Does the HD7 have a death-grip antenna issue like the iPhone? [Video]

In a new video on YouTube, it's alleged (and seemingly demonstrated) that the HD7 suffers from an antenna/reception issue similar to the Apple iPhone 4--namely if you grip it a certain way, it has a noticeable effect on the reception, up to the point where calls and data are dropped. This so-called "death grip" problem dubbed antenna-gate by many is related to having the antenna near the bottom of the phone, which is a design choice to keep the antenna (and radiation) away from the head.

At first, we were skeptical of the evidence found in the video, noting that in general, T-Mobile's coverage and reception is worse than AT&T and to put it bluntly, the HD7's overall signal reception was not the best to begin with. In turn, we tried to duplicate the situation numerous times and in the video above, you'll see our results which came as a surprise. In short, the HD7 does appear to have a death-grip problem--even to the point where data can be held up.

By way of comparison (not in the video though) the Samsug Focus seems to be just fine.  Combined with the "pink camera" issue, the HD7 to looks have a few notches against it. Feel free to chime in with your experiences in comments! See the original YouTube video after the break.

Source: YouTube, via: Geekword; Thanks, Muhammad A., for the tip


Reader comments

Does the HD7 have a death-grip antenna issue like the iPhone? [Video]


Bit of a misleading title: the HD7 couldn't have a antenna issue like the iPhone's. The iPhone's antenna issue was due to what could only be characterized as a design flaw in the way the antenna was integrated into the case. User's "grounded" the antenna by placing fingers over gaps along the case edge. The problem was fixed by putting a barrier between the case and fingers, i.e., bumpers.

By contrast HD7 uses a traditional internal antenna approach, which suffers like all cell phones, from orientation variability and intervening objects between transmitter and receiver. With no specific root cause like that of the iPhone's identified in the video, lack of a controlled environment, and insufficient sample size, I wouldn't draw any conclusion just yet.

As for the HD7's magenta bias (it's not "pink"), as I stated before, all electronic image sensors suffer from pixel-to-pixel intensity and chromatic sensitivity variability. Generally the higher the quality (and cost), the lower the variability, but no sensor is perfect. Manufactures adjust for sensor defects in hardware by adjusting the bias and by including masks in firmware. User's can create their own sensor profiles and masks to be used on-camera or in their favorite image manipulation program. It looks like HTC once again forget to include or incorrectly applied a mask for the HD7's camera sensor, something that is easily fixed in a ROM update or hot-fix.

I've always said about HTC: they get it 95% right 100% of the time.

All I'm saying is the Samsung Focus nor HTC Mozart have any such issue or restrictions on grip. Plus, in general, the HD7 gets poor reception as reported by others e.g. XDA. What you fail to mention about the HD7's magenta issue is that the Euro release does not have the problem, yet the U.S. release does. They have different firmware meaning this is most likely a software calibration issue. Furthermore, the same problem was evidenced by the HD2 and was eventually fixed by a software update. Either way, it's obvious and should have been caught in quality testing.

I just tried doing that with my unlocked HD7 with Cincinnati Bell and my bars didnt change at all... id say ditch t-mobile and problem solved.

I noticed morse code-type interference mostly at 2:50 I have had this with earlier (8525) phones but not since, the TP/FUZE and up has been ok. Maybe these are just growing pains...?

i'd have expected better journalism from this site TBH.

As taiban said it's impossible for this to be the same as the iphone4 death-grip problem becuase of the basic design of the device.

You're getting hooked on technicalities. Here's the thing, consumers don't care about what the technical reason is for that crappy reception on the T-Mo HD7 or why holding it a certain way kills the data connection and drops calls (as clearly demonstrated)--they just know that it does and this is very similar to the iPhone problem.