(Updated: Likely a non-issue) Samsung Vibrant Experiencing Reception Issues Similar To iPhone 4?

Update: After speaking with a  number of Vibrant owners, none of whom can replicate this issue we’re chalking this up either to gripping the handset so tightly its smothering or simply a fluke. Enjoy your phone and don’t worry about the iPhone 4 drama.

After today’s official launch of the Samsung Vibrant, we’ve been receiving a good amount of complaints from Vibrant owners regarding reception degradation. Vibrant owners seem to be experiencing issues similar to the iPhone 4′s infamous “Death Grip”. As demonstrated in the video above, tightly gripping the handset results in signal loss and often negatively affects data speeds. We’re not sure if this is a hardware or software related issue, but we’re hoping it’s the latter. Any Vibrant owners out there experiencing this issue? Let us know in the comments!

YouTube

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  • adien

    The problem is that the average consumer doen’t know anything about how the physics of how a wireless device works… just that is uses “dem radio waves”. But you wouldn’t see the average consumer complaining that their screen on the phone doesn’t shine through their hand. it’s the same principle. some antenna designs are better than others but its still limited, not by poor construction but by the actual physics of the process. You want a wireless device? than you need to deal with that. Combine that ignorance with some people’s obsessive need to find the tiniest flaw in the device, instead of enjoying it for what it is, how much better and easier it makes your life, and you’ve got a problem. Plus, people always want to be the latest s*** slinger on youtube.

    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      That’s right Adien… that’s why this story is bogus IMHO.

      Fact is that the latest handsets have have lots of radios (phone, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS) and as many antennas connected to those radios.

      Your described “average consumer” (probably 95% of cell phone users out there) cluelessly demands “that the damn thing just work.” But what they do not realize is that a “good signal” (to them indicated by those “little bar thingies”) is dependent on numerous internal and external factors to work correctly, efficiently, and optimally.

      The internal factors, as the iPhone 4 has shown, is the manufacturer’s duty to get right. IMHO where Apple failed is to address the different things an average user could do that would affect the external antenna getting a good signal and/or result in a loss of signal. (IMHO I agree with those who allege Apple knew about the problem before the launch, but Jobs and others desperately wanted the launch to proceed so they said to heck with it, maybe it won’t become something anyone will notice. They probably had instructions prepared for CSRs on how to respond if someone called to complain about a loss of signal or dropped calls.)

      Anyway, the phone’s engineering and design is complicated by external factors such towers the carrier has in the region and factors particular to the user operating the phone under typical conditions. External factors personal to users include one’s proximity to towers, where the user is located (e.g., all steel building or an elevator), moving at 70 mph in a car, the kind of case covering the phone, surrounding electronic interference, and yes, even how one is holding the phone.

      Aside from the person in that video sounding like a complete moron, that’s why the YouTube video is so bogus. Anyone can cup a phone or tightly squeeze it and the bars will show declining movement. Heck, when I go in to my kitchen if on the phone I will drop the call. Why? Because there’s the perfect storm of factors to cause a connection loss.

      The Apple dust up has nothing to do with the fact that all cell phones suffer signal loss due to the external factors mentioned above, the problem is internal to Apple, specifically, a design flaw in Apple’s new external antenna.

      The flaw is that when someone holds the phone as one reasonably and typically would, the radio signal degrades or is lost completely. If one’s hand touches the left side of the phone, odds are that under certain other conditions, the “perfect storm of death grips, if you will, the signal will drop.

      Bottom line: The iPhone design flaw coupled with the iPhone death grip are totally different than what ALL phones suffer, signal degradation because of various external factors.

      I could take any of the 15 cell phones I have, focus a video camera on them and demonstrate signal bars decreasing because I squeeze the phone until it figuratively almost bursts in my hand.

      Update: As hard as it was for him to admit it, Steve Jobs today, at the press conference pretty much admitted all of the above with the exception of saying that the iPhone external antenna’s gap is a design flaw. (I bet the nest iteration of the iPhone won’t have that gap. :) )

      • ItsMichaelNotMike

        Excuse the grammar errors. Getting ready to rushing out the door, I did not proofread before posting.

