Best Cellphones for Remote Areas?

jimh425

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I've been trying to find information about which phones have the best data transfer/call ability in remote areas irrespective of carrier.

I've found spotty information that says Note 5 is better than Note 8, for instance. I've also found a couple of posts in other forums that imply Samsung S7 is better than Samsung S8. I've experienced iphone 5 < Note 4 < iphone 6s.

Has anyone found any testing that compares the ability to get a signal and keep it? A chart with some real testing would be great.
 
D

Deleted member 278999

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I've been trying to find information about which phones have the best data transfer/call ability in remote areas irrespective of carrier.

I've found spotty information that says Note 5 is better than Note 8, for instance. I've also found a couple of posts in other forums that imply Samsung S7 is better than Samsung S8. I've experienced iphone 5 < Note 4 < iphone 6s.

Has anyone found any testing that compares the ability to get a signal and keep it? A chart with some real testing would be great.

It's tricky as geography plays into it a large part. Some spectrums are better than others in vs outdoors and valleys vs mountains, trees vs plains.


I haven't come across anything that has definitive answers to this. Unfortunately most testing is carrier based. Even the same phone is going to operate differently depending on the carrier.
 
D

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That's one particular aspect of cellphone and smartphone testing that I don't think anybody has really explored to any significant degrees or produced any major documented studies over so, it would be damned interesting to see which ones performed best. Battery life using such networks would suffer because the cellular radios would require more power to stay connected to remote cell sites so that would be something I'd love to see tested myself.

As for what phones, I can't even begin to imagine which ones to recommend. I've owned so many over the years but I've lived in signal dense areas (large metropolitan ones like Las Vegas) so signal quality was never really an issue for me but I can obviously see that such information could be quite useful to folks in rural outlying aka remote areas, sure.

If you want actual reports from people that do such testing, there are "crowd sourced" apps for cell phones that do network testing like OpenSignal, Coverage Map (this one is by RootMetrics which does nothing but test cellular/smartphone hardware and networks as their primary business so it might be more useful), and many other similar apps. Carrier coverage maps aren't to be trusted at this point but data provided by actual users testing the network ranges and conditions then submitting their results using those types of apps could prove a lot more useful.

Having said that those results and the coverage info they produce doesn't get directly tied to specific cellular devices of any kind so, there's really no way to know for sure what device might work best in a given area - the only way to know that is get the device, take it to the area and see what happens, then test another device, etc till you find the one that provides the best usage results.
 

Zorachus

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I would think this is a carrier thing #1 and also certain carriers work better in different areas, and vice versa.
 

jimh425

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For sure carrier is a factor. However, most of us don't carry multiple sims. It would be interesting if S8 was good on ATT and bad on Verizon or vice versa.

To simplify the problem, if the network is ATT which phone is the best in remote areas? Maybe we can build our own list if people list phones that they have experienced. I'll start.

Iphone 6s is better than Note 4.​
 
D

Deleted member 245375

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Well yes carrier coverage has a lot to do with it obviously but I think what the OP is getting at is actual smartphone performance in terms of call connection ability aka how well the smartphones do in fringe reception aka remote areas where there are no cellular sites or very few which forces a smartphone into using more power to connect with them (if there's anything to connect with at all).

This relates to not only the smartphone's power output capabilities (limited by law) but more to the point their reception sensitivity as some phones obviously do better than others in the same situation(s). The antenna design on a given device has a huge part in that performance as well but again I doubt you'll be able to locate anybody that's been doing such testing on a device by device basis. Most smartphone reviewers will comment on the actual cellular performance in their area wherever that happens to be so, maybe look into those details being offered and get some info that way maybe.

Would be really awesome to see that kind of data available, however. In my own experience, if I had to say which smartphones I've owned performed the best in various areas I'd probably lean towards Motorola devices (Droid models mainly but I've never used Verizon - I only use T-Mobile so I take advantage of most Verizon devices being compatible since they're sold unlocked for GSM operation).
 

bastage

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