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Why does my HTC Desire have poor signal?

Compared to my housemates iphone, my signal seems really bad. What should I do?

Most Useful Answer Satbeginner  Mar. 17, 2012 at 10:02

Hi All,

I recently bought a second hand HTC Desire and had the same thing: Bad Reception.
I tried EVERYTHING, Rom's, Radio's, Task-killers, etc. but I found the reason was something completely different!

Now my Desire has FULL 4 bars reception: What did I do?

Remove the battery cover, take out the battery, unscrew the two small Torx screws at the bottom left and right.
These two screws hold the antenna cover which is actually the antenna itself!!

You will find two spring-loaded contacts at the left of the phone on the circuitboard: these are the antenna contacts. Pry them up al little bit and clean them with some alcohol.

Now clean the two grey contact surfaces in the antenna. Do not use any scratching tool, but use a small pencil eraser!! the surface will stay a bit grey, but this is normal.

Now you are done!

Put the antenna back in place (bottom first) and put the 2 screws back.

Boot your phone and you will have good (4 bar) reception like before.

If you want to check?
Before you do anything "dial" *#*#4636#*#* , choose "Phone Information" and look at the signal strength.
The lower the number of dBm the better the signal.
Same as: the higher the ASU the better the signal.

Do the same after cleaning and you will see the result.

Succes to you all!

Extra: The antenna is at the bottom of the phone, poor design choice, we all know.

However:before -when holding the phone- the Signal Strength went from -103 dBm tot -119 dBm and then to 0, meaning losing the connection completely.
Now, the reception at the same location when holding the phone goes from -79 dBm to -85 dBm still holding 4 bars and having good reception.

My guess is that with all the Desire's these contacts corrode over time, so cleaning does help to get the phone back in it's original condition..

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12 comments

mrew42  Jan. 25, 2011 at 15:22

That's a tricky one. Same network? I noticed a distinct drop in 'pulling power' of my Desire compared to my Sony Ericsson K810i. My wife's Samsung Galaxy S is less able to hold a signal than her Nokia Supernova used to.
If you're on a different network then try another with a better signal in your area, but indoors there's precious little can be done. If your desire is bad ALL the time (even outdoors) then sound like there's a genuine problem and you should contact your retailer.

frodolovesthering  Jan. 25, 2011 at 15:42

The most likely reason for the poor signal on your HTC Desire is a combination of location and network. Before investigating as a potential fault, your provider will ask the following: Does the signal improve if you move to another location? Have you tried another SIM card in the Desire? Have you tried the Desire’s SIM card in another phone? It’s a matter of trial and error trying to determine whether the fault lies with the location, SIM or handset. If you can narrow that down, you'll be off to a good start. 8)

CoolHandPuke  Jan. 25, 2011 at 17:42

Had this problem with my desire!

Fotunately I am quite good with tech and have rooted my desire and installed a custom ROM as well as a new radio rom!

THis made my signal near DOUBLOE what it was and I get a signal near anywhere now (voda).

I suggest ou have a dig aroun in here xda-developers.com

I in no way endorse what ou do to our own equipment and will not be held in anyway responsible for the outcome! (unless it works of course then u can praise me all you like! :p:p

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 25, 2011 at 17:44

Yes, as already said: how well does it perform in other locations? Are your friends on the same network? etc etc....
In my office at work my HTC Desire HD cannot receice 3G, and is struggling to stick to a wifi signal. Neither my old Nokia E71 nor my HTC HD2 have any probs in that part of the building... As Apple found out the hard way last year: phones and antennas really are a science. Different phones, different performance. Sadly, we all have to find out the hard way. If the phone is useless, return it for another model...

Satbeginner  Mar. 17, 2012 at 10:02

Hi All,

I recently bought a second hand HTC Desire and had the same thing: Bad Reception.
I tried EVERYTHING, Rom's, Radio's, Task-killers, etc. but I found the reason was something completely different!

Now my Desire has FULL 4 bars reception: What did I do?

Remove the battery cover, take out the battery, unscrew the two small Torx screws at the bottom left and right.
These two screws hold the antenna cover which is actually the antenna itself!!

You will find two spring-loaded contacts at the left of the phone on the circuitboard: these are the antenna contacts. Pry them up al little bit and clean them with some alcohol.

Now clean the two grey contact surfaces in the antenna. Do not use any scratching tool, but use a small pencil eraser!! the surface will stay a bit grey, but this is normal.

Now you are done!

Put the antenna back in place (bottom first) and put the 2 screws back.

Boot your phone and you will have good (4 bar) reception like before.

If you want to check?
Before you do anything "dial" *#*#4636#*#* , choose "Phone Information" and look at the signal strength.
The lower the number of dBm the better the signal.
Same as: the higher the ASU the better the signal.

Do the same after cleaning and you will see the result.

Succes to you all!

Extra: The antenna is at the bottom of the phone, poor design choice, we all know.

However:before -when holding the phone- the Signal Strength went from -103 dBm tot -119 dBm and then to 0, meaning losing the connection completely.
Now, the reception at the same location when holding the phone goes from -79 dBm to -85 dBm still holding 4 bars and having good reception.

My guess is that with all the Desire's these contacts corrode over time, so cleaning does help to get the phone back in it's original condition..

matt101101 / MOD  Mar. 17, 2012 at 11:36

I can't try what you've suggested as I sold my Desire nearly a year ago, but that sounds like a great piece of advice if it works as well as you suggest :)!

JanSt / MOD  Mar. 17, 2012 at 11:59

Satbeginner,

welcome, and thanks for that great mini-tutorial.
That must be affecting quite a few folks seeing how very popular the HTC Desire still is.

matt101101 / MOD  Mar. 17, 2012 at 12:28

Yeah, the original Desires that were first sold in 2010 will be nearing the end of their contract lifespan right around now. That means there'll be lots of people who either want to improve the signal before they sell it or, on the other side of the coin, have already bought one and need to improve the signal on it.

All in all, great advice, cheers :).

gozitan  Sep. 9, 2012 at 11:54

A BIG thanks to Satbeginner. My HTC had the same problem. I opened it up and cleaned the grey contacts. Now my phone has a much better reception than before. Thanks again!

verger  Jun. 24, 2014 at 14:48

hi i have a desire C since 2013 just changed to )2 for reception here but now getting above problems does the above suggestion still apply?

matt101101 / MOD  Jun. 24, 2014 at 19:01

hi i have a desire C since 2013 just changed to )2 for reception here but now getting above problems does the above suggestion still apply?
Probably not.

A) The Desire C is an entirely different phone
B) If you've just changed networks, it's probably that, as opposed to a hardware issue

JanSt / MOD  Jun. 24, 2014 at 19:05

o_O

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