Friday, 11 June 2010

iPhones, Mirror Screen Protectors and Signal

Well, even though I am not an Apple fan, because they always lock you into their tech, I have to say that the iPhone is an amazing piece of kit. My wife was looking for an iPod, so I suggested she try the iPhone instead, and get both in one device (less bits to lose - and you can find your iPhone by calling it, unlike the iPod that would have ended up in the bottom of one of her many bags...).

Its a really really nice piece of kit.

- It is big enough to be usable as a browser, sat on the sofa, rather than digging out and powering up a laptop.
- It has the best touch keyboard of any touchscreen phone - it beats the HTC Desire, HTC Magic, G1, Samsung and everything I have tried - it just gets it right when I type, unlike the others.
- It is fast and smooth (this is a 3GS)
- Its calendar works well, with a scrollable agenda (come on Google - why does yours only allow scrolling in the current month - what a stupid way to break an agenda)
- Its easy to use and mainly intuitive

All in all, its the best one out there, especially for the less technically minded.

Yes, it has its stupidities:
- You HAVE to use itunes to enable the thing - what a ridiculous situation
- It has a bazillion apps, with very little useful help to separate the dross from the useful
- Its browser insists on always starting every page zoomed out, so you spend forever using the pinch zoom feature - something that I have never missed on my HTC Magic because the browser there is sensible and understands we cannot read 1pt text

Anyway, that was all good, but recently my wife was having problems getting signal. We are on the same network, and my phone was always a bar or more better than hers - often I had half signal while she had none.

After some thinking about this, and a bit of field experimenting (ie sat in restaurants wondering why my phone had signal and hers not, fairly randomly) I decided that maybe it was the screen protector.

Being female, mirrors are important to my wife, so she has this nice mirror screen protector. I hate it, because it just makes it harder to read, but mirrors are so important that that was just not enough of a problem, so the mirror stayed.

But in my experimenting I noticed that changing the phones orientation made a big difference to the signal, and I realised that if the mirror reflector was mirroring the signal that would explain what was happening.

So the experiment was done, the mirror protector removed, and lo and behold the phone works great.

So if you value your phone as a phone, rather than a poor quality mirror, stay clear of vanity mirror screen protectors!

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