Nokia Skewers iPhone 4 Grip-Related Reception Problems

Nokia takes the piss out of iPhone 4 in a new blog post that asks, “How do you hold your Nokia?” One of the problems with the new iPhone 4 is that if your hands are sweaty and you grip it holding the antenna band it loses reception. A Nokia, the blog says, can be held by the thumb and finger, by balancing it, cupping it, or the four edge grip. Or really any grip at all.

From the Nokia blog:

The four edge grip

Regardless of the size of your hands, the Four Edge Grip (FEG, for short) is a universal grip which involves all of your fingers and thumb, each having hold of one edge of the device (the middle and ring fingers actually double up to provide an opposing force to the much stronger thumb). You’ll find a little gap develops between the back of the phone and the palm, which is useful. For something.

We’ve found any of the four grips mentioned above to be both comfortable and as you can see, offer no signal degradation whatsoever. This isn’t a feature you’ll only find on high-end Nokia devices either. It’s something that’s been a part of pretty much every Nokia device ever made (perhaps with the exception of that teardrop 3G one, which was a bit ridiculous).

Nokia keeps it classy by never mentioning the iPhone by name, but we all have seen what they have done there.

Nokia’s bloggers, amusing though they might be, might do well to read their own user manuals, which warn that “unnecessarily” gripping the phone in certain ways may cause signal degradation…antennalocations.jpg

…like in this youtube video.

Guess those who live in glass cellphone towers shouldn’t throw stones.

How do you hold your Nokia? [Nokia Conversations]

PREVIOUSLY: Your New iPhone’s Reception Is Bad Because You’re Holding It Wrong


Edit Your Comment

  1. cashxx says:

    Interesting……you guys didn’t mention about Nokia having the same issues along with the Incredible, etc.

  2. stang9946 says:

    When is nokia going to come out with a better phone?

    Sick of the apple/droid crap

    • paul says:

      In 2009. It is called the N900.

    • Croccydile says:

      They used to be ahead of the game for a while, but got overly content and has been running on auto pilot as is Blackberry.

      Either way they are hardly crying over the iPhone in terms of the big picture. For every smartphone sold there are what, two dozen “plain” mobile phones sold to the rest of the world. This is where Nokia made and still makes its bread and butter.

      Nokia could make a phone that does everything including repairing your kitchen sink with built in Swiss Army knife and still have abysmal sales here. It is not cool to own a N95.

  3. ExtraCelestial says:

    I kind of love this (especially the included visual), but I think it would be more funny/effective if it wasn’t so wordy. It’s at least a paragraph and a half too long.

  4. nutbastard says:

    I like to hold mine western-grip.

  5. enomosiki says:

    Dear Nokia,

    Stop making shitty phones. Then I will at least try to take your jab at Apple’s iPhone 4 seriously.

    Yours truly.

  6. AllanG54 says:

    This grip problem reminds me of the saying, “no good deed goes unpunished.” Here Apple comes out with a phone that’s supposed to save the earth and you can’t get it to work because you have to….hold it. I’ll keep my Samsung Moment, thank you.

  7. AllanG54 says:

    This grip problem reminds me of the saying, “no good deed goes unpunished.” Here Apple comes out with a phone that’s supposed to save the earth and you can’t get it to work because you have to….hold it. I’ll keep my Samsung Moment, thank you.

  8. TheMonkeyKing says:


    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      You mean righties. Right-handed people will hold a phone in their left hand in order to use their right hand to do fine motor control stuff – like punch in a phone number or type a text message.

  9. maestrosteve says:

    Block the antenna on any phone and there’s potential for transmitting or reception problems.

    Here’s the way it is reported:
    Hold the phone a certain way, the reception bars change.

    What really happens:
    Phones don’t broadcast at the same power constantly. If you are in a bad reception area, the phone puts out more power, which is why batteries run down more in poor reception areas.
    This is not news, we all know that.

    With ANY phone – if the antenna gets covered, it affects the signal. The bars drop slightly on the display, then the phone starts to put out more power to compensate. This explains why people have noticed their bars dropping, but they haven’t dropped their phone calls. It’s a momentary thing.

    This is not just an iphone issue, it affects all cellphones, and Nokia should be embarrassed for bringing this issue to light since there is a video of it happening to one of their phones.

    To me (and I’m really the only one who cares what I think), this whole thing is a non-issue.
    There is no perfect cellphone.

    • Buckus says:

      Are you sure. Because if Apple is a perfect company, then by association all its products will also be “Perfect.” Right? Is my logic wrong here?

      • maestrosteve says:

        Am I sure what?

