch, and other times it doesn't - this could be dependent on the app as much as anything else, though.  



I'd also like to say that this is SO much better than it used to be - where switching back and forth meant you were dead in the water until you toggled airplane mode, rebooted, whatever.  But the fact of the matter is I bought this phone for 4G - if I wanted 3G only, I would've stuck with a device that doesn't deal with eHRPD at all, and stays on good ol' "normal" evdo.  The other fact of the matter is that I've had almost every LTE device on Verizon, and while the M does a great job of maintaining a data connection, I've had others that hold onto (and utilize, as opposed to showing 4G while not really having a good connection at all!) 4G much better.  



I'm not talking indoors either.  I attached a screenshot of where I live and work, and as you can see it's a solid LTE area.  My house is literally within 100 to 150 yards of a tower.  I've never dropped 4G at my house... I take that back, I did on a previous M, but it appeared to be a lemon from the start.  As soon as it saw the 4G icon, data would disappear for a second, then it would come back.  But my latest M has been perfect at home.  



When comparing dbm's to my other devices (Inc 4G and Razr Maxx), at home they're not too far off.  The Inc 4G ranges from the upper 60s to mid 70s.  The Razr Maxx, never gets down in the 60s, but stays below 80 most of the time.  The M, on the other hand, rarely gets below 80, but typically stays in the low to mid 80s.  Now, that's not a big deal obviously.  But there are two things to keep in mind - #1, I'm right next to a tower, and #2, I'm not holding the phones while they're doing that.  



If I pick up the M in a normal fashion with my left hand (with a case on), it jumps up to the lower 90s.  If I pick it up without a case on, it's upper 90s to low 100s - again, right next to a tower.  If I pick up the Inc 4G in the same fashion without a case (don't have one), very little change - maybe a 5-7 dbm increase on average.  I can't comment on the Maxx b/c I don't have it any more - the dbm's I quoted were from about a week ago, though, and should be accurate based on what I saw on a Maxx in the Verizon store nearby.  I believe the difference between the M and Inc 4G is likely due to antenna location, b/c if I try really hard and hold the Inc 4G in some funny ways, I can make dbm's bump up to the upper 90s and low 100s, but it takes some serious effort.  



The M is packed so wonderfully tight, some attenuation is not a surprise, and to be expected with that casing.  When I compare attenuation on 3G only, to my wife's iPhone 4S, they're very similar - but on 3G it doesn't drop down to 1x.  



The problem, in my humble and layman's ignorant opinion, is the software is causing it to drop to 3G too quickly - whether dbm's play a role in that or not, I'm not smart enough to say.  The phone's holding onto data in general just fine - rather well actually - but just seems to "give up" on 4G too quickly.  My Inc 4G and Maxx would hold onto a usable 4G connection with dbm's in the 105+ range in areas where the M typically drops down (which, as you can see on the map, there aren't many areas that should do that).  



If I'm even remotely correct, I could see how this could actually be viewed as a benefit and battery saver in areas where 4G/LTE is weaker, b/c the phone won't try as hard to connect to 4G when it's somewhat futile.  



I apologize that this turned out so long... I kept thinking, "Well, I need to explain this now...  now this needs to be explained..." etc... Smiley Happy

Moto Sr Moderator
Moto Sr Moderator
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Message 2 of 31

Re: 4G to 3G and back...


Don't apologize for the length of your post.  The more details provided the easier it is for others to get a handle on what you are going through Smiley Happy

Comment in the spirit of COMMUNITY: "Share experiences / expertise, engage in the discussions, and offer advice and suggestions."
Meinrad
What's DOS?
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎10-03-2012
Location: United States
Views: 834
Message 3 of 31

Re: 4G to 3G and back...


I'm with you.  The signal drop when holding the phone is unacceptable.  I'm considering returning mine.  Maybe we just got bad ones, I don't know. But this isn't just 4g/3g it's wifi also.  I can sit my phone on a table, have a full wifi signal and when I pick it up the singal drops to nothing and I get a wifi available mesage do you want to connect.  Put the phone down and the singal goes back to full again.  On 4g it will go from full signal to 2 bars.  It's a 10-15db gain, not good at all.  



