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Friday, May 24, 2024

Consumer Reports reignites ‘Antennagate,’ cites Apple’s Verizon iPhone 4 issues


Renewing an issue that just does not seem to want to die, Consumer Reports says Apple’s Verizon iPhone 4 suffers from the same “death grip” antenna issues as the original device, released last summer amid widespread controversy.

The Verizon iPhone 4 has a problem that could cause the phone to drop calls, or be unable to place calls, in weak signal conditions, Consumer Reports engineers have found in lab tests.

The “death grip” occurs when users hold the iPhone in a way that covers the antenna band, located on the bottom of the left side of the phone. As with the AT&T version of the iPhone 4, any case (or cottage industry “band-aid” product) would alleviate the problem, which is caused by the conductivity of human skin interfering with the cell phone signal.

Consumer Reports tested the new Verizon iPhone 4, along with several other popular Verizon smartphones.

The special tests were all carried out in the controlled environment of CU’s radio-frequency isolation chamber at our National Research and Testing Center in Yonkers, NY. In this room, which blocks interference from outside signals, our test engineers mounted each phone on a stand and established a continuous signal connection to our base-station emulator, a device that simulates the signals phones receive in the field. We then placed a finger to each phone in a range of locations around its edge, and monitored any changes to the phone’s performance at each position.

The tests conclude that the iPhone was the only phone affected by placing a finger around the outer band of the phone.

Again, Consumer Reports has not included the Verizon iPhone in its list of recommended smartphones for its subscribers, despite the fact that it outperformed most other smartphones in nearly every other category.

Is Consumer Reports right to not include Apple’s Verizon iPhone 4 in its recommended smartphones? Let me know what you think in the comments!

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