Carriers try to do their best to make sure that smartphone users have signal even in the most remote areas but there’s only so much they can do. According to a study carried out in Scandinavia, proves that performance of your phones depends on only on actual cellular signal but also on the model of your device. Better yet, even the way you hold your smartphone can affect the quality of your call or data service. Wondering which phone to buy to get the best signal service? Here’s the answer.
Study shows that different models of smartphones vary greatly in terms of performance when the signal is weak. Check out which phone delivers the best signal service.
Overall performance by models
The tests were carried out on 26 different models of smartphones including the most high-end devices such as the Galaxy S7 or the iPhone 6S, as well as more modest ones, including the Lumia 650, and Lumia 640.
As unbelievable as it seems, the winner turned out to be the Lumia 640 which scored the best under the LTE 800MHz band. Microsoft’s phone was closely followed by the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+, Galaxy S7 Edge and Galaxy S7, which occupied second, third and fourth places, respectively. Following places belonged to the Lumia 950, Huawei P9, and Nexus 5X. Surprisingly, not even one iPhone model made it to the first 10. The best of Apple’s phones was the iPhone SE which ranked 11th while the iPhone 6 and 6S occupied the 13th and 14th position, respectively. The iPhone 6S Plus scored the worst and was ranked 17th.
Right- and left-hand tests
The study also tested how performance is influenced by the way you hold your phone, that is in which hand, and whether you use it in hands-free mode. It looks like the HTC Desire 626 would be the best choice for users who hold the phone in right hand, while users who favor left hand might want to opt for the DORO PhoneEasy 530X. Apparently, iPhones are made with right-handed users in mind, since all four tested models occupied the bottom four spots in left-hand tests. The best in right-hand test was the iPhone 6S Plus – it ranked 12th. iPhone also didn’t perform very well in hands-free mode – all four models again scored the lowest.
The tests were carried out by measuring the Total Isotropic Sensitivity (TIS) attained in each frequency band. The TIS is a negative number measured in decibel-milliwatts or dBm. The Lumia 640 scored -93.1dBm while the iPhone 6’s result was -89.1dBm. The difference might not seem very big, but as the study explains, “with low signal strength, a 7dB reduction in TIS results in a reduction in the data-rate from, eg, 1Mbps to 0.2 Mbps” which is pretty significant.
Keep in mind, though, that the study took place in Scandinavia where signal strength tends to vary greatly between regions. Moreover, the tests were conducted using dummy heads and hands so the results may not be 100 percent accurate. Nevertheless, the conclusions are very interesting.