If wifi didn't drop completely I probably wouldn't have even noticed the issue.  But it's very aggrevating constantly dropping wifi when you are sitting right next to the router.  



 



Razr M



BB - Verizon

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Administrator
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Message 4 of 31

Re: 4G to 3G and back...



Meinrad said:


I'm with you.  The signal drop when holding the phone is unacceptable.  I'm considering returning mine.  Maybe we just got bad ones, I don't know. But this isn't just 4g/3g it's wifi also.  I can sit my phone on a table, have a full wifi signal and when I pick it up the singal drops to nothing and I get a wifi available mesage do you want to connect.  Put the phone down and the singal goes back to full again.  On 4g it will go from full signal to 2 bars.  It's a 10-15db gain, not good at all.  



If wifi didn't drop completely I probably wouldn't have even noticed the issue.  But it's very aggrevating constantly dropping wifi when you are sitting right next to the router.  



 



Razr M



BB - Verizon


View original




Have not seen many comments about dropping Wi-Fi. Don't want to hijack this thread, but what is happening?

Please do not PM me - if you have issues, search the forums for threads on your topic and post there, or start a new thread. Thanks!
jntdroid
What's DOS?
Posts: 260
Registered: ‎06-03-2011
Location: United States
Views: 834
Message 5 of 31

Re: 4G to 3G and back...


I don't think you're hijacking Matt, as I think attenuation plays a part in my original post as well.



I wish I was at home to test out wifi between my two phones.  I know the other night when I was testing the cell data stuff, I popped Wifi Analyzer on both real quick to do a quick comparison and the M did have a weaker signal (around 65-70 dbm) than the Inc 4G (upper 50s).  But I didn't think to test to see if holding them made any difference.  I have a really fast home internet connection, so even if my wifi signal is degraded at all, it's still pretty snappy.  So I've never noticed it actually dropping, even in a corner of my house where some devices will struggle.  



However, I am at work, and that's a slightly different story.  We have a wifi connection here, but we're in a huge office building, so there are wifi signals floating around all over the place.  



I've attached a picture with 4 screenshots.  The top two are a comparison of just the M - left side is the phone sitting on my desk, right side is after picking it up and holding it in my left hand as I would if I was using it normally.  The bottom two are simply a comparison of both phones (Inc 4G and M) sitting on my desk. 



Again, I wish I was at home, because this isnt' the best environment to test something like this (as you can probably tell), but it'll give an idea anyway.  Oh, I'm connected to graniteprop-guest - the red one.  

Meinrad
What's DOS?
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎10-03-2012
Location: United States
Views: 834
Message 6 of 31

Re: 4G to 3G and back...


Sorry I'm late getting back, coldn't log in from my phone today.  



Anyway, it's more or less what he's showing above.  Huge drop in signal strenght when picked up.  I think the design is such that the antenna for both wifi and 4g are "weaker" to start with and the placement of them lets' a hand block the signal so much more that it actually affects the use of the phone.  



I was in a decent 4g area today(outside PNC Park, downtown Pittsburgh) adn when the phone was sitting on the table I had a 4g signal of 78dBm.  When I picked it up it went to 91dBm generally (the screenshot I took) but saw as high 99dBm.



I don't have a wifi analyzer installed, I'll try to do that tonight, but when I got home and sat my phone on the table I had a full wifi signal meter.  As soon as I picked it up it went down to the tiny nub.  It didn't now go out completely this time though.  



So for me, the 4g and wifi go hand in hand, so to speak.  I see the same behavior with both, which is a significant attenuation of signal strength when holding it in my hand.  It does seem to matter to a degree how I hold . My typical way to hold it and thumb my way around the screen causes the greatest loss in signal.  

Meinrad
What's DOS?
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎10-03-2012
Location: United States
Views: 834
Message 7 of 31

Re: 4G to 3G and back...


Just put wifi analyzer on and saw -50 when sitting on table and -65 when picked up.  When my son gets home with my old Incredible I want to do some comparisons.  

Meinrad
What's DOS?
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎10-03-2012
Location: United States
Views: 834
Message 8 of 31

Re: 4G to 3G and back...


