Microsoft's Lumia 640 found to be the best phone to use on a weak signal

The Lumia 640 was one of Microsoft's recent ventures when it comes to targeting the mid-range market, having been announced back in March 2015. Though packing decent specs, it does not match up to flagship smartphones like the iPhone 6s, Samsung Galaxy S7, or Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950 XL. However, in a recent study, the entry level device was found to be the best performer in times of a weak network signal.

The research was conducted by Aalborgs University in Denmark, and was commissioned by telecom authorities in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway. The experiment evaluates the performance of 26 smartphones when it comes to providing a connection when a signal is poor.

The smartphone contenders were the following:

  • Apple: iPhone 6, 6s, 6s Plus and SE
  • Samsung: Galaxy S7, S7 edge, S6 edge+, S5 Mini, and J1
  • Sony: Xperia Z5, Z5 Compact, Z3 Compact
  • LG G5
  • Microsoft: Lumia 640, 650, 950
  • Nexus: 6P, 5X
  • Huawei: P9, Honor 7, Y360
  • Xiaomi Mi5
  • HTC: Desire 626, HTC 10
  • DORO: Liberto 825, PhoneEasy 530X

To come up with the results, the study measured each smartphone's Total Isotropic Sensitivity (TIS) on each frequency band. The TIS has a negative value, and is measured by decibel-milliwatts or dBm.

When it comes to data services on a poor signal, the Microsoft Lumia 640 came out on top under the LTE 800MHz band test. It also produced good results in the LTE 1,800MHz and LTE 2,600MHz bands. The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ comes in second, while running in third and fourth place are the Galaxy S7 edge, and S7.

Apple's handsets don't do really well in the 800 MHz band, with the iPhone SE placing in 11th, behind the Lumia 950, Huawei P9, and the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact. The iPhone 6 and 6s sit in 13th and 14th place, respectively, while The iPhone 6s Plus is at a far 17th.

The test also examined how these smartphones would fare when held in either the right or left hand. The HTC Desire 626 rose to the top of the right hand test, which is followed by the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini, and Galaxy J1. The Lumia 640 comes in at a modest fourth. Apple's iPhone 6s Plus is in 12th place, and the iPhone 6 in 16th. At the bottom you can find the iPhone 6, ranked 22nd, followed by the iPhone SE in the 23rd place.

As for the the left hand, the DORO EasyPhone 530X came in first, which is narrowly followed by another appearance of the Lumia 640, and its newer brother Lumia 650. The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact follows in fourth, while the Xiaomi Mi5 comes in at fifth place. Apple performs the worst in the pack in this test, with the iPhone SE in 23rd place, and the iPhone 6 at 24th. They are immediately followed by the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

According to the study, the variation is large for left and right hand usage on several smartphones. "This shows that for some phones the antenna design does not take body loss in different usage positions into account. A well-designed antenna solution has a low body loss in both right- and left-hand usages," the study stated.

The study concludes with its findings that phones give better signals in hands-free mode, rather than placing them over the left or right hand.

You can read a more detailed version of the study by hitting the source link below.

Source: Aalborgs University via ZDNet | Tables via Aalborgs University

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