iPhone 4 on Verizon – Death Grip or No Death Grip?

March 3, 2011

Consumer Reports recently claimed that the iPhone 4 on Verizon has the same “death grip” issues as the iPhone 4 on AT&T plaguing consumers with dropped calls and forcing consumers to add bumpers, cases, or sticky tape to their phones to solve the issue.  With this claim, Consumer Reports issued a “don’t buy” rating on the Verizon iPhone 4.

Today CNNMoney put out an article suggesting that the Consumer Reports “testing” had no data to support their claims.  According to Brian Klug, author of AnandTech’s Report “Apple fixed the problem” and “You can use the Wireless iPhone with no case without any concern for losing signal because of how it’s held”.

According to the CNN article:

AnandTech founder Anand Shimpi criticized the Consumer Reports study for failing to provide data to support its findings. Consumer Reports spokeswoman Melissa Valentino declined to offer the group’s test results, only saying that the Verizon iPhone and the AT&T iPhone performed “similarly” in tests.

The AnandTech study, however, showed that the Verizon iPhone performed roughly on par with its non-iPhone peers — and far better than the AT&T version — in terms of cell signal attenuation (a fancy word for the reception loss experienced when your hand covers the antenna).

Verizon’s device lost 16.5 decibels of signal reception when cupped tightly in the “death grip,” compared to 24.6 dB for the AT&T iPhone 4. The average signal loss of seven other smartphones that AnandTech tested was 14.4 dB.

When held naturally, the Verizon device fared worse than non-iPhones, but it still beat the AT&T iPhone by a fairly wide margin.

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