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We decided to put the iPhone 4.0.1 update to the test with a barely scientific signal bar test. We tested an iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 and ended up with some odd results.
We took screenshots of the iPhones resting on our non-metallic desks, then picked up the devices as if we were going to make a call and waited for 20 seconds before we took a second screenshot.
Both phones were tested in the exact same location. For each screenshot below, the image on the left is the iPhone on the desk and the image on the right is the iPhone in a person's hand. (Click images to embiggen)
iPhone 3GS before the update.
iPhone 3GS after the update.
iPhone 4 before the test.
iPhone 4 after the test.
So, what did we learn? Well before you say, "Hey, one of the iPhone 4 pictures are swapped!" we really had more bars when the iPhone 4 was picked up before the update. Also, we were able to lower the bars on the iPhone 3GS to lower than three bars if we held it for 45 seconds. Unfortunately, signal bars are arbitrary indicators of signal strength compared to a numerical representation. Also, it's difficult to do a real test of the iPhone's signal strength without working in a highly controlled environment without interference from outside sources.
What's your experience with iOS 4.0.1? Drop it in the comments below.
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