        I think the solution is for me to simply not read my comments after I press “submit comment.”

      • http://www.soapboxmanic.com soapboxmanic

        Both of you guys are on point.

        For the average consumer the way a cellphone works is basically ‘magic.’ Even more accurate, they out right do not try to comprehend how it works.

        Now the focus on new cell phones is going to be “When I hold my phone the reception dies.” Simply because it has been a media frenzy over the iPhone 4 and people think they are technical engineers with that knowledge locked away for the next 30 days.

  • ChazLaz

    I am actually having some problems with my reception. When I hold it over the bottom area my bars drop significantly. The weird thing though is i still can make and receive calls flawlessly. So I am not to sure as to what the problem is, because I guess I do have reception but I don’t? LOL

  • Chris

    I think I got this figured out.
    Some can replicate while others cannot. I could in my office but couldn’t outside. Others have said the same thing.
    It appears to me that the phone is either measuring the signal incorrectly or reporting incorrectly. Why do I think that?

    When in my office, near a window I received full bars (-81 dBm) if I held it at the top right with 2 fingers. If I laid it in my hand it would go to 1 bar (-111 dBm)
    However, I went outside where the signal is less obstructed and received full bars at -81 dBm. This time I could not make the signal drop by placing it in my hand or using the death grip. The signal stayed at -81 dBm. However, being an Electrical Engineer I know there has to be some attenuation due to my hand. So it appears that the highest reported signal is -81 dBm (but I think it is receiving a stronger signal). I would be very interested in seeing what the highest you guys can get it. Please measure and reply back.

    I looks like the fix would be similar to the one Apple tried to send out though their issue is more of a hardware issue.

    • AphotiX

      In terms of signal 81 certainly isn’t max. My phone is reading -75 dBm where I am (approx .7miles away from tower.) At work (a tmo call center) I get about -51 dBm (internal femtocells, being about 20 feet from it.)

      In terms of hand position, typically the cell antenna on many phone models (in my experience) is in the top of the phone, since your hand usually doesn’t cover that area (as long as you aren’t holding it horizontally.) The more tightly you hold the phone the more impact you will have on signal strength. I can get my phone to go from -75 down to -97dBm by holding it correctly (or rather gripping it like I want to choke someone.) This will impact all phones. I actually did this experiment when I found that certain holding patterns on a phone strongly impact wi-fi signal, and actually experienced more significant wifi signal drop just covering the top half of the phone (mytouch slide 3G.) Personally I believe this to be related to wifi’s higher signal frequency and the fact that higher frequencies have more difficulty passing through solid objects (walls, cars, trees,… hands.)

      The finally tid bit of knowledge I’ll throw in is I believe a better explanation of the iPhone’s issue is that because of the antenna design, connecting the gap on the phones lower corner grounds the antenna to the rest of the phones casing (and many of the internal components like the screen. Ever tried using a capacitive touch screen when its laying on a surface with one hand? Probably a similar issue… in reverse, though not all phones have that issue.)

      Of course I could just be wrong, a lot of this is an educated assumption (is there such a thing) based on my knowledge of how cell technology works, working for a cell phone company and all…

  • Dallamar

    A) I can 100% dupe this effect. how hard am I holding the phone you ask?

    laying in my HAND
    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/3aefLkOQ-1vfwSdv5YaS7A?feat=directlink

    on my desk 5 seconds later
    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/LsPcOrmtVAE94A-7e3krTQ?feat=directlink

    and I confirmed this using speedtest. the bars matter, dropped D/L speed by 66%

    b) any Vibrant owners here is a tip: get a task killer or uninstall Daily Briefing. eats ram big time

    • Big Mike

      I can confirm the same, but I find that it only happens on 3g, if I switch it to 2g, or in a 2g only area only, I get a constant 4 bars.

