∞ Apple adds Droid X to its death grip antenna list

Apple didn’t make too many friends among smartphone makers when it demonstrated competitor’s handsets exhibiting the same death grip antenna loss as the iPhone 4. Now, Apple added another device to its list — the Droid X. According to Apple, “the Motorola Droid X dropped from 3 bars to 0 bars when held in a way that attenuated the signal.” A video on its antenna website shows the Droid completely losing its signal and then regaining it again when the death grip is released.

While some manufacturers have been upset with the way Apple has responded to the death grip controversy, Apple has done a good job of getting the attention off of the iPhone 4 and on the industry as a whole.

The company’s antenna page now shows videos of the iPhone 4, BlackBerry Bold 9700, HTC Droid Eris, Motorola Droid X, Nokia N97 mini, Samsung Omnia II and the iPhone 3GS. All of the devices show some sort of antenna signal loss.

  • Chanson de Roland

    Remember that full page ad the Motorola took out in the New York Times (NYT) at the height of the phony controversy about the iPhone 4’s phony antenna defect, which proudly declared that you can hold the Droid X any way that you want and implying that the iPhone 4 was defective because you can cause attenuation of reception by holding it in a certain way. Now, Apple displays video of the Droid X being held in a perfectly natural way, at least as natural as the iPhone 4 “death grip,” and experiencing the same type of attenuation of reception. Well, well, what goes around comes around, and it comes around even harder, when you are full of it. And smartphone OEMs, who live in glass house, shouldn’t throw stones or take out mocking full page ads in the NYT, which will become self mocking ads, because they all have the same problem. Or the apt, let the phone manufacturer, who doesn’t suffer this problem with its modern smartphones, cast the first stone.

    Motorola isn’t so sassy now, and I’ve notice that none of the rest of the smartphone makers have denied the truth of what Apple says at http://www.apple.com/antenna/, that their smartphones also experience this common problem, and have shut their yaps about the iPhone 4 having some sort of unique design defect.

    • Valaar

      The only difference is that the iPhone will drop reception putting one finger on that spot. The other phones don’t. Apple made a design mistake putting the antenna on the outside like that. That’s the whole problem.

      This coming from me, an Apple fanboy, who took back my iPhone 4 on Friday. I then got an Evo from sprint. I hate motorola so I refused to buy a droid of any sort. So far I’m loving it and no dropped calls. Even my parents commented that I sounded much clearer today when I called them.

      I wish Apple the best and maybe I’ll come back to an iPhone if they launch on sprint next year like it’s rumored with a new design that works.


      They need to add speech to text. Man I never have to type text messages if I don’t want to!

      • Chanson de Roland

        The hell they don’t. With any modern smartphone, if you touch its sensitive spot in an area of sufficiently weak signal strength, it will drop a call. And it is an easy enough thing to demonstrate and prove. That is why you won’t hear Motorola say anything so nonsensical as what you’ve said, that other smartphoes won’t drop a call if you touch then in their respective sensitive spots. Nokia already inform users in its phones instruction manuals, as do several other manufacturers of smartphones, that its phones may suffer poor reception or drop a call if you hold them in the wrong way. And that is true for all smartphones. As evidence, MacObserver, had a forum, where several users quoted from instruction manuals of several other smartphones warning of poor reception or dropped calls if their phones are held incorrectly.

        So you Sir are simply ignorant of the facts and, thus, are flat wrong in your assertion that other phones won’t drop a call if you touch their sensitive spots.

        • Valaar

          Wow, well you certainly are a frustrated iPhone 4 owner. What’s hurting you more, that Apple’s unbreakable armor is now taking damage or that you are out of your 30-day return window. See I too had the iPhone 4, but on my 29th day returned it for full credit and got my EVO. Guess what? No signal degradation. Amazing huh, when you put an antenna inside the phone it’s uh, what’s it called? Oh yeah, smart designing, not cosmetic designing.

          Admit it, Apple f’d up it’s design and won’t admit that while yes all phone will lose some signal, theirs loses more, faster and with more dropped calls because it’s in direct contact with your hand which produces sweat and those things together will kill signal strength.

          The fact that a scientist came forward and told Apple this would happen is proof enough. If there was no problem then why even give away free bumpers. That contradicts the statement that there is no problem. Free bumpers = Problem. It’s a crappy solution to a real problem. Watch, come Oct 1st Apple will do something to the actual build of the phone changing some thing to “fix” this “non-issue”.

          You sir, are the one with incorrect facts. Everyone is on to Apples lies about this and them denying it is only hurting their reputation even more.

      • Daniel Swanson

        “Hey doc, it hurts when I do this!”

        “Well don’t do that!”

