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  1. Spaz888's Avatar
    Immediately after picking up my replacement at the Apple Store last month, I noticed the bars weren't as high as they used to be at that location.

    Sure enough, at home and elsewhere over a period of a month or two I noticed the signal strength is as a whole what I think is comparatively poor compared to other devices on my network. I've missed calls every now and then, calls going into voicemail without ringing or just ringing once. I even called my phone and it never rang. Direct to voicemail.

    In terms of number of db values. At best, with LTE enabled within 400 feet from my local cell tower which it and my cellular provider are not AWS I get no better than 80-85 db. In other areas, comparing with other devices my iPhone is about 20 db worse. At home for example, on Android smartphones the reception is around 90 db but the iPhone is around 105-110 db. As soon as I enable LTE, the signal strength drops dramatically. If I disable data or just keep 3G on, db strength is fine.

    Has any one else noticed this since the iPhone came with AWS? There is some info elsewhere that others have reported same, but not everyone has this issue with the new AWS enabled iPhone 5s
    06-17-2013 12:12 AM
  2. Laelipoo's Avatar
    Just out of curiosity, try resetting the network settings. Perhaps that could help.
    06-17-2013 07:40 AM
  3. anon(4698833)'s Avatar
    It's very possible that the replacement you received is also faulty, causing these signal issues...and in the past, when people have posted these same types of threads, replacing the iPhone or doing a full restore on the phone itself corrected the issue (either from their report back or no report at all which can only leave us with the assumption that the issue was no longer present). It is not out of the realm of possibility that you could have received a 2nd bad iPhone.
    06-17-2013 07:55 AM
  4. Spaz888's Avatar
    I'm kind of leaning on it being a hardware issue primarily for this reason: Hacked AT&T carrier update could improve your device’s network performance
    However, there is no tweak for my network. I have an appointment later this week at Apple, I'll post back what happens.

    Additionally for those who are curious on what their signal strengths are with LTE/4G and no data or 3G only, here are some instructions on how to do so:

    Step 1: Dial *3001#12345#* on your iPhone then press Call.

    Step 2: You'll now enter Field Test mode. You'll notice a signal strength indicator on the upper left hand corner of your screen. You can toggle between signal strength bars and a number by simply taping on it. At this point, press the home button to exit the app or if you would like the feature to be permanent, continue on. Don't worry, the process is completely reversible.

    Step 3: Hold down on the Power button until you see the ‘slide to power off' bar. Do not power off the device.

    Step 4: Press down on the Home button until the app closes and you return to your home screen.

    That's it. Even when restarting the iPhone, the signal strength can be toggled between bars and numbers. The closer your number is to zero, the stronger your signal is.
    The lower your number, the stronger your signal—but don't include the - sign when evaluating (so, if the signal says -60, that's better than -90).

    To return to the default bars permanently, follow these steps:

    Step 1: Dial *3001#12345#* on your iPhone then press Call.

    Step 2: Press on your Home Button once.
    This trick may come in handy when you're in a dead zone and need to know where to move to for a better signal.
    Last edited by Spaz888; 06-17-2013 at 10:29 PM.
    06-17-2013 09:21 PM
  5. Spaz888's Avatar
    I came back from the Apple store today. I had a tech that you normally don't see at Apple. Very unemotional, quasi stand-offish. It looked like he may have been having a bad day or just simply didn't want to be there.

    The genius' s overall expression was like I was talking Greek to him. He had no idea about the above field test mode. I showed him a pic of the code and link to the site. I don't think he liked that I was one step ahead of him in every way. He then took my iPhone 5 into the backroom for testing. He came back after several minutes and he said it passed every test. I then asked him point blank if he disabled and enabled LTE. Like an ***** robot, he just repeated what he said earlier. My iPhone passed all the tests.

    I then asked him another question. Whether or not there were any tech bulletins on what I am experiencing. He shrugged his shoulders, paused, and said no.

    Nonetheless, his attitude and demeanour didn't give me the impression he was very competent at what he was doing. He may very well have been, but his energy and attitude didn't show it. I walked out of the store with my iPhone.

    Not to give up, I headed over to my network carrier's store in the mall. I asked if anyone who worked had the iPhone 5. One dude did. I asked him what I was experiencing. He s he has that too. He keeps his LTE off for that reason. Signal just blows. There was a customer in the store with the HTC who happened to be around when we talking about the signal strength and LTE. He said he generally gets excellent speeds on his HTC One. Us nerds then took out our pocket protectors and started running speed tests. Sure enough, he was able to get about 15 Mbps in store and I was getting about 8 Mbps. Coincidentally, the customer with the HTC One works at a location where I used to work. He said he has maxed out about 73 Mbps on his HTC One in that area. My mouth dropped. The max I could only get is 33 Mbps in the same area.

    So there you have it. You guys can experiment with the db setting and LTE if you like, but there seems to be something here which is either new or Apple hasn't found a way to fix the signal issue with the LTE. Maybe this will be remedied in the iPhone 5s?
    06-18-2013 09:32 PM

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