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Old 15th December 2009, 14:49   #1
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Default Cellphone - signal strength capture capability.

Now days we are flooded with all sorts of cellphones with different scales of functionalities, which makes a buying decision quite cumbersome.

Now I have observed that the higher level of functions available, the basic function of a cellphone is getting obfuscated in the process. No review ( on different websites ) talks about the phone's capability of picking up carrier signals. I feel this is the most important requirement in our Indian scene as most operators are cutting costs by poor maintainance of their cell towers !!

Actually I will gladly go in for a phone which would boast off picking up the weakest of signals and provide a higher rate of successful calls.

Would like to hear informed views of members on this subject.
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Old 16th December 2009, 10:33   #2
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Emkay,

You've taken the words right out of my mouth. To me, a phone is a phone. Calls & SMS are the primary functions, and ones that it should do best. Unfortunately, most new phones today (and reviews of the same) only talk about the mega pixel of the camera, music player, email compatibility etc. etc. As you posted, no mention of call clarity or network catching capability.

- Could be that these basic factors are taken for granted now?

- Even as a "simple phone" purist, I bought myself an N86 recently . For the record, it does grab onto the network really well and battery life is superb. Will put up a review in the mobile phones thread after a couple of weeks of usage.

- If you're looking for a simple high quality phone that does the job, the Nokia 6700 is your best friend.

Last edited by GTO : 16th December 2009 at 10:34.
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Old 16th December 2009, 10:50   #3
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The basic phones,especially from Nokia are the best bet for this.
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Old 16th December 2009, 11:46   #4
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@GTO Thanks for the feedback. I too felt Nokia must be the leader on the basic functionalities of the phone. I would look up the 6700 though I am contemplating going in for the E63 which seems to have broken the 10K barrier.
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Old 16th December 2009, 11:53   #5
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Nokia's basic talk and text phones are the best when it comes to signal strength and battery backup. Reason could be that these basic phones are designed keeping in mind that these would be used mostly in remote areas where signal strength is not great and electricity is not readily available 24 hrs.

As far as reviews are concerned, you could check out the mobile phone reviews at GSMArena.com - GSM phone reviews, news, opinions, votes, manuals and more...

This site provides detailed and unbiased expert reviews of all mobile phone models. The expert reviews are generally composed of several sections, including a section on basic telephony, where they clearly mention the voice quality at both ends of the call. They also comment on the battery backup of the handset being reviewed.

Last, but not the least, there is a forum corresponding to each phone where users can provide feedbacks and ask queries.

GSM Arena is basically Team-BHP's equivalent in the world of mobile phones.

Rohan,
Bangalore
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Old 16th December 2009, 16:13   #6
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My Phone usage except one or two (Sony Erricson and Samsung) rest all are Nokias.3310,3315,5610,6300.N82,N73,E61.E75. All were good in their level. One thing is that if you are in need of GPRS etc a must please wait for some time for the purchase of New launch that too if you are BSNL user.I bought E75 but I had 6to wait for BSNL to update the settings for months. Except that problem I am quite happy with NOKIA all range models.
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Old 16th December 2009, 20:43   #7
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You have broughtout one of the most important aspect of mobile phone into the discussion.

In my view following are the key features of any phones

1. RF Sensitivity : How well the phone captures the signal and gets/stays locked to the network. Depends on how good is the RF Transciever, Antenna & RF design, Software tuning, network design and settings, positions of the base stations, ability of the receiver to cancel multipath received signals etc. there are chips available today which deliver >8 dB margins over the specifications.

2. Power Consumption : least the better, depends on the chipset and optimization of the software. decides the standby time and talk time of the phone. Talk time also depends on how good the reception is becasue, if signal is week, the phone increases the power level to keep searching for the signal and hence drains the batter. Good phones deliver longer talk time and standby time even with smaller sized battery (say 800-1000mAh) where as inefficient phones use 1800-2000 mAh battery to deliver similar talk time/standby times.

3. Voice Clarity: How good and clear the received voice call is !

Depends on the chipset, acoustic design and the software based improvements. Ambient Noise cancellation would improve the voice clarity could be done both in hardware and software.


In my view, Nokia and Samsung Phones offer better performance w.r.t these aspects.
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Old 17th December 2009, 06:05   #8
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One thing most of the users forget that mobiles phone technology is not what it used to be. Qualcomm has changed everything and i literally mean EVERYTHING in the mobile segment. They own majority of the patents for 3G, 3g-EVDO, WCDMA and GPS (GPSone). Then comes Nokia, rest of the patents are owned by Nokia. Some are own by Broadcom. These patents go to such extends that some of Qualcomm's patents are in dispute of Broadcom and as such these microchips (or Cellular engines) are not allowed to be importent into USA, Canada, Uk, Australia, etc.

What does that mean and how does it translate for other manufacturers. Well Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, etc, etc, etc need to pay to NOKIA and Qualcomm before they even send the phone to FCC for testing. That means Samsung, Motorola, Sony Ericsson has already paid for profit share even though a single phone has not been sold yet. As such more features the phone has, more patents need to be paid for and it costs users more. Add to this Qualcomm + Broadcom forces everyone to buy the microchips made by them and not disclose the actual circuit diagrams. This way they can make double the cash, profit in selling microchips and revenues for patents. Nokia atleast lets other use the design themselves.