        Only Apple haters like to play the “perfect” card. Nobody is perfect, nothing is perfect.
        I said there were NO perfect cellphones. I never said their company was perfect.

        Tell me why your comment makes sense to anyone.

        • XianZomby says:

          I wrapped my Sony-Ericsson completely in aluminum foil, except for a tiny part of the screen where I can see the “bars.” I still get three bars.

          I think what needs to happen is that Steve Jobs can send an Apple “Genius” to walk around with every iPhone user to tell them how to hold His phone, how and when to use them, what they can do with them, and what they are allowed to install on them. Apple users like that kind of hand-holding thing. It makes them feel safe and warm when they know they are part of Steve Jobs’ fellowship and they are making Him happy by using His phone just like He intended.

        • YouDidWhatNow? says:

          Explain to us how yours makes any sense, herr rabid fanboi.

          There is not any possible excuse for the utter failure of this design defect. Do “all” cellphones get “affected” by your holding of them? Sure. Do “all” or “most” get “affected” to the point where they cease to function as a phone? No. At best, it’s “some” – maybe, realistically, just one.

          …and how many of those other phone companies have CEOs denying the issue even exists? None.

  10. Big Mama Pain says:

    Oh this is HILARIOUS. I have a Nokia smartphone, and I really do love it (battery life on Nokia phone trumps any feature for me); but the signal is definitely affected by how the phone is held.

    • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

      You should sue Nokia, demand a free case, return it, and cause a huge stink.


  11. Skellbasher says:

    Nokia’s own documentation tells you not to hold their phones certain ways to not cause antenna interference.

    Pot, meet kettle.

  12. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    Any and all phones that have an “incorrect” way to hold them are horribly flawed.

    Having said that, it appears that the flaw is the worst of all on the iPhone.

    Compounding that is the fact that other companies, like Nokia, alert their users to the issue ahead of time…whereas Apple first just informs their sheep to not hold the phone that way, then comes back later and denies that any such problem exists.

    Apple would be getting a *lot* less flak about this if they’d only admitted the design flaw up front and honestly described how to avoid it as much as possible. But no…they have to do their impression of the Iraqi official in Baghdad during the war, insisting to the press corps that the Iraqi army was obliterating the Americans and driving them out of the country – even as US forces pounded Baghdad itself behind him.

    • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:


      Any and all phones will be affected by how you hold it.

      Therefore, all phones are horribly flawed.

      So now we can just stop buying phones.

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        “Affected?” Sure. That’s basic physics.

        How many phones have an absolutely “wrong” way to hold them such that the phone no longer effectively functions as a phone? Precious few, if truly more than one.

        • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

          I have yet to have my iPhone 4 cease working no matter how I hold it.

          Now, I’m sure you’re going to make a point of telling me that I’m a dumbass, uneducated, don’t know my ass from my head, but here’s the skinny: I keep up with all the major technology release for my job. I know what’s in all of these. I went in knowing what I was getting.

          That said, I have yet to have any serious problems with the iPhone 4’s so-called antenna death issue. Is it possible, just maybe, that this has been blown out of proportion?

          Or do you not even entertain that notion? I know it’s fun for you to be the Apple baiter, but can it maybe be considered, if only for a fleeting moment, that this is the next Toyota deathcar media frenzy?

          • 47ka says:

            Actually, you were the one who became aggressive first. So maybe you are a dumbass.

            Nice to know there’s another Engadget reader here.

            • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

              I think calling people who own Apple products “sheep” and “idiots” (or a variant thereof) multiple times in this and another post is pretty aggressive. I’m just trying to suggest, perhaps with a bit ‘o snark, that this is an exaggerated issue.

              I’m just getting a bit tired of people running around commenting and suggesting that I’m all sorts of stupid because of my choice of phone. It would be nice if more commenters around here, in all sorts of situations, could realize that people derive utility out of their money in different ways. This doesn’t make them stupid as long as they’re spending responsibly. Not spending the way you spend doesn’t make me irresponsible, either.

              This holds true for the people who decry the “sheeple” who use credit cards, have student loans, buy the XBox 360, pay for cable, etc.

              But, it is possible I’m a dumbass. That always should be a possibility that’s entertained…

              • YouDidWhatNow? says:

                The fact of the matter is that there is not, and has not been, a valid reason to put up with Apple’s poor-quality products, that lack obvious features, and which are wildly over priced…ever.

                Saying “but it’s the phone I want” does nothing other than demonstrate that you have been cowed by propaganda and/or the desire to conform. No matter how you want to rationalize it.