iPhone-Like “Death Grip” Killing HTC Sensation Signal Strength?


Reports are surfacing that the beastly HTC Sensation might be suffering from the same sort of “death grip” issues that plagued the iPhone 4 at launch, a fatal flaw that sees signal strength crippled depending on how you hold the phone. The problem seems to lie in the Sensation’s unibody construction.  It feels great in hand and looks good at the same time, but it’s aluminum construction is interfering with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and cellular signal. HTC created plastic inserts within the battery cover that house antennas to hopefully avoid the problem, but given a certain grip it appears an issue does exist.

The good news, as you will see in the video above, is that the actual “death grip” isn’t a grip at all, and actually is a rather uncommon way of holding your phone — flat on your palm from fingertips to wrist. We doubt too many people are holding their phones in such a manner on a regular basis, but if this is your preferred method of using your shiny new Sensation the only solution for now also takes a page from the iPhone’s book: a protective case should see the problem disappear.

[via MobileCrunch]

Kevin Krause
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  1. I like turtles

  2. So basically it’s in no way at all like the iPhone, and holding the phone as you would hold a phone doesn’t interfere with signal at all. 

    1. wait your all missing the point when comparing it to Iphone. This is a major issue everyone is so worried about bashing the iphone your not gonna realize that this phone sucks. What about when you put it in your pocket and have your blutooth headset on? lost signal from 2 feet away? what about when your driving and you have it on your lap using speaker phone? this is really bad,. this is the crap you get when manufacturers keep pumping out new phones, and idiots like us keep buying them. They dont test it properly, they dont repair issues when found for the next model. this is an unbelievable fail. $550 phone and you HAVE to hold it a certain way to work,,, unbelievable…

  3. If it’s as serious as I’ve been reading, it’s a MAJOR FAIL on HTC’s part for not seeing this in testing.

  4. I bet Apple will sue HTC for stealing their idea…

    1. I doubt it because the iPhone lost signal with the touch of one finger so it was more of a death poke instead of a death grip.

    2. is it me or did the music stop because the type of music app he was using; some apps do different things based off of the proximity sensor right?????

      1. Yes but using the proximity sensor for a music app is a rarity I do believe plus it wasn’t the proximity sensor he was touching nor covering.

  5. This is a “Gay Grip” xD Come On! who would “hold” his phone this way!

    1. At first i agreed with ya, but then i pulled out my phone to watch a youtube video… i mean i could hold it up with my penis too but that takes a special type of youtube video…

  6. Oh, great.  I can hear the AppleBots a’screamin’

  7. This is just like the HTC G2 Z-Hinge problem. You only notice it when you hold the phone in a stupid way. I mean, why would anyone hold their phone upside down. (talking about G2)

    1. when you are laying in bed?  Duh

  8. This just shows that ever since we’ve done away with external antenna, we’ll have this problem. Also while using metal as the body is nice, ever hear of a Faraday cage? Its not so good for getting a signal.

    1. I have  a mytouch 3G .. it’s not plastic .. the Legend is also Unibody construction .. no problems with either.. From what I understand, the have located the antennas on the removable back with this one.. and the back is also plastic I believe.. I just hope the Sensation 4G doesn’t have the same issues

    2. Faraday’s cage pertains to electrical charges and fields…cell phones communicate via radio frequency signals. I guess not totally unrelated but in terms of how cell signals are received and sent, the two are completely different.

      1. Yes, a Faraday cage pertains to “electrical charges and fields,” more specifically, electromagnetic waves. Radio works using electromagnetic waves. The two are directly related.

        1. @Khoi <–pwned!

    3. Legend had similar issues. Funny that – also aluminium unibody… What’s going on with HTC. They entered the smartphone race like a champion thoroughbred when they developed the Hero. Are they just resting on their laurels now? (Although I love my HD!)

  9. If you had an iPhone, this wold not be a problem. 

    1. If I had an iPhone, I’d be wishing for an android. I was smart enough not to make the itrash mistake. Been a proud owner of an android from day one (G1).

    2. It happen to the iPhone dumb-ass…!!!

    3. Successful troll is successful

  10. Well, let’s hope the Evo3d doesn’t have the same issue since they are both very similar in construction…

  11. You may also want to mention that the Sensation will also lose signal strength when used within a tunnel, from the space shuttle, under the ocean, if you shove it down your underwear crotch, and if you happen to use it while the earth experiences a severe solar flare.  Doesn’t it say all these in the manual?  They seem like realistic scenarios to me.

  12. So if laying the phone down flat on your hand drops the bluetooth/wifi signal- what happens when you lay it down on a table?

    Ugh.. this just had to happen.. I’m on Tmobile and need a good phone.  First the G2x is a buggy fail, and now this..

    1. You lay it down on the table and… nothing happens. It will work just fine. I don’t think you are understanding WHY this is happening in some phones.

    2. Wont happen on a table 

  13. meh, thats not like iPhone at all. this is nothing. dont hold it like a retard and you will be fine.

  14. So Kevin, to paraphrase what you’re saying here:

    “You’re holding it wrong.”

  15. Yea this is one of the few phones I have seen where its almost as easy to repeat as it is with the iPhone 4.

    Its not 1/2 an inch of finger bad like the iPhone 4 but it is bad enough.

  16. wow this is fail. The video is hilarious. Shame on you HTC. I bet cynanogen devs wouldn’t want this even if you did a sammy! lol

  17. this is only on the Euro version. The Usa version wont have this issue.

  18. Let’s not forget the POS Nexus One that started the current “death grip” craze. All 5 of mine have had it and the current one continues to have it.

    1. Five in a row and you’re still having problems is about the time to start looking for a different model phone.

  19. This may be a stupid question, but what audio app are they using in the first video?

  20. The big question is, does this happen when you hold it in landscape? If yes then this is a big problem

  21. AAARGH, another patent infringement!!!
    HTC has copyed the Antenna Gate feature :-)

  22. all the iphony fan boys are going to have a field trip with this news. My question is why htc why are you putting your reputation on the line with this stupid design knowing it would happen. Please tell me you test your phone before your manufacture  to the masses. If not then you will be on the same boat as apple  rushing crap out the door . 

  23. All phones have somewhat of a death grip. The severity varies though.

    If you block the signal, yeah it’s going to go down. The more you know.

  24. come on guys videos a fake, second video links up to the wifi signal “woxx”… hardly any signal loss and if u look at the cellphone/mobile signal not a movement from that either. The only one thats really effected is the bluetooth but saying that how far away is that person from the audio system? he must of been quite abit of distance away having the music up loud and like others have said bluetooth signals aint that great anyways

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