That metal band that surrounds the iPhone 4 isn’t just for looks—it actually doubles as the phone’s antenna. And as you may recall, the AT&T version of the iPhone 4 that came out in June suffered from signal degradation when held in a certain way.
The “death grip” as it came to be known, ultimately led Apple to offer iPhone 4 owners free protective bumpers in order to eliminate the reception issues that occurred when a user’s skin came in contact with certain points of the metal band.
The Verizon iPhone may suffer from the same problem, as reported by iLounge. If you watch the below video, you’ll notice how the phone has to be held in order for the problem to present itself (also seen in the above photo).
When held in landscape mode, iLounge was also able to produce similar signal degradation to the phone’s Wi-Fi chip by using the newly-coined “death hug” though, again, you’ll notice that the guy in the video had to wrap his hands around the phone pretty deliberately.
Both problems can be alleviated by using a protective bumper. Though signal degradation issues appear to exist on the Verizon iPhone, too, it almost seems like it’s not as much of a design flaw as it is a “if you wrap your hands around an antenna, the signal will drop” issue. The signal degradation on the AT&T version happened without as aggressive a grip in some instances.
It’s not likely that many owners will notice the same types of problems unless they hold the phone like it’s a hot cup of coffee on a cold winter day, in other words. Still good to know, though, if you experience signal problems yourself.
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