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Death-grip plagues all cellphones, cases do not help much either

Posted: , by Nick T.

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Death-grip plagues all cellphones, cases do not help much either
Apple's iPhone 4 became notorious for its poor reception issues, which were immediately linked to the antenna of the device. Popularly known as the death-grip phenomenon, the smartphone would suffer a dramatic loss in signal when being held in a specific way, something we have already thoroughly explained. The case sparked a study, conducted by the University of Bristol, which investigates the issue only to conclude that the iPhone 4 is not the only device being affected by the death-grip.

The claim is in unison with Apple's statement that poor reception may be experienced on all smartphones if mishandled, not only on the iPhone 4. Experimenting with numerous devices led the researches to believe that all antennas are greatly affected when being obstructed by the user's hand or by a material with similar conductive properties. When physical contact is present, the user's fingers act as a conductor and render the antenna out of tune with the internal circuitry of the cellphone resulting in “a 100-fold reduction in sensitivity of the device.”

Further research showed that adding an insulating medium, such as a case, for example, didn't necessarily bring the signal to its appropriate levels. The only reasonable solution to the problem lies in the hands of manufacturers. Luckily for them, they seem to have control over how likely it may be for signal to be reduced by properly positioning the antennas on their devices.

source: Bristol University via Electronista

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posted on 02 Mar 2011, 07:45 3

1. dan_md (Posts: 66; Member since: 19 Oct 2010)


Researched or not, the "death grip" shows the faulty engineering of Apple iPhone 4. Sure, decrease in signal can be replicated by 1) handling them in an unnatural way, for example 2) but they do not result in dropped calls.

Hence, while decrease in signal may occur, two important points should be remembered: 1) this shouldn't occur while a phone is held in a "natural" way. hence, aerials should be placed in a specific area
2) regardless of contact, it should not result in dropped calls.

posted on 02 Mar 2011, 07:55 3

2. Tristan (unregistered)


The argument wasn't that other phones didnt suffer from this...it was how easily it could be produced on the iPhone 4.

It takes ONE FINGER to activate the signal lost. Also, it can be done in what is a "common" grip.

When apple attempted to showcase other phones signal problems notice how they weirdly held those phones.

posted on 02 Mar 2011, 08:51 2

3. Darren (unregistered)


My Verizon Iphone 4 hasn't dropped a call since I got it February 7th (almost a month) and 1,645 minutes of calls later) If I cover it up really unnaturally I can
get one bar to go down. My Droid X did the same thing. 1 bar. Maybe ATT's still has issues but this is so not a VZW CDMA Iphone issue. I don't use a case either.

posted on 02 Mar 2011, 09:02 3

4. AlternateCreativity (Posts: 11; Member since: 02 Mar 2011)


Honestly, i have an iphone 4 and i get dropped calls all the time and when "antennagate" started Apple was soo lazy and had to say that all smartphones loose signal, just a way to make apple less responsible for their own poor decision. Of all the phones and iphones ive had none dropped calls like this iphone 4, hence why im getting rid of it, had enough. Apple has become all hype and no substance.

posted on 02 Mar 2011, 09:28 2

5. b (unregistered)


Maybe it is a problem that affects every phone out there to some small degree but the iphone 4 is atrocious for it. I'm plagued with complaining customers returning their iphone 4s in my store over constant dropping calls its quite unbelievable how apple has got away with this

posted on 02 Mar 2011, 12:35 2

6. chorr1001 (Posts: 26; Member since: 02 Mar 2011)


Agreed. While all phones may suffer signal attenuation to some degree, Apple was the first one called out for it. And rightfully so considering how bad the problem really is. I'm no conspiracy theorist but it kinda feels like the U of B research department may have been on Apples payroll for this one.

posted on 02 Mar 2011, 22:32 1

9. corps1089 (Posts: 492; Member since: 20 Jan 2010)


Especially since the true issue with the ip4 is not deathgrip but the antennae bridging that Tristan pointed out can occur in a common grip or with one finger.

Why bother researching Deathgrip when no one cares since it is not relevant? Well, because you want to clear Apples name, that's why!

posted on 02 Mar 2011, 13:18 1

7. LionStone (Posts: 465; Member since: 10 Dec 2010)


A friend of mine said that he hasn't had any problems with his ip4 (at&t) since it came out, but now lately it has been giving problems...

posted on 02 Mar 2011, 14:41 4

8. AudibleNarcotic (unregistered)


I like the fact that some fanboy decided to go through this post and thumbs down anyone who had anything negative to say about the iPhone4 even if it was actually a legitimate comment. Well played... I am eagerly awaiting a thumbs down of my own.

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