All this babble, translates that doesn't matter what phone you get, in the end chances are its using the same microchip with similar antenna design. A company can only and only alter the antenna design so much.

I encourage everyone to read on Qualcomm, Broadcom, Globalstar, Iridium satellite constellation and Nokia vs Apple disputes. Also don't forget Reliance vs Qualcomm dispute in 2006.


Overall Voice quality and BER of Samsung phones blow away anything and everything including Nokia. But Samsung has always been and are lacking in user interface and few other components.

If you are willing to do some hacking and compromise on other features, original Motorola V3 blows everything away. Seam + firmware hacks can increase your signal strentgh upto 200%, well above FCC's limits.

Cheers
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Old 17th December 2009, 14:45   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by it_inspector View Post
All this babble, translates that doesn't matter what phone you get, in the end chances are its using the same microchip with similar antenna design. A company can only and only alter the antenna design so much.

I encourage everyone to read on Qualcomm, Broadcom, Globalstar, Iridium satellite constellation and Nokia vs Apple disputes. Also don't forget Reliance vs Qualcomm dispute in 2006.


Overall Voice quality and BER of Samsung phones blow away anything and everything including Nokia. But Samsung has always been and are lacking in user interface and few other components.
Thanks for those details. Infact today was just comparing Samsung Omnia B7320 (very attractively priced now around Rs 11.5 to 12 K) and E71. One of the feedbacks mentioned 7320 struggling to keep the call seamless while shifting between the operators BTS s. Think it could be a one-off case.
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Old 17th December 2009, 17:36   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by it_inspector View Post
One thing most of the users forget that mobiles phone technology is not what it used to be. Qualcomm has changed everything and i literally mean EVERYTHING in the mobile segment. They own majority of the patents for 3G, 3g-EVDO, WCDMA and GPS (GPSone). Then comes Nokia, rest of the patents are owned by Nokia. Some are own by Broadcom. These patents go to such extends that some of Qualcomm's patents are in dispute of Broadcom and as such these microchips (or Cellular engines) are not allowed to be importent into USA, Canada, Uk, Australia, etc.
Most of these stories are perceptions
There are >70-80 companies who hold intellectual property rights for Mobile Telephony, They include Motorola, Nokia, Philips, Siemens, Alcatel, Lucent, AT&T, Do-Co-Mo, Sony, Ericsson, Qualcomm, Huawei, Inter Digital, Broadcom etc etc.

Qualcomm has only CDMA, W-CDMA and wimax IPs, Qualcomm does not hold 2G (GSM, GPRS, EDGE) or 3G (HSDPA/HSUPA, HSPA Evo) and 4G (LTE etc) . Mobile/Wireless domain has many other aspects viz. Voice, Data, Multimedia, User experience, Camera, etc. These IPRs are devided into two categories those considered Enssential for making a phone and then other IPRs which enhance the performance and features.

Qualcomm is said to have only about 20% of essential IPRs, Ericsson , Nokia etc control remaining 80%.

We as consumers should not worry much about these legal battles, our focus should be on how we can benefit from the devices that are launched and how we can better our life in general.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 17th December 2009 at 17:38.
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Old 17th December 2009, 17:58   #11
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I agree that GSMArena.com is a great site to see the review of amobile phone. Its from this site that I was inspired to go for a E71. I always trust Nokia mobiles (higher end or the lower end) for their signal strength and the keypad layout.

Quote:
Originally Posted by navan49 View Post
My Phone usage except one or two (Sony Erricson and Samsung) rest all are Nokias.3310,3315,5610,6300.N82,N73,E61.E75. All were good in their level. One thing is that if you are in need of GPRS etc a must please wait for some time for the purchase of New launch that too if you are BSNL user.I bought E75 but I had 6to wait for BSNL to update the settings for months. Except that problem I am quite happy with NOKIA all range models.
A little OT here,
Navan Sir, for BSNL GPRS issue you dont have to wait for them to send you a updated setting. If you are in and around adyar, besant nagar or thiruvanmiyur, you can walk in to Mandeiveli Customer care located at the ground floor of the BSNL exchange. They will manually configure your mobile for the GPRS setting. Hope this helps.
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Old 18th December 2009, 00:17   #12
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Hi Elantra,

I did went to mandaveli and Guindy. Till a month back it could not be done. One madam gave the Post paid and prepaid manual and told me to do by myself. mmmmm No. I too did not give up. Finally I did go to Guindy CCC. There the CRO (Customer relation Officer) tried the same way. Then both of us put our brains together and I deleted all the previous settings. Then he sent new settings. After that also it did not come. I told how about switch off and switch on. In his reply he told to try. Finally it did work after 8 months of purchase. Really that officer CRO, just behind the inquiry counter had lots of patience and listened my please and did the job, Real Customer Relation Officer.

Last edited by navan49 : 18th December 2009 at 00:18.
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