    • Big Mike

      I did some more testing. If I go into the basement of my building with 3G enabled the bars will drop if I’m holding the phone, and if I’m on the phone I will drop the call. If I set it so that it uses 2g only again I get no fluctuation of bars and I can use the phone in the basement no problem.

      I don’t know the technical details of if there is a difference between making calls on 2g or 3g, but I think it is a interesting observation.

  • Reder

    It upsets me a little bit that when you google search for Samsung Vibrant, the top result is a BS story about how this is a problem worse than the iPhone 4. I’ve had my Vibrant since yesterday as soon as the store opened, and I’ve yet to drop a call or lose connectivity depending on how I hold it. Speedtests are identical regardless of how I hold it, or if I even hold it at all. This is a total non-issue.

    • JR

      You say this is a total non-issue. The world doesn’t revolve around you, many of us are experiencing a large signal loss. Now, whether it’s just a S/W issue or not, it’s real.

  • Dallamar
  • zoid

    I just received mine from UPS and something is up… Mine goes from 4 bars to 0 but I can still make calls with 0. I’m trying to find a pattern…..

    • zoid

      After some more testing I think the radio isn’t reporting the signal correctly. It doesn’t seem to affect calls, call quality, data etc. when the bars go from 4 to 0. Well, data is affected barely. It is affecting the radio signal but I don’t think it’s as dramatic as the phone is reporting.

  • Matador

    Ill have two of them on monday…Ill keep my MT3G with me to test how they work and compare

  • Anthony

    Okay. Gotta admit I’m at the mall checking out galaxy vibrant. I have a Nexus but man this vibrant looks good and yes its light but IMHO it doesn’t feel cheap. I am so tempted but I wont. I will admit its sexier than my nexy but side by side nexus is blowing it away speed wise I know its because of froyo. I think this is a winner depending on how long it takes to get froyo might sway me. I know for certain if it had stock android and shipped with froyo. I would be putting my N1 on Craigslist tonight

  • Sunny

    Anyone know how to file the problem to samsung? or Android 2.2 update will fix the problem?

    Seems like most ppl having this problem while zero bars or zero reception will still able to get data, calls, and messages.

    I agree it’s a software problem and should be easy to fix.

    • zoid

      We probably have to start calling t-mobile an threaten returning the phone.

      • davidohio

        honestly i don’t think that “threatening” to return the phone is going to solve anything. Instead you should act like an adult and call tech support to report the issue and when many more call, and they will, then samsung will send a ota update to fix it. In the mean time enjoy your new phone.

  • Anthony

    Hey folks chilllax it its a matter of zero bars but data works its a software fix please stop feeding the dragon

  • sambalam

    Ok.. here’ an interesting post from xda:

    Okay, I’ve had my phone for a day or two and right off the bat I noticed that even though the phone had no bars of coverage, I actually had coverage and a good enough signal to boot.

    I then found myself on XDA reading up on how to lock 3G since the old Nexus One/myTouch etc. trick doesn’t work on the Vibrant.
    I then came across someones post that leads us to a hidden menu

    This menu has a wealth of information that, most of it I can decipher BUT I did find this lovely menu that lead me to the Vibrant’s TRUE -dBm reading. The bars are WRONG, the Phone Information Testing menu is WRONG, and the phone has reception that is on par with the Motorola CLIQ I replaced it with. After -103 or so dBm, this shows as NO coverage (0 bars).

    Here are the steps for those of us unfamiliar with it.

    Originally Posted by from i9000 FAQ
    To get to the DEBUG and Phone status information -

    *#*#197328640#*#*
    Then select DEBUG screen
    Then select BASIC INFORMATION
    and the RSSI readout shows true -dBm
    I suspected this yesterday but I wanted to be sure it wasn’t a placebo effect kicking in.. explains everything really. We don’t have -0dBm and this is proof.

