N1 Sensitivity/Dropped Calls Issue -- Am I Alone?

This is a discussion on N1 Sensitivity/Dropped Calls Issue -- Am I Alone? within the Nexus One forums, part of the Google Phones category; With all the ruckus about the antenna issue, I would like to speak of something similar with the N1 and see if anyone else has ...

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Thread: N1 Sensitivity/Dropped Calls Issue -- Am I Alone?

  1. #1
    Junior Member autotraveler's Avatar
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    N1 Sensitivity/Dropped Calls Issue -- Am I Alone?

    With all the ruckus about the antenna issue, I would like to speak of something similar with the N1 and see if anyone else has experienced anything similar.

    As one of the first-day buyers of the N1 (I'm more of an early adopter rather than a tech head) and the first in my area (South Riverside County, California) to get my device, I immediately noticed more dropped calls and more dead zones than my previous T-Mobile Wing. Specifically a known dead zone between McCall and Newport Blvds. on I-215 got "bigger" meaning the call deterioration started sooner and lasted longer, than with the Wing. Now I realize that overall T-Mobile coverage isn't the best, but this issue is annoying.

    To make a long story short, the screen on my N1 cracked, apparently while charging, and after battling with HTC for over a week on having it covered under warranty (it wasn't) I paid the $283 to end the hostage crisis. When I got the phone back I needed to call Google for some follow-up advice. I had a great tech -- she's from the engineering side and knew the N1 inside and out -- and I explained the above scenario to her.

    She explained that the antenna in the N1 wasn't tuned/optimized for the T-Mobile system/frequencies; that's why I was experiencing more dropped calls and poor signal reception than my Wing. At the time I thought this to be suspect, but now with all the bad publicity on the iPhone 4 antenna issues, maybe it's time that we N1 owners see if we have any legal standing for a class action lawsuit.

    Initially, the N1 was only sold by Google, and the preferred carrier of choice was T-Mobile. For locked phones, as opposed to unlocked phones, why wasn't the antenna on the N1 optimized for T-Mobile?

    My question is this. Are there any other N1 users reading this experiencing poorer reception, call/signal quality on the N1 as compared to their previous phone, if both are used on the T-Mobile system in the same area? If the antenna should be optimized/tweaked, why wasn't this done when my phone went in for its screen replacement?

    Quite honestly after getting stuck with a $283 bill for what should have been a warranty repair (the whole situation is documented here), I would like nothing more than to hold HTC's feet to the fire on this issue. Is it their fault, T-Mobile's fault, Google's fault or a combination of all three, and who should make it right?

    Anyone care to comment?

    Richard Truesdell
    Editorial Director, automotivetraveler.com

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  3. #2
    Senior Member keyplyr's Avatar
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    Sorry for your problems, but I'm getting fantastic connectivity on my N1 using T-Mobile in San Diego; absolutely the best! Strong 3G connections and never a dropped call.

    My GF lives in Riverside and I've always had great service any time I'm there, including the areas you mentioned. As for the antenna "not tuned for T-Mo" I think that's BS.

    Just my experience/opinion.



  4. #3
    Android Addict alphawave7's Avatar
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    The broken screen and reception are two entirely different issues. The tech telling you the antenna is not optimised for TMO is hearsay, and I believe inaccurate (calls/reception is identical to my G1, for instance). The iPhone4 issues highlight the fact the FCC and designers are now focused on placing the antenna at the phone's base, rather than the top, where the supposed potential radiation 'risk' would be greatest. This results in reduced reception by the placement of the hand, as could be expected. I would continue to exercise my warranty rights, within reason, before demanding a redress, which I believe is limited to a full refund, and with a documented case history of HTC unable to provide you with the hardware you expected to be able to use, I don't see why they would not simply refund you the cost of the phone to close the matter, or file a small claims suit, with the hope to collect (good luck!). I seriously doubt there is enough evidence to warrant a class action suit, but I'm sure there are enough hungry attorneys who would sign on for a payday, but it won't be a victory for consumers even if successful. Warts and all, these devices largely perform as expected, and in my case, the N1 has been one of the best widgets I've purchased in a very long time. Sorry it isn't working out for you. :|

  5. #4
    Junior Member autotraveler's Avatar
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    Alphawave7, of course I know the two issues are unrelated.