My son came home, sat the Incredible next to the M and turned on wifi analyzer.  The M went to -50, the Incredible to -60.  Picked up the M and it went to -70, picked up the Incredible and it went to -65.  So that's a huge difference, 20dBm vs. 5dBm.  



And I guess why they tell you never to look at th bars.  When on the table the M showed 3/4 signal, the Incredible showed full signal.  but the M was 10dBm better.  

jntdroid
What's DOS?
Posts: 260
Registered: ‎06-03-2011
Location: United States
Views: 834
Message 9 of 31

Re: 4G to 3G and back...


You know this whole thing is baffling / frustrating / whatever you want to call it because this phone is so great in many other areas.  



I was at the Verizon store tonight - evidently they have a repeater or something along those lines because LTE dbm's were in the 50's on a few devices.  The M and the Inc 4G were identical - both 55-60.  Then the weird part?  Zero attenuation.  I guess having an uber-strong signal helps, but given how obvious the attenuation was before, you'd think it would at least show something.  But then there's the grocery store...



There's a grocery store near me that I frequent, and have for years.  It's always been a LTE black hole.  The past 6 months have seen great improvements, probably in the towers around the store, as most of my devices have managed to hold 4G pretty consistently in this store, over that timeframe.  



Longer story short, I was in and out of that store 3 times tonight (it's close to home... lol) within a 60 minute timeframe.  Twice with the M, once with the Inc 4G (the order was M, Inc, M).  Both times with the M, I watched as I walked into the store, the deeper I got, the dbm's jumped "up" to around -120, and 4G was dropped down to 3G, never to be seen again... well at least until I got close to home again.  However, the Inc held 4G the entire time, with dbm's never going over 112 - at least while I was watching it.  And yes, it was a 4G connection that was working.  And yes, I made sure to visit the same areas of the store.  We're not talking a Walmart Supercenter, but not a mom and pop place either.



So could it be software related?  It could... but I'm beginning to see evidence occasionally (like the store tonight) that maybe the signal strength of the antenna is just somewhat lacking.  Or maybe the antenna combined with the tight, "metal" build... combined with software... don't know.  My previous Bionic and Maxx (the Maxx more recently) were also able to hold 4G in this store, consistently.  



So who the heck knows.  I know Moto has this long-standing reputation for strong radios, but I'm wondering if that even matters any more, since there are so many factors that play into cell signals now.  I think I've mentioned this before, but I've had every LTE device since the Tbolt, except for the Droid Charge and the LG devices.  The only two devices to date that have been rock solid are the Rezound and Inc 4G. HTC figured something out with regard to handling the 3G / 4G handoff on eHRPD - and at worst they allow you to "disable" the use of eHRPD and use normal evdo, unlike any other device out there.  So I know HTC gets a bad wrap for "quality", but they sure seem to be doing a good job over the past year with regard LTE / 3G.  



/end rant



Sorry... in the process of explaining my situation tonight for informational purposes, I got off on a bit of a tangent. frown

Meinrad
What's DOS?
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎10-03-2012
Location: United States
Views: 834
Message 10 of 31

Re: 4G to 3G and back...


I truly think it's the placment of the antenna, the metal casing, the size of it, things are really packed in there.  When you are in a really strong signal nobody will notice, as it will go from really strong to strong. But fringe signals are going to be a problem.  I had decided to not get the Incredible 4g due to the sense UI. I was hoping to stay more stock Android. Also this phone with it's nano mositure coating seemed a good frit for my lifesyle, I don't like cases and I'm outdoors a lot.  



So for now, it looks like I chalk this up to a somewhat inferior performing phone but unless it really impacts my use, I'll probably hold onto it.  So far I've not had any issues using it, just annoyances of dropping a wifi signal.  And there isn't anything else out there that suits me as well as this does.  



And it is frustrating.  I must be right next to a tower at work.  No matter how I hold it I get about 73db.  But at my house I can easily range from 98-120 depending on how I'm holding the phone or not holding it.  And with wifi, it is also very directional.  Hold the phone and drop signal.  Point the phone another direction and get a singal.  I only dropped the wifi signal at work once yesterday.  I was holding the phone portrait with two hands, so apparrantly completely blocking the signal.  Switched to my right  hand and got the singal back.  Switched to the left hand and signal went down but not out.   Guess where the access point is, directly to my left.