    During an active call, hit +Add call and punch in this number to bring up the menu. Store it as a contact also

    (*#*#197328640#*#, add a contact like Field Test Mode, then go back and add the *, go back to the dialer and punch in *#* and it should bring this up.. select and you’re on your way)

    I want to note that the G1 doesn’t “drop” 3G as much because the antenna is at the top (you’ll see it when you take off the battery cover) so it has an easier time grabbing a signal because your hand isn’t attenuating its signal. Do the same for the Vibrant or any other phone and you’ll see your bars jump.

    • Chris

      Good to hear. That’s what I was saying above. Simple software fix. There is no issue.

      • sambalam

        yep.. tested and it’s true. non issue (except for display)

  • sambalam

    yep.. tested and it’s true. non issue (except for display)… This is one nice phone.

    • Shawn

      whats wrong with the display?

  • Shawn

    Off topic, but How do stupid people get jobs at tmobile, omg. I called customer service, she didn’t even know what the vibrant was. Then I was at a tmobile store, again the girl had no clue what vibrant is, she says “whats that, you are the second person to ask me today.” Are you seriously that retarded?

  • just some dude

    the iphone losses signal and starts searching for a tower. The vibrant just losses a few bars of 3G, but still holds on to its signal. Android rules.

  • Jeesh

    I looked at one at a Tmobile store and held it like the iphone (because I saw this article this morning) and bars dropped to zero. This could have been due to the fact that I was in a Mall, but odd that it happened at the same time i gripped it with my left hand.

  • Shawn

    This is my two cents if anyone cares. Yesterday I played with this phone, and before it was even reported online, i noticed the phone had zero bars, with maximum 1 bar. I even asked the store employee about it, why it its going in and out between zero and 1 bar, he didn’t have an answer. I wasn’t even holding it tightly, just a normal grib.

    Then after reading about this problem online last night…today I went to a different tmobile store to play around with the phone some more, and I couldn’t get the phone to drop below ful bars. I even wraped my hands around it has tightly as I could and it kept full bars.

    So, 1 phone was 0-1 bars with a light normal hold, and a different phone had full bars no matter how I held it.

    Maybe the problem is isolated to a few phones only? Or maybe the location of the two t-mobile stores recieve different strength signals in the neighborhood.

    I still want the phone I think, hopefully its just a software issue.

    • Dashi

      OK FOR THE LAST TIME PEOPLE IT IS NOT AN ISSUE RUN SPEED TESTS!!! ALL IT IS, IS THE DISPLAY IF YOU CHECK YOUR REAL SIGNAL INSTRUCTIONS BY sambalam ABOVE YOU WILL SEE WHATS GOING ON ITS ONLY THE DISPLAY OF HOW MANY BARS YOU HAVE THATS WRONG

      • cirrob

        For the love of all that is good and holy, please get a new keyboard; one that doesnt have a broken caps lock button. seriously. I just want to punch you in the throat everytime I see one of your posts.

  • Crazyorloco

    official tmobile forums had a topic on this within h hours of the phones release, I notice right away that the phone was displaying an incorrect reading. This issue isn’t nearly as bad as the iphone 4 issue…the vibrant holds connection even with the full grip.

  • Crazyorloco

    official tmobile forums had a topic on this within hours of the phones release, I noticed right away that the phone was displaying an incorrect reading. This issue isn’t nearly as bad as the iphone 4 issue…the vibrant holds connection even with the full grip.

  • Charles Xavier

    the issue is likely T-mobile’s terrible 3G network, btw how is the flash on this phone?

    • 3g rules

      Where are you that you have crappy 3g? It is perfect and solid everywhere around here.

  • Don

    For all the people who say its just a display problem, your fooling your self. I took 2 of them home yesterday and today(returned one) On both of them I experienced crazy signal loss. I had my coworker call me repeatedly and only one call went through, all the others went straight to voicemail. I returned my 2nd Vibrant much to my dismay and got my second choice 3g slide brought it home and I got 2 to 3 bars consistently. Grant you my house doesn’t get good signal, I get min 2 bars on all my other phones including my new 3g slide and I got nothing with the vibrant. Oh and it wasn’t just my house it was my whole neighborhood. Very Strange, because besides the not being able to make calls I LOVED the Vibrant.