    But I don't agree with you in dismissing the Google tech's claim that it is heresay. Just tonight, driving through an area where I NEVER experienced a dropped call on my Wing, I dropped the call (zero bars signal strength).

    For s***s and giggles and went back three timnes and experienced a dropped call twice and very poor quality the third time. This prompted me to drive home -- it was just seven minutes away -- get my Wing, insert my SIM card and duplicate the issue. While the Wing experienced poor voice quality, it maintained the call four out of four times.

    I believe that based on my own personal experience there's more than a 50/50 chance that my N1, in its current configuration, is less sensitive than my Wing. I will call T-Mobile, HTC, and Google tomorrow to see if there is a sensitivity difference between the two devices.

    I am not an RF engineer but I do know a dropped call when I experience one and clearly, based on my experience, the call quality on my N1 is substandard when measured against the Wing, and has been so from the day I first received it.

    Richard Truesdell
    Editor, automotivetraveler.com

  6. #5
    Junior Member funbunzsf's Avatar
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    I'm on T-Mobile in San Francisco. I have two phones with separate phone numbers. I've posted my gripes ad nauseam regarding the stark difference in call quality between the two phones.

    The RAZR V8 runs circles around the N1. Tmo cell tower is three blocks away, yet half my house is in a dead zone for the N1. That said, I'm hooked on the N1 and refuse to give it up. Alphawave7 is in the city experiencing no problems so i guess i'll have to send mine in for repairs.

  7. #6
    Android Addict alphawave7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by autotraveler View Post
    Alphawave7, of course I know the two issues are unrelated.

    But I don't agree with you in dismissing the Google tech's claim that it is heresay. Just tonight, driving through an area where I NEVER experienced a dropped call on my Wing, I dropped the call (zero bars signal strength).

    For s***s and giggles and went back three timnes and experienced a dropped call twice and very poor quality the third time. This prompted me to drive home -- it was just seven minutes away -- get my Wing, insert my SIM card and duplicate the issue. While the Wing experienced poor voice quality, it maintained the call four out of four times.

    I believe that based on my own personal experience there's more than a 50/50 chance that my N1, in its current configuration, is less sensitive than my Wing. I will call T-Mobile, HTC, and Google tomorrow to see if there is a sensitivity difference between the two devices.

    I am not an RF engineer but I do know a dropped call when I experience one and clearly, based on my experience, the call quality on my N1 is substandard when measured against the Wing, and has been so from the day I first received it.

    Richard Truesdell
    Editor, automotivetraveler.com
    I have absolutely no doubt cell reception is different among different phones (Wing is thick, has external antenna jack-Motorola RAZR well known for good rsl strength), which is why I mentioned in my second sentence that thinner, sexier phones will have drawbacks with the move to push these smaller antennae to the bottom of the phone. Funbunz, there are plenty of places I get dropped calls: random in FiDi, Marina, Waterfront with Telegraph blocking tower are the worst. My G1 dropped in those locales, and I would not be surprised if your RAZR did NOT drop in those places...different phone/different antenna configuration.

  8. #7
    Junior Member yakky's Avatar
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    As a wing owner, you know HTC's quality. HTC can't make a phone without having some sort of technical issue (wing has TERRIBLE bluetooth). I've had 5 HTC phones to date, after the last one I SWORE I wouldn't get another, well I fell for the N1.

    I too have issues with call quality, even more frustration than normal drops, mine seems to drop calls when I try to answer them. I also have constant data issues, 4 bars and the phone can't push a signal out of a building, so whatever app just sits and retries forever.

    While I love the UI and the form factor, I'm trying out a BB9700 right now because of the above issues.

