Axon 7 cell signal reception after B25

ggregggreg Posts: 138 ✭✭✭✭✭

Starting a new thread for this issue at ​ 's advice.

This update worsened the phone's cell reception problem. In weak signal area, if the phone loses the signal completely (empty triangle), it will not reacquire the signal until you move to an area with stronger signal. Before this update the phone would, with some difficulty, but get the signal back (or not lose it at all). Here I have to note that the re-acquisition of the signal happens faster than before B25, so clearly some work was done to improve the corresponding code.

The LTE Discovery app reports around -114 dBm Band 4 as I enter this area. Then the reading starts fluctuating up and down between -117 and something like -128, to as bad as -140, at which point the phone shows No service.  As I said, in identical circumstances and before the update the signal was weak but stable and usable. Unfortunately I did not take any signal strength readings at the time.

p.s. I'm on T-Mobile, if that makes any difference.

Best Answer

  • ggregggreg Posts: 138 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer

    Well, based on the information from the B25 update thread, it looks like ZTE had crippled this phone's reception functionality on purpose (to make room for larger speakers). So following that, I guess the "Correct Answer" for this reception issue is to buy a different phone from a different producer.


  • razor512razor512 New York Posts: 1,987 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    When in that environment where it loses connectivity, what happens if you put the phone into airplane mode, and then turn airplane mode off? this is useful for checking if there is an issue with how hard the device tries to find a signal after getting disconnected.

  • ggregggreg Posts: 138 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I tried cycling the airplane mode, as well as restarting the phone, without success.

  • shoman94shoman94 MainePosts: 601 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have seen this change also in b25 but the signal also worsened after b19. IMO b29mm and b15n were the 2 best builds for reception.

  • kevinmcmurtriekevinmcmurtrie Silicon Valley areaPosts: 272 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It looks like the update broke T-Mobile HSPA, T-Mobile WiFi calling, and it made WiFi unstable.  Nice work, ZTE!

    I just got an RMA for dust in the camera.  Hopefully the replacement doesn't have this update.

  • maverickmaverick NJPosts: 309 ✭✭✭✭✭

    the phone has bad reception in general but till i read this i didnt notice that the signal was worse. Things take longer to load and now my phone seems to have weak signal everywhere. hmmmmm

  • kevinmcmurtriekevinmcmurtrie Silicon Valley areaPosts: 272 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have two Axon 7 phones - one with MiFavor 7.1.1 B25 and one with LineageOS 14.1.

    The B25 phone is not working at all indoors and it's unreliable outdoors.  It shows no data.  WiFi drops regularly and WiFi Calling fails regularly. It used to work marginally well with the previous MiFavor.

    The LineageOS 14.1 phone works fine everywhere when I put my SIM card into it.  The signal sometimes drops for a moment but it recovers.

  • beenwaitingforthisbeenwaitingforthis Posts: 640 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I guess that shows the reception problem is partly software.One thing I would recommend is the free Connection Stabilizer Booster app and set to always be on (uses little battery). It doesn't require root, but using that and other kernel type tweaks that do require root I now quite consistently have at least one bar on my old G2 where I used to rarely have any. Not quite sure what combination worked but I even had signal where my nephew's iPhone 7 had none (although he used to beat me with an iPhone 4...).

  • dnewman007dnewman007 las vegasPosts: 2,984 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Luckily I've not had any issues. If I ever do I will try the Connection Stabilizer Booster. Thanks​.

  • mi_lionmi_lion Posts: 77

    I must have got lucky like under past 3 updates never had any issue of Wi-Fi or cellular connection issues...and at home I not close to Tower (Cricket/At&T) but never any issues compared to my other phone.

    Have tried connection booster apps before, but really feel they are a placebo effect/mind game and make little if any real world difference (at least with AT&T towers or Sprint which I tested them with).

    Those that have poor Network tower implementations, proximity distance issues, work behind impenetrable signal blocking walls,  they always blame the closest suspect...(the phone in their hand) and expect and demand new software to reinvent the world surrounding them!