    • watbetch

      your fool your selfs

      I’ve tried multiple calls at zero bars and they all come through. Give it up.

      • Davidohio

        Damn you are ugly!

  • 3g rules

    IMHO Michael likes using big words so everyone thinks he is smart. One would assume this if one reads one of his short novels, i mean comments. Sidenote: Michael knows everything about everything and you can’t tell him that he is wrong. In conclusion, one must read his short novels with an open mind so one may absorb large amounts of useless information and endless babble.

    • TMOprophet

      100 percent agreed!

    • Anthony

      Would have been even more full of win if you included a “BONUS SIDENOTE” in all caps…..

      • Davidohio

        Lmao! BONUS SIDENOTE

  • TMOprophet

    You sir need to stop copying my screen name. Its getting annoying. Well guys visit my website i told you about. Well i decided to wait and get a windows phone 7 device instead of this phone. Clearly android has ways to go before they can catch up to wp7 in ui terms. but thats my opinion.

    • 2FR35H

      @TMOprophet

      Anyone that has been on this site as much as I KNOW you are NOT THE REAL TMOprophet here. You have been posting in the past weeks as david that’s probably not even your screen name either.

      • TMOprophet

        At least someone can see this., I still am not sure which douche this guy is, although I have some ideas. And spot on, anyone who’s been here a while knows who I am.

  • TMOprophet

    guys dont settle for a phone……. get a windows phone 7 which is the emarald. Mock my words emerald is a windows phone 7 device. Windows phone 7 for the win. android=fail……………..

    Source: Aaron. Managing director for future phone advertising at T-Mobile.

    It has been said to be running a dual proc at north of 700mhz. dedicated graphics. 1gb of ram. With upto 6.5 hrs talk time. Screen is 3.9. Will not support full hspa+ only 7.2

    • TMOprophet

      You’re probably just David, changin yo name, to give me crap, still got your panties in a bunch?

    • TMOprophet

      or the crap stain watbetch, changin his name, watever I dont care ya all

    • TMOprophet

      Huh thats funny it wont let me post some comments, must be the work of someone with admin. access,

      dude get over it, you can dog me all ya want, I dont care..get a life

    • Davidohio

      You want us to “mock” your words? Okay.

  • ChazLaz

    Off Topic but thought I should still let everybody know.

    When I went to get my Vibrant there were absolutely no displays or anything for the Vibrant. I didn’t think all that much of it at first. But when I was purchasing my phone I asked the worker why they moved the launch date back. He told me that he wasn’t sure but he said that this was just like a pre launch for the phone and the big launch date would still be the 21st. So I guess we can all expect some ads and other things heading our way in the coming week.

    The whole reason I brought this up was because when I searched google for Samsung Vibrant many of the things I saw were just saying Vibrant gets a very slow start. So yeah that’s all I really needed to say.

  • soon2TMO

    in my house data signal switches between 3G and edge! and yes the bars fluctuate like crazy ..ammmp
    but somewhere else, the phone signal seems fine! i can hardly use the internet inside my house.. LOL

  • wtf

    I thought this thing is supposed to have a great antenna, I’m having this fluctuating issues unless I’m somewhere where the signal is really good like my job.

  • TL

    First off, I wanna say that I Never hold the phone during normal use, like I did during the “gripping” portion of the test. I too have noticed the bars drop while gripping (covering all sides and back phone cover). But, it appears to have no affect on the call. I can call make and receive calls with 0 bars, and I have used the speedtest.net app in both 0 and 4 bars so it doesn’t seem affect 3G data speed either. Also, it appears that others are right about the signal strength in the first place. If I am outside with full bars, gripping doesn’t affect it, but if I am inside with 2 or 3 bars the gripping does affect the “visual graphic” of the signal strength (i.e. 0 bars), but still can make calls.

    HOWEVER! WIFI – completely different story. When i stand right next to my router (full signal, 3 bars, ) and use speedtest.net I can get 11 mbps dl, 4 ul, but when i walk 15 feet away (still in line of sight of the router) and don’t grip the phone the signal drops to 2 bars (4 mbps DL, 2 UL) but with gripping it drops to 2 mbps DL and .5 UL, 15ft away.