  9. #8
    Junior Member jalam1001's Avatar
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    You are not alone I have the same problems

    Quote Originally Posted by autotraveler View Post
    With all the ruckus about the antenna issue, I would like to speak of something similar with the N1 and see if anyone else has experienced anything similar.

    As one of the first-day buyers of the N1 (I'm more of an early adopter rather than a tech head) and the first in my area (South Riverside County, California) to get my device, I immediately noticed more dropped calls and more dead zones than my previous T-Mobile Wing. Specifically a known dead zone between McCall and Newport Blvds. on I-215 got "bigger" meaning the call deterioration started sooner and lasted longer, than with the Wing. Now I realize that overall T-Mobile coverage isn't the best, but this issue is annoying.

    To make a long story short, the screen on my N1 cracked, apparently while charging, and after battling with HTC for over a week on having it covered under warranty (it wasn't) I paid the $283 to end the hostage crisis. When I got the phone back I needed to call Google for some follow-up advice. I had a great tech -- she's from the engineering side and knew the N1 inside and out -- and I explained the above scenario to her.

    She explained that the antenna in the N1 wasn't tuned/optimized for the T-Mobile system/frequencies; that's why I was experiencing more dropped calls and poor signal reception than my Wing. At the time I thought this to be suspect, but now with all the bad publicity on the iPhone 4 antenna issues, maybe it's time that we N1 owners see if we have any legal standing for a class action lawsuit.

    Initially, the N1 was only sold by Google, and the preferred carrier of choice was T-Mobile. For locked phones, as opposed to unlocked phones, why wasn't the antenna on the N1 optimized for T-Mobile?

    My question is this. Are there any other N1 users reading this experiencing poorer reception, call/signal quality on the N1 as compared to their previous phone, if both are used on the T-Mobile system in the same area? If the antenna should be optimized/tweaked, why wasn't this done when my phone went in for its screen replacement?

    Quite honestly after getting stuck with a $283 bill for what should have been a warranty repair (the whole situation is documented here), I would like nothing more than to hold HTC's feet to the fire on this issue. Is it their fault, T-Mobile's fault, Google's fault or a combination of all three, and who should make it right?

    Anyone care to comment?

    Richard Truesdell
    Editorial Director, automotivetraveler.com
    I have a Nexus One and have 3G reception problems. Nexus one constantly losing signal and drops to edge network. My carrier is T-mobile and their coverage is not that great even though they claim that it is all 3G all around me. I have used speedtest.net app to check the network speed in different part of town.

    The real issue I have with Nexus one is that it drops calls and has poor call quality when compared with my seven year old Symbian based Nokia Phone that worked just fine for voice calls at the same carrier that is T-mobile.

    I am convinced that Google Nexus one has a poor radio in it that works fine with good wireless signal strength but had trouble working in weak signal environment of T-mobile that I am dealing with in my coverage area.

    I am disappointed in both Google and the carrier T-mobile and I am looking hard for the alternatives any suggestions?

  10. #9
    Junior Member spectre51's Avatar
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    I made a video to show to a friend just to show that the antenna issue wasn't specific to the iphone

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeJzxSjEOSY&sns=em]YouTube - Nexus One "death grip" signal loss[/ame]

    Hasn't really caused a problem for me yet but it does happen.

  11. #10
    Senior Member keyplyr's Avatar
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    A couple years ago the media screamed that cell phone users were going to get brain tumors from the radio transmission waves, i.e. radiation. This hyperbole became so rampant that a new prophylactic industry developed to block the harmful effects, a scam IMO.

    One of the great things today's technology does is to morph itself to the needs of the user. So the antenna got moved to the bottom of most new phones - but no one ever thought to re-educate the users on how to hold these new phones.

    People now need to hold mobile phones differently. No longer can you wrap your entire hand around the bottom of the phone. It needs to be held from the sides, allowing the antenna on the bottom to be unobstructed.

    I usually have my phone either in my pocket or in a holder in my car while driving, using the phone almost exclusively through my bluetooth headset. I have had absolutely no problems with dropped calls or any other connectivity issues.

    Sorry about the problems some members are having.


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