  • ggregggreg Posts: 138 ✭✭✭✭✭
    mi_lion wrote:Those that have poor Network tower implementations, proximity distance issues, work behind impenetrable signal blocking walls, they always blame the closest suspect...(the phone in their hand) and expect and demand new software to reinvent the world surrounding them!

    I'm sure your assumptions are based on your personal experience.

    My complaint is based on my experience with other smartphones and Axon 7 with previous firmware versions in identical circumstances.

  • mi_lionmi_lion Posts: 77

    Guess you missed the initial part:

    "got lucky like you{reply to dnewman007} under past 3 updates never had any issue of Wi-Fi or cellular connection issues...and at home I not close to Tower (Cricket/At&T) but never any issues compared to my other phone."

    Sorry you not feeling so "lucky" and understand my intent not to place all complaints in one bag fits all!

    Some on this forum have returned and replaced phones many times until got one where they were happy. Some not so happy. Is good to be "lucky" too

    Yes, of coarse that is my assumptions based on my experience with Axon 7 and previous phone used in exact same circumstances and under past 3 updates.

  • kevinmcmurtriekevinmcmurtrie Silicon Valley areaPosts: 272 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yes, mi_lion, I do blame ZTE's software because I have multiple phones to try.

    • 2015 Moto X Pure with LineageOS 14.1 : Weak but stable HSPA+
    • Axon 7 with LineageOS 14.1 : Moderate LTE band 12 with brief drops (looks like the usual Axon 7 radio crashes)
    • Axon 7 stock with B25 : Occasionally connects with HSPA or LTE band 17 (wrong carrier!) but is mostly showing no signal.  Can't see LTE band 12.  No call or data functionality at any time.

    Before B25, the stock Axon 7 used to work as well as the Axon 7 with LineageOS 14.1.  It had frequent radio crashes but could generally work.

  • mi_lionmi_lion Posts: 77

    Okay....seems your evaluation of Software IS the blame satisfies your situation.

    My evaluation and (I too am not alone) having no issues comparing past three Software updates concerning cell reception calls & data or Wi-Fi connection issues says different.

    Those who have NO problems are always the salt to the wound of those having problems!

    Their are too many variables; differences in quality control among like devices, third party installed software, rooted devices, clearing of device before major upgrades, different Sim Carriers used, same Carrier but not same local Carrier equipment upgrades,  users' distance to Tower, and on and on.

    Sorry my friend I even chimed in on this discussion, only wanted to give balance to fact that not all users experiences are same or negative...was all.

  • beenwaitingforthisbeenwaitingforthis Posts: 640 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Definitely not a placebo effect as I went from almost never having a signal to almost always having one in a particular low signal area - even if only a weak one; meanwhile other phones are still struggling so no improvement in service in that area.

  • ggregggreg Posts: 138 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Axon 7 with B29 was almost equivalent to my Moto X Pure. It all went downhill when Nougat arrived.

  • shoman94shoman94 MainePosts: 601 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree 100%.

    I just installed LOS to see and sure enough signal is back to what it was on b29mm. I'll test it late today when I go to work to see how the signal is through my well know travel spots and signal holes.

  • cricketjiminycricketjiminy LocationPosts: 24

    I'm pretty close to giving up on the Axon 7...

    Despite the happiness with the radio actually finding the LTE towers (unlike the S7 which never found them), I kept getting annoyed by constant and frequent signal disconnects.

    This was before and after difference.

    I decided to try a Moto G 5th Generation with the same sim. It was like night and day. Not only did it connect to the LTE towers on T-Mobile,it connected to them a LOT more... finding them in areas where the Axon only found roaming on AT&T or nothing at all.... and on top of that, a better faster signal....often much faster, giving me T-Mobil LTE speeds more than 10 mbps for the first time ever.

    And the constant intermittent signal drop problem is pretty much gone with the Moto.

    Anything to try before I sell off the Axon "good camera. difficult buttons....unstable radio??" 7?

  • razor512razor512 New York Posts: 1,987 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    With the Axon 7, parts of the body of the device are used as an antenna (notice the antenna lines on the back of the unit.

    The speaker grills also have some antennas behind them, but those are diversity antennas for the cell radio, as well as antennas for WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS.