    Bottom line… The phone is AWESOME and this issue is not a deal-breaker for me, nor should it be for anyone doubting the functionality of the phone. Try it for 2 weeks if you are in that much doubt, you will love this phone.

  • mailman13877

    SMFH this phones is for SETTLERS..how is it great and yet you can only get 1 or 2 bars?Evoooo..FTW lol

    • Davidohio

      Mailman you are a settler because you are are getting the crap evo. The pilgrams were settlers too

  • monkeyboy311

    Anybody have a gun?

    • mailman13877

      You know MONKEY your the only saying ignore mailman but your the 1st person to respond to what i say.SMFH..Evooo..FTW

      • JDANGLE

        Mailman, you seem like the type of guy that spends his Friday nights taking open mouth tea bags and face shots….I guess I’m just trying to say your a fagot.

      • Davidohio

        Omg mailman go to sprint already. Nobody likes you or cares what you say in your stupid nonsense posts. Most people would have got the clue already. Then again, most of us are not retarded like you.

  • mike a

    I have the same issue when i hold the phone in the lower left hand corner. I thought getting a case would correct the issue like on the iphone, but even with a case it still happens.

  • danny

    I hate using smartphones as phones. But when I do I always use my favorite wired headset and I seem to get clearer calls with less distortion or signal degradation this way.

    My N1 sucks as a phone dialer too but using it with the headset I have no issues.

  • taaars

    Ok…I was curious, so I stopped by a tmobile store to check out the bar issue, and I have to say yes..there is something funky going on here, BUT I don’t think its hardware..entirely. I cupped the phone on the bottom until it went down to 0 bars..then I started making calls, the first thing it did was jump up to 5 bars…then went back down…when I was on the call I could still surf the web..still 0 bars (at times it jumped to 2)..I did this several times and the same thing..never lost a call..or web connection..but the bars were affected somehow by my hand on the very bottom. The only thing I can gather is the antenna and software are ULTRA sensitive to changes in signal strength and the software readings are over exaggerating the actual connection signal, again..I will have tow of these come Monday and take it to the Bermuda triangle of cell phone signal loss, the military base and test it along my mt3g which I know gets at least edge connection there.

  • Trill

    If your in the Houston market then as of yesterday there was reported some issues with 3G and while I suffered for almost a full day once I noticed it but all seems to be well also had the problem on my nexus which I don’t suffer the other issues some do with signal.

  • Outlander

    HD2 restricted due to Microsoft software stupidity and greed, still talks to my computer, and I can play the movies after have removed and reinserted the memory card.
    The phone is well built and the initial interface is good but restricted, after that in setting Microsoft rears it ugly and unresponsive head.

    Vibrant is more restricted due to Google, will not even communicate with the computer, although the computer show it as 2 drives connected.
    Everything you try end up with a request for your Google account.
    Remove the ridiculous small memory card that came with the phone to try out a larger card, the reinsert the small card and you can not play the movie anymore.
    IT can not be RESET, you have to EXCHANGE the phone, it is PATHETIC, better off with the HD2

    • Matador

      I have no idea what you were referring to…Your saying, that everything asks for your Google account?..wrong…I have and android phone for a year…never has it asked for my account other than when I first got it.

      Cant re insert the memory card and make it play a movie?..wrong again..done this several times….so I think this is user error.

  • Cupcake

    I got the phone yesterday and can verify that this is a real problem. My 3G speeds are crap and almost non existent while holding the phone. Doesn’t drop calls but data and wifi reception greatly suffers. Not to mention the battery indicator is way off. I was promised by a samsung rep that this would not be another behold II, but until this is resolved ill be using my reliable MTS. Just loading this site was a pain, and I have great 3G here.

