Technology has advanced so much that people are slowly losing track of what life was like just one decade ago. Kids today have probably never heard of VHS, film cameras, and so on. In fact, only 15 years ago, mobile phones were so simple that there were no cameras, no GPS, not even color screens.
But in the midst of such advancements, people often forget just the thing – that the main purpose of the mobile phone is to make calls and send texts. Having crystal clear images and looking at them in Ultra High Resolution is nice but what’s the point if you cannot make calls when necessary?
With that notion in mind, we compare the latest three flagship phones – Pixel 7 by Google, Galaxy S22 by Samsung, and iPhone 13 by Apple – and test which phone has the best signal reception.
One of the innovations of the S22 series was the improved antenna, which has shown fantastic results so far. The X65 modem by Qualcomm outshone the previous X60 model in various tests, mainly in low-signal conditions.
The main features of the X65 modem are AI signal boost and an improved signal tracker. In other words, whenever signal reception is low, the S22 model will find ways to get the best out of the situation. This is true for signals below 120dBm, which is rare in cities and towns, but quite frequent in rural areas. Therefore, if you're traveling a lot by car, or simply live in some remote area, the S22 is the phone for you.
On the other hand, when it comes to strong signal strength areas, the Galaxy S22 is good. Not perfect, but good. In fact, there is not much difference between the new S22 series and some older models, including those from other manufacturers. Some users have complained about the sudden loss of signal with previous models, and while the S22 series has somewhat fixed this problem with the new modem, such occurrences can rarely happen.
When it comes to data download speed, the S22 is leagues ahead of the S21 series, and therefore ahead of most phones on the market. Depending on the carrier, the download speed can be almost three times faster than that of the last model.
Verdict: The best in low-signal areas, average in strong-signal areas, fantastic data speed.
When it comes to signal reception of iPhones over the years, the user experiences are incredibly mixed. Some have complained about bad signal strength in rural areas but great strength in populated areas.
Some have claimed the complete opposite. When it comes to iPhone 13, many people were quite pleased with signal reception both in rural and populated areas. However…
iPhone 13 users have been browsing forums about cellular signals continuing to drop after an iOS update. Apple device owners have upgraded from the previous generation iPhone, and they haven't had any complaints of poor signal in the past. It's a frustrating scenario for iPhone 13 users who have a contract, and it's not easy to get out of the system without deducting money from your savings.
The cellular signal drops on your cellphone all the time, but the iOS indicator shows you that everything is fine. In all these cases you can use the Field Test Mode of your iPhone. This feature shows the precise strength of the cellular signal your mobile is receiving.
Of course, virtually all phones have the "bars" graph displayed on your screen, letting you know if the network is strong enough. However, this graphical indication of signal strength is not entirely reliable. This means that the precision of points or bars can vary considerably. It is always better to know the actual signal strength values on your iPhone rather than relying on the number of bars displayed on the screen.
Signal strength is measured in dBm, or decibel milliwatts, a standard unit of measurement, which is more accurate than bars. By seeing the dBm values on your iPhone, you will know for sure how strong the signal you are receiving is and if the signal needs to be boosted. To see signal strength in dBm, you need to switch your iPhone to “Field Test” mode.
Verdict: The standard Apple quality as was the case with previous phones. Still, lots of reports of bad signal reception. Better than S22? No.
With the Pixel 7 series coming up, Google will have huge upgrades to do when it comes to signal reception. That’s because the previous (Pixel 6) series has had numerous signal reception problems.
The December 2021 update released by Google would have brought lower mobile signal and data connection issues for many European Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphone owners. Older Pixel smartphone models do not seem to be affected by the same issue.
Those who have already installed the updates on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro report significantly "poorer" mobile signal reception than before: the smartphone shows fewer "notches" and transmits data more slowly, sometimes also dropping calls and data connections. European users seem to be particularly affected.
According to the first tests, an update of the Android Carrier Services would be the cause of the problem. As a temporary remedy, some users have disabled 5G, others reported clearing the Carrier Services app cache and restoring the original version, and others would have resolved the problem by signing up for the Carrier Services beta program.
As the new Pixel 7 series will bring numerous upgrades, including the new Tensor 2 chipset, it is quite possible that the problem will be resolved easily. In any case, Pixel phones have some solid signal strength wherever you are and are definitely worth buying.
Verdict: Constant signal reception, not as good as iPhone in populated areas, not as good as S22 in rural areas.
When all is summed up, the S22 wins the race, mainly due to great signal reception overall. iPhone users will be happy as well with their 13 series but not as happy as Samsung users. Google fans will be hoping to see improvements in the connectivity sector and it is more than possible that it will happen.