    Due to the speaker design, the actual drivers are deeper in the device, and the audio is ported out through an opening in the grills. This all allows space for the antennas.

    Overall, the speakers are not getting in the way of the antennas.

  • ggregggreg Posts: 138 ✭✭✭✭✭
    razor512 wrote:Overall, the speakers are not getting in the way of the antennas. 

    As per the final design. This is not under dispute.

  • blurayagentblurayagent the OCPosts: 106 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've noticed the same issue with receptions as the OP.  However, I don't think it's because of the speakers

    Especially after update B25. In weak area when I'm in a building, the A7 will loose reception and when it regains reception, data internet will not work even when I'm able to make a call. Only by cycling Airplane mode that I'm able to get data internet working. There seems to be a bug with this latest update B25 since I had no issue prior to this update.

    I hope ZTE can correct this #1 priority soon.

  • ggregggreg Posts: 138 ✭✭✭✭✭
    blurayagent wrote:I've noticed the same issue with receptions as the OP. However, I don't think it's because of the speakers

    The information about the antenna/speakers design compromise appears to come from the developers. However, I'm hoping you're right and a competent and well tested patch will fix this.

    p.s. Would be interesting if ​ could share his impressions of his new phone's reception quality, especially how it compares in those locations where Axon 7 was useless.

  • gentlemusergentlemuser DFWPosts: 138 ✭✭✭✭

    With the Mate 9 I no longer worry about cell reception. Which is exactly how it should be!! 

    I don't  have a voicemail randomly show up because phone never rang. I haven't had a single occurrence of a web browser not being able to retrieve content. Not once!!

    LTE Discovery and Signal Checker both display much stronger signal readings with the Mate 9 than the Axon 7.

    So it has solved that huge issue for me. The MAIN issue!!

    On another note, and I may post this as a separate thread at some point, while EMUI 5 seems to be a pretty nice version of Android, I do truly miss Mifavor. I still say that it really is a user friendly version of Android, and I  prefer it over EMUI 5.

    Notifications are better! EMUI 5 does some weird things with notifications. Settings menus I think are slightly more helpful with Mifavor.

    No double tap to wake though is driving me crazy!! Fingerprint Reader on the Mate is both faster and more accurate. While screen is only full HD on the Mate, I think it looks better. Weird, right!

    Dual Leica camera on the Mate 9 embarrasses the Axon 7!!!  Da-um!!!

    Believe it or not, speakers are a push. I do miss the Dolby Amos!

    Just a few random observations.

    Biggest thing I miss though is a forum like this, with folks like yall that lean heavily to the phone nerd side!!! I have really found nothing in the way of a Huawei or Mate 9 specific forum. Little something at Android Central, but nothing close to this!!  Don't take this thing for granted! I mean that.....

  • ggregggreg Posts: 138 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for the update gentlemuser! Good information.

  • jimlloyd40jimlloyd40 Phoenix, AZ Posts: 14,016 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    There are several apps available  for double tap on and off.

  • gentlemusergentlemuser DFWPosts: 138 ✭✭✭✭

    Thanks Mr Lloyd, I had no idea. I wonder how much battery that uses?  Has to have something going at all times to be ready for the tap. But so must the A7 so that's probably not an issue.

    ** forgot to mention above, the 4000mah battery gives you what you would think it would. That has been very very nice.... **

  • jimlloyd40jimlloyd40 Phoenix, AZ Posts: 14,016 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    You're welcome Mr. .  Battery consumption is insignificant. Being the battery consumption nut that I am I wouldn't use those apps if they used much battery.

  • gentlemusergentlemuser DFWPosts: 138 ✭✭✭✭

    Do you have a go to double tap to wake app that you utilize on maybe a different phone? All of the double tap to wake apps I saw on the playstore really get killed in the comments section....

  • jimlloyd40jimlloyd40 Phoenix, AZ Posts: 14,016 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Depending upon the device the two that I've found that work the best are "Double Tap screen on and off" by Kimcy929 and "smart screen on off pro" by LuuTinh. The latter is the one that I'm using on the A7. But I don't use the proximity sensor for screen on.

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