  • Apple is bugging… silly silly company and im loosing more respect for them

  • I have had my droid since december but had to get a replacement as a result of the software program ruined my cellphone when it up to date itself. So evidently having troubles & found this wonderful site lol i do have a questio tho…my ram storage is gettin smaller & smaller..is there nethin i can do to assist get sum again?

  • BJ Miller

    I found it extremely difficult to simulate the way the hand was “death gripping” the Droid X. I tried doing it myself from my couch in my living room, and I actually watched my 3G bars go from 3 to 4. When I let go and held it the way that is not obstructing the antenna, it went down to the usual hover between 2-3 bars. Seems to be the opposite of what Apple is saying. Could be my area, I don’t know. I live about 15 miles west of Cleveland, OH, and Verizon 3G coverage is pretty great here. For what it’s worth….

  • Iphone is the best

    iPhone is the best smart phone and we have to admit it. Apple made 15.7 bill. in 2nd quarter. ATT activate 3.5 mil new users THAT SAY SOMETHING I have iPhone since 3G came out and i’m happy whit it Now i’m using iPhone 4 and i don’t have problems So motorola can suck it

    • Valaar

      The only problem I can see is that your typing is awful. I assume you typed that with your awesome iPhone 4 or do you always spell “with” …”whit” and use grammar like “that say something”.

      For pete sake, if you are going to make statements without facts like “Apple rules, you all suck!” at least re-read it first.

      God lord.

  • Droid X tester

    I have tried to Make my Droid X do this in every which way with no success.

    However, I will check back at apple.com/antenna/ in the future to find which new Android phone is most successful.

    Apple needs a new PR and engineering department. Companies have been designing phones that don’t drop calls and have usable antennas for years. Apple has gone though three generations with no success.

    • Chanson de Roland

      Dear Droid X Tester: You needn’t worry about your inability to replicate the problem on your Droid X. The Droid X has been out for only about a week, but there soon will be plenty of videos on YouTube replicating the problem of attenuated reception on the Droid X, as you hold it normally. Then, Motorola will have you publish another specious argument, as those videos amply demonstrate the Droid X suffering the same problem of attenuated reception.

  • Cristian Rodriguez

    Just like religion and politics, people will pick sides. I have an iPhone 4 and have had nothing but joy since I first got it. It is the best gadget that I have ever owned.

  • meeee

    You of course neglected to mention that several technology blogs attempted to recreate this on the droid x, and no matter how the held squeezed and prodded the device they could not create an attenuation issue. The fact is, as another article on enagdget stated, all phones have this somehow, just not in dumb places like on the iPhone 4. With the iPhone 4, holding it normally causes attenuation, with most phones, you have to squeeze hard in a place you wouldn’t normally hold it. For example, on the droid eris, attenuation is achieved by squeezing at the very top of the phone. No one holds their phone that way. There also has never been any attenuation scandal on any of the phones Apple tried to knock down. The fact of the matter is, this is some of the shittiest negative advertising ever, and Apple just can get off its high horses and admit they made a mistake and FIX IT. Even free bumpers doesn’t fix this, they’re still making a the phone with that issue.

  • The whole thing about Apple demonstrating how the Droid X can loose signal strength might be true and valid. But, if you observe the video carefully, please notice that the way the guy holds the phone is not an usual way to hold the device. Besides, the Droid X has a very wide profile and is not very easy to hold it in the hands in that way. Every phone truly has one or more weak spots, but it is not the most common way of holding a phone that can trigger attenuation, unlike the iPhone 4. All said and done, iPhone 4 is one of the best smartphones out there in the market. I personally own a Motorola Droid, but I still want to get my hands on an iPhone 4.

    Adding a bumper to the iPhone 4 would slightly increase the gap between the fingers and the weak spot making it slightly better in terms of signal reception. Based on Steve Jobs’ media conference on July 16, the statistic that shows that only a mere 0.55% of iPhone 4 users called AppleCare about antenna issues, is a startling difference from what has been projected by the hype around the so-called ‘antennagate’.

    I hope Apple comes up with a better solution to all this fuss. But, we must remember that Apple and their iPhone revolutionized the smartphone industry and really has set the standards for all competitors. The fact that Apple develop their own software to fit the hardware, makes it more easy to address issues and gives them more control over the overall device experience. We must still spare a thought for Apple, and criticize Microsoft for their not-so-great Kins. Sure, Microsoft didn’t hype their phones but this is not the right context to discuss that.

  • applepie

    I’ve traded my iphone for a droid x.sad to say I’m getting way better reception and I think I like it more too.no problems with how I hold it like on my iphone but I did have to return the first x due to a defective screen.