Hands-on review: iPhone Patch

Hands-on review: iPhone Patch

Summary: The iPhone 4 isn't exactly known for good reception, but the iPhone Patch was designed with the hope of filling in the gap.

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The iPhone 4 isn't exactly known for good reception, but the iPhone Patch was designed with the hope of filling in the gap.

The concept of the iPhone Patch emerged around the whole "Antennagate" fiasco earlier this summer, and reports that holding the iPhone 4 in the left hand reduces or drops reception altogether. There are a number of quick fixes, such as an old wrist band or a regular case, but the Patch is the smallest and probably the simplest.

The Patch is a small rectangular sticker that you place over the antenna on the left side of the iPhone. But to add some personality, there are plenty of designs to choose from, including flags, barbed wire, flowers and the essential phrase, "Got Bars?" More will be unveiled later for the holidays.

In practice, the Patch is somewhat useful. I tried the Patch both indoors and outdoors and in both hands. In my right hand and when neither of my hands covered the antenna, the bars remained about the same.

When using the iPhone (or any other AT&T mobile device) inside my house, coverage hovered between two and three bars without the patch. When in my left hand without the patch, I didn't have any service. Death grip! But with the patch, it had between two to three bars.

Finally, when I went outside, I consistently had three to four bars with the patched iPhone in my left hand. But when I removed the Patch, service dropped to one to two bars.

I should note that I never had a full set of bars, with or without the Patch. You can blame that one on Apple or AT&T - take your pick.

Both long and short patches are $1.50 a piece and are available in packages of six for $5.99. The Patch isn't going to do anything to protect your phone from drops - only dropped calls maybe. Thus, I'd probably still go with a case, but this is still a pretty innovative idea.

Topics: Security, iPhone, Mobility

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8 comments
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  • Actually, iPhone 4 has **EIGHT times better** reception, than others phones

    AnandTech measured it and confirmed that iPhone 4 keeps firm connection with signal strength as low as -122dB, comparing to any Android phone, which only reaches -114dB.

    Since the scale is non-linear, <b>the difference is 8 times in favour of iPhone 4 -- thanks to unique antenna design.</b>

    Of course, there is another side of the coin -- the infamous "death grip", which exists for <b>all phones</b>, but decreases signal on iPhone significantly more than usual -- agan thanks to antenna design.
    DDERSSS
    • However

      However, *if* one does not hold the iPhone at left lower corner or uses bumber (or any case), <b>there is only good in Apple's design of antenna -- it works much better than any other design</b>.
      DDERSSS
    • RE: Hands-on review: iPhone Patch

      @denisrs Except if you're on AT&T, which will drop your call regardless of signal strength. And the "death grip" doesn't happen with any other phone in normal use.
      R220
      • Actually it does in many phones...

        @luckyducky7@... I have tried a very simple "death grip" with a BB and an HTC Hero and both showed a significant drop (2+ bars). This like the iPhone requires you have less than 5 bars to take effect. At least Samsung clearly states the rather large portion of the phone one should not cover.
        DaveMTL
    • RE: Hands-on review: iPhone Patch

      @denisrs

      Actually the iPhone 4 sux.
      tbln930
  • reception issue can be soleved

    I dare not to buy a iphone 4 ofter the antenna issue spread out, but i am look forwartd to get a iphone, so , i am waiting for the Verizon one and White one ,at the same time , i intend to order the Netflix serve and buy a Aneesoft iphone video converter..
    xiaoa
  • RE: Hands-on review: iPhone Patch

    Ok that is great but are they ever going to adress the sensor issue?
    Thomas H Dahbura
  • RE: Hands-on review: iPhone Patch

    Looks like you could just put some sellotape over the antennae and be done with it?
    meister2681