  • Reggie

    Hello all,

    I’ve been reading alot of articles and comments about the signal problems and I was just thinking: Do you think this has been a problem before the iPhone made a big stink about it? Honesty I bet it has. But I bet people didn’t think anything of it because they weren’t dropping calls or losing data speeds. Then, the iPhone world has a problem and goes crazy, and now every person the holds a phone and the signal drops, throws their arms up in the air and complains.

    I have a MyTouch 3G and I just put the CyanogenMod 6 Froyo build on, and I’ve been seeing my signal bars do all kinds of stuff that wasn’t happening with the Cyanogen 5 builds. But again, I’m not dropping calls or having any data issues. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that it’s a Cyanogen issue at all. But I think that if there wasn’t all this news about signal degradation, I would really be paying attention to how my bars are jumping around…

    There is a psychological part to everything, and it seems like a “minor” problem has been turned into an uproar just because people are noticing something that they didn’t before.

  • Shawn

    Okay I’ve tested this out at more than one store now.

    Here is what seems to be going on.

    The phone will infact have zero bars 90 percent of the time, and will never reach a full signal. Doesn’t matter if you hold it or not. Even just sitting there it will drop to zero bars.

    Phone calls may not be impacted, but data speeds are. Internet pages will not load with zero bars. Speedtest app barely gets 0.01 mpbs with 1 bar, and fails all together with zero bars.

    For some reason, seems like data may be impacted but not phone calls, could be phone calls are switching to edge network even though it is not reflected on the screen, while data also switches to edge, but edge is so slow that it basically doesn’t load pages.

    my opinion.. deffinately something going on though, I don’t think it has anything to do with griping the phone.

    • Shawn

      Correction to my above statement, one of the stores I visited yesterday, the phone had full bars the entire time, and never went below full bars. So it seems like if the signal is strong, it stays strong. If the signal is weak to begin with, then you have zero bars 90 percent of the time.

  • TMOprophet

    Ok, so I got my hands on the Vibrant today, impressions:
    It’s for sure thin. Thats nice
    That SAMOLED screen is stunning, no doubt about it

    However some things I didn’t like:
    Build quality…felt really cheap and plastic’y
    Looks too much like an Iphone 3G, not my style or taste.
    The UI Touchwiz, while it felt improved, I didn’t like it as much as Sense..IMO

    Overall the phone is def a great add to TMO, but for me I want something different.
    I would however get this for my wife, as she isn’t as picky as I am.

    I figured I would try to give an objective impression, rather than show my utterly biased opinions as of late.

    On a sidenote I also played with the Droid X today, And that thing was just sick. It wasnt too big as some have suggested, in fact I found it to be smaller than I had expected. The revised motoblur or whatever is on it is much better than previous UI’s. The build quality felt solid, I was really impressed. It has attitude and is nice in the all black. The screen wasn’t as nice as the Vibrant’s, but so far Samsung is the only one to offer that level of screen technology.

    • Shawn

      Samsung is not the only one to offer that level, iPhone 4 has a better screen than the super-amoled. no comparison, if you check out the retina display on iphone 4, you will think the super amoled is not as good.

      • TMOprophet

        I agree that the Retina display is really nice, I dont know how well it compares with color saturation and viewing angles, but I do know that the resolution is the highest with the IP4.

        And I know that LG makes amoled screens too, but not on the mass scale production as Samsung. Sony also has LED tech, I dont know if they will pursue amoled.

      • Matador

        I saw them both together, both have pros and cons..The iphone has a tad more detail..but the viewing angles and sunlight saturation aren’t as good as the the super amoled. In the end it is like everything..what you can and cannot live with…To me the bigger screen and sunlight usage are bigger factors than having a slightly more detailed screen

      • TMOprophet

        I saw both of them, and while the Retina is very crisp because of the higher rez, I am more impressed with the samoled. IMO

  • Nick

    I’ve actually experienced the “death grip” on my vibrant and it’s frustrating. Its definately not a rumor…

  • http://magicbluesmoke.org longcat

    I had a chance to play with the Samsung Vibrant at a T-mobile location in Brooklyn, NY. I laid an iPhone 3GS on top of it and it seemed a bit longer than the iPhone but appears thinner and feels much lighter. After the sales person finished telling me how the Vibrant is much better than my phone, I managed to put my SIM card to test the network speeds. Unfortunately there was no 3G reception at the T-mobile store, right there in Brooklyn, NY… so I could neither test the phone’s data speeds or experiment with the signal attenuation holding the phone causes.

  • Don

    Again Ill say it I had no problem with my data speeds prior to returning my Vibrant, It was only phone calls. And all these people talking about how they still got reception even though they had zero bars, I didnt I got no reception I had friends call me repeatedly and I got nothing. I also made many calls from my house and nothing. My second choice 3g slide I get reception. I called Samsung they blamed it on T-mobile, I called T mobile they didn’t know anything.Once again I loved the phone I just couldn’t make any call with or receive call with it at my house or in my neighborhood and I don’t live in the sticks either.

  • TMOprophet

    okay i change my mind….back to android. just bought the vibrant. wp7 may be next time. Stop COPYINGMY SN.

    • TMOprophet

      faillllllllllll, people know who I am, give it up

  • Shawn

    Starting to make sense now why people are claiming they can make calls on zero bars.
    I think i’m pretty accurate on my below assessment.

    So here is what i’ve dug up. Before this phone hit T-mobile… it hit the rest of the world. Guess what, the rest of the world is blogging about this very same problem also.
    Here is a polish translation I could find of some blog site with a video. Seems like Samsung poland knows, or in general samsung knows this problem exists.

    A few paragraphs down, in the first link, it states it mainly cripples 3g networks. So that makes sense why people are able to make phone calls. The phone goes to zero bars, droping 3g completely, and even if it doesn’t say edge… I have a feeling it switches to edge, allowing you to place your call. However, the 3g signal is completely dead, meaning your data comes to a halt.

    This is exactly what I confirmed today at the store, with zero bars the speedtest.net app came to screaching halt, yet you could probably still make a phone call. (although i didnt try making a call…the t-mobile employee told me on his vibrant with zero bars he could place calls, the display model with zero bars was useless for data).

    here are the links.

    http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=pl&langpair=pl%7Cen&u=http://www.telepolis.pl/news.php%3Fid%3D18731&prev=/translate_s%3Fhl%3Dpl%26q%3Dhttp://telepolis.pl/%26sl%3Den%26tl%3Dpl&rurl=translate.google.com&twu=1&usg=ALkJrhju-xtnZJKXJw1x04zRrrghjhSxMw

    http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=pl&langpair=pl%7Cen&u=http://www.telepolis.pl/news.php%3Fid%3D18703&prev=/translate_s%3Fhl%3Dpl%26q%3Dhttp://telepolis.pl/%26sl%3Den%26tl%3Dpl&rurl=translate.google.com&twu=1&usg=ALkJrhgD22Tc6AL-l71O7zkiEHZ9wH8l5Q

  • KevinMemphis

    No,no,no, you f-tards are all just holding it wrong. You were warned.

  • Terrell

    I to get “zero” reception frequently with this device but it works perfectly fine regardless so I don’t care. I’m laying in bed reading this articles comments and it reads at zero bars. I make a phone call and it connected right away. Hang up the phone and come right back to the article and I’ve had a consistent reading of 3 bars ever since. It is a complete non issue at least in my case and I blame the media because now every average consumer is going to have something else to complain about. The only problem I have with this device is when I try to select some of my contacts it force closes. Which probably just means I shouldn’t be talking to them LOL.

  • Barry

    *off topic* How much do you guys think this phone will sell for in 2-4 months ? ie eBay

  • TMOprophet

    about 300to 350
    but its a good phone j just got it.

  • http://@tmonerd TMoNerd

    Just found this article while searching for those experiencing this exact issue. 5 bars open-palmed to 0 bars with iPhone 4 “Deathgrip” applied.

  • Barry

    ok so I’m thinking I’ll get it next week on contract and see what the vanguard and especially the emerald look like and sell and pay the difference.