Anybody experience signal issue with your Samsung S2 Epic 4G touch?

I am having big problem with this phone's signal quality. It is extremely unstable. I have reported this to Ting but also like to know your experience with this phone.

here is the 5 mins video of the comparison of my wife's cheap LG Optimus V from Virginmobile USA (sub $200 one year ago) and my Samsung S2 (sub $500 these days):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvCYONIyDGs

It is a little out of focus but it says the story. It is generated by an APP called network signal info. The moving curve is the signal strength in real-time. When it turns red (-106 dbm), the connection was lost. As you can tell, in 5 minutes the connection was dropped 4 times. While the LG Optimus V is very stable. I have done the same test in different locations and got the same conclusion. My question is whether it is this particular phone or Samsung S2 in general. On Sprint community forum, a lot of people complain about the loss of signal (LOS) problem. After a fix pushed out by Sprint, the result is mixed. Some people report the problem been fixed and some people report problem still there. My problem is not exactly the same with LOS. It doesn't show disconnected (O with a /) as reported by ppl on Sprint community forum, but no data connection when signal is -106 dbm.

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Comments

22 comments
  • Yes, it's a known issue with the CDMA (Sprint) version of this phone due to the weak radio that Samsung used.

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  • Peter, thanks for the reply. Are you referring to the Loss Of Signal issue here?

    http://community.sprint.com/baw/message/339365

    Two things:

    1, my S2 doesn't really show Loss Of Signal (O with /), it's just super unstable: it jumps between 5 bars to 0 bar multiple times a minute. Not sure if it's related or the same with the Loss Of Signal issue.

    2, I thought the Loss of Signal issue has been fixed by their release:

    http://community.sprint.com/baw/community/buzzaboutwireless/phones-and-devices/samsung/samsung_epic_4g_touch/blog/2011/12/07/samsung-epic-touch-4g-software-updates

    But from the posts on the spring community forum, still some people have issue with the phone after the fix. My phone has the newest version S:D710.10S.EL29, but still have signal problem. Can Ting show us the statistics of user who experience the signal problem of this phone? Every S2 shipped by Ting should have this version by default right?

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  • No, it wasn't an explicit loss of signal (I never saw that kind of icon), it's just generally low. It does fluctuate some, but not to the extent that yours does.

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  • The test that I did in my office. Signal dropped 5 times in less than 3 minutes. Getting increasingly frustrated!

     

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  • I've got to say, Network Signal is a slick little app and I really dig the logging feature. So much so that I had to nerd it up and turn it into a spreadsheet. This is almost six minutes of the phone being motionless:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AvhxFaOgi2JvdFRENHZWem1odVE3amlQQmhpVDB5U0E

    In this particular room of the house I usually get 0-1 bars, sometimes 2, but never an LOS.

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  • Peter, wow, the log feature is very nice! Thank you for sharing it. Just did another test with my phone on a 1-second interval in my office to show how bad this phone is. For me it's the same. I never really had LOS (I guess the definition of LOS is Ø). It just jumps between 4-5 bars to 0 bar like crazy. I work in NYC and live right across the river from my office. From the other LG phone (also runs on Sprint) and also the coverage map of Sprint and clearwire (who runs 4G for Sprint), both my office and my home should have the best coverage.

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  • Man, that's crazy. 75% to 12%.  That kind of change does not make much sense to me, but I don't know what the problem could be. You have updated the PRL, right?

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  • Yes it it crazy. I have tried many things except actions that will void the warranty: PRL update, profile update, reboot, take battery out and reboot. It's very obvious that this particular phone I have is defective. My research on Sprint community forum makes me believe that Samsung has serious quality control problem in this version of S2. I am still waiting for Ting to get back to me.

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  • I've always noticed a lot of signal loss when I hold a phone.  I got big meaty hands I guess.  I notice it on the E4GT just about as much as any other.  The wifi on my Evo 4G was bad in my bedroom which is through a couple of walls and decent distance from the router.  The Evo 3D was better, but the E4GT is about on par with what the Evo 4G was.  I can deal with it, I just hold it on the edges.

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  • Oh and I forgot to mention, the 4G on the E4GT seems a lot better than either of the two Evos.

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  • Hey Weijiang,

    Have you talked to anybody in Support about this? I'll create a help request for this and we'll see if we can narrow it down. If it's a problem with the phone itself, we'll replace it. Standby.

    -Ben

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  • Hi Ben, yes I was working with Kevin to resolve the issue. He is sending me a replacement. Will let you know how the new phone works. I hope it is just the particular phone that I had was the problem, cause I really like Ting and also the phone (except the signal issue) :)

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  • Weijiang, please keep us updated and let us know how your new phone works.  I'm interested in the S2 as well.  Thanks!

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  • Just to give you guys an update. I got the second phone last week and did similar tests. It is no better than the first phone I got. Signal strength still jumps from -76 (4 bar) to -106 (0 bar) multiple times a second. It is slightly better in my home (zip 07310) than in my office (zip 10281). I have wifi at home so it is ok that it's bad. But unstable service at work makes this phone totally useless to me. Last Friday I got a call from Ting on this issue and the call dropped. At this moment Ting is still doing some investigation on the issue. I will keep you guys posted on the progress.

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  • Weijang, I also am disappointed with the signals on this phone. Though I don't seem to have such a problem with the CDMA, the reliability of every other radio (except bluetooth) is quite poor. The 4G and 3G take forever to connect, then drop while they hand off to each other, and the speed is horrendously slow compared to my Verizon phone sitting next to it. Very often, I get a message that the data is roaming, and this has happened right outside my front door. This, I assume is because it lost the Sprint phone signal and grabbed another one. It was very frustrating the other night when a microburst storm came through and it was 15 minutes before I could get a weather report from the Internet, when everyone else around me had theirs within seconds. There was good voice signal, but the 3G was deathly slow (solid green and yellow arrows the whole time, yet nothing updating on the screen).

    Since I have already paid for the phone, I am committed to the service, but am disappointed in the reliability of the service so far. I haven't yet canceled the Verizon service, but I also haven't transferred my phone number or my son's phone over to Ting yet.

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  • Hate to say this Jake, but I think a lot of what you are experiencing is Sprint's bad service.  I have used sprint for years before switching to Ting.  I don't see any real difference with the Epic 4G Touch except for two... The 4G seems to pick up a little better and the wifi is really really bad, at least in my home.  Sprint has committed to updating their 3G this calendar year as they are rolling out LTE, I'm still waiting to see the result of that.  But look at it this way.  You are not as committed as you would if you were in a contract with the other providers.  You could sell your phone and move on without paying a penalty other than the delta of the phone price.

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  • Jake, do you have good Sprint coverage in your area according to Sprint's coverage map? When I got the first phone and found out its poor reception comparing with another cheap phone also serviced by Sprint, I concluded that that particular phone was bad. Then when I got the second phone and it behaved the same, I concluded that the entire product line has poor quality control.

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  • Weijang and John,

    Thanks for the information. I am sad to hear that Samsung's flagship (well, a year ago) product is such an underperformer -- and that they have done nothing to address the issues to date. Couple that with Sprint's coverage which, though good, is not up to snuff by comparison - especially the 4G. When it connects, it is great. When it isn't, the phone just acts like it is off the grid as it tries to switch between 3G and 4G.

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  • It will be interesting to see if the S3 has the same problem for some people.

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  • I just switched from an S3 on ATT to a S2 D710 on ting and am am having the same problem you guys are describing.  I really do not want to go back to ATT...but i cant use my phone in certain locations that I never had a problem with at ATT.  We are talking 8 miles outside of  major city, its not like im in the boondocks.

     

    Watching the signal strength, It fluctuates between 106dBm/1asu to 65dBm/101 asu

     

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  • Hi Jordan, we have your help request and will be replying back shortly.

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  • Not to resurrect a dead thread, but this phone has seen near exponential signal degradation since I bought it used two years ago. I've tried flashing different ROM's and Modems to no avail. The steady worsening seems like the radio is just giving up whilst the WiMax Radio, which isn't used very much regrettably, is dead solid with nice speeds. 3G on the E4GT is like not having cell data service at all. And I'm talking Knoxville, TN, Johnson City, TN, Kingsport, TN. Big cities. Now the entire radio functionality is beginning to degrade so badly that I basically have a WiFi/WiMax device and no phone.

     

    Time for an upgrade.

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