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antenna

Nokia has taken an opportunity to go into some detail about the Lumia 925 and its antenna improvements, utilising the aluminium to wrap around the sides of the Windows Phone. The "ring" of metal acts as part of the phone's radio system, with stripes that separate the antennas (main antenna at the bottom with two more towards the top of the device) from the other sections of metal.

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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

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As some of you may have heard, Apple held a press conference today in an attempt to get ahead of the ongoing 'antennagate' controversy surrounding the iPhone 4 (see TiPB's ongoing coverage here). Basically once Consumer Reports did their story, all heck broke loose and the usual Apple-friendly media turned a bit on Cupertino.

Although the iPhone has a clear, demonstrable antenna reception issue when held a certain way, Apple went ahead and tried to downplay the controversial design by pointing out that their competitors often suffer from the same reduced-bar problem.

Here, Steve Jobs cites the Samsung Omnia 2 on Verizon (see our full review) as having the same reception/grip issue. While not exactly the poster board Windows Mobile phone (that would easily be the Touch Pro 2 and HD2), the Omnia 2 is a decent piece of hardware, despite being pretty much forgotten by most of the world, including the WM community.

Any validity to Jobs' claim? A cursory search of various forums and sites would suggest that the Omnia 2 (both on GSM and Verizon's CDMA) is not the best of the world, but neither is it the worst. In fact, it doesn't come up even as a recurring problem or complaint. Having said that, we did find this video of the Omnia HD (i8910), which basically demonstrates the same phenomenon, lending credence to the claim by Jobs.

Bottom line: Windows Mobile and Windows Phone may suffer from such occasional hardware inconsistencies (CDMA Palm Treo Pro is just awful for reception, see this doozy of a fix), but having multiple devices for consumers to choose from, instead of just one-flagship phone, gives consumers options. If you're going to put all of your eggs into one basket, you better make sure that basket is 100% perfect or nearly so. Kudos to Apple for giving away those free cases, but we think that this problem should have never had happened in the first place. 

See Omnia HD i8910 reception video after the break.

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Review: Auto Ranger Stix by Cell Ranger

In the last decade or so, one of the biggest advances in technology has been mass availability of mobile connectivity. As the various cellular providers battle for the titles of largest and fastest networks, our dependency on these providers becomes more and more prevalent.

The downside of this mobile revolution is that this strength becomes a glaring weakness when that connectivity suddenly disappears. Very few solutions are available for those of us that spend much of our time in limbo between three bars and zero. One such product that is making a play to “Boost Your Bars” is the Auto Ranger Stix by Cell Ranger. This Intelligent Amplifier system works on all major US carriers with the exception of Sprint/Nextel.

Click on over to get the full look.

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