People complain to me that their cell phones aren't working and that they have to go outside.
Sometimes it's just the area you are in, and you have to get up to a high area of the house right next to a certain window. same with certain buildings made of cement. cement blocks reception real well (find a window or go outside). Companies with cement buildings buy pagers that work at certain frequencies because those go through the cement. But oftentimes it's the way people hold their cell phones. That's right. This is going to get real uncomfortable for a while, so hold on.
stick antennas might cause pocket jabs to clothes (making holes?) but they keep the antenna away from blocking fingers.
Where the transmitter is on most phones:
Many flip phones don't have stick antennas these days. I opened my nokia 6010 and noticed a white block at the top of the phone in the back. that's the transmitter. You can expect the same for other "rectangular-block" cell phones. It transmits out the back, so as not to transmit into your head (less range that way). You don't want to block that transmitter with your finger(s) or anything else. It takes creating a new habit not to do it. otherwise, your conversation gets cut off. And it's not the service's fault. Sometimes I still notice I slip my finger back up there to support the phone, and to keep myself from gettiong cut off, I quickly remember to move it back down. it's a constant struggle. Here are the antenna positions of most flip cell phones:
You would think that the engineers would have moved the transmitter up into the top edge of the [flip] phone, (today's smart phones are this way I think, at least the blackberry is). Transmitters require a lot of power & very short connections, and it's really hard to do that without causing a lot of problems. Hence the placement you see. I guess we're going to have to get used to it.
Flip phone tips
Practice finding some ways to support the phone well and still keep your fingers below the transmitter. I have a rather unfancy rectangular phone, so I hold it by the sides. a flip phone user may need to support the back with the index finger due to the excessive vertical weight.
Finding the transmitter on your phone:
If you can't open your phone to find the transmitter, just put your finger where you usually do for about 2 minutes and watch the antenna signal indicator and see how many bars it goