25Feb

[PSA] Don’t Judge Cell Service by the Number of Bars You have.

For some time now I have noticed people complain that Phone a gets better service than Phone B. One would expect the user was having dropped calls, poor quality, or no Internet connectivity which leads them to believe that they suffer from poor reception. However, this is not the case at all, phone a apparently is reporting 1 less bar than phone b.

This wouldn’t be a problem, except for the fact that not every device is created equal. 3 bars on one device could easily translate to 5 bars on another. Just as 1 bar, could equal no service.

The reason for this is that not every manufacture shares the same standards for the bar system. In-fact, some aren’t even consistent across their own devices.

Example:

At this moment, I have a Samsung Droid Charge (set to CDMA only), and a Motorola Droid sitting side by side.

The Droid Charge is reporting 3 bars.

The Droid, only 1.

Given this one would think that the Charge get’s better reception than the Droid. Right? Wrong!

Let’s dig deeper into the issue.

The Droid Charge is reporting that it is connected to the Verizon, CDMA – EvDo rev 0. network, and the signal strength is -92dBm. 3 Bars.

On the other hand, the Droid is reporting that it is connected to the Verizon, CDMA – EvDo rev 0. network, and the signal strength is -89dBm. 1 Bar.

Guess what? The Droid (With one bar) is receiving a slightly better signal than the Charge (lower dBm=better signal).

Not what we were expecting huh?

A Solution:

So how do we solve this problem? Quit paying attention to “the bars.” Bars mean absolutely nothing. While not everyone is enough of a techie to check their true, scientific signal strength, I would encourage everyone to use a more accurate way to test the signal strength. Make some calls, browse the web. Let a true world test decide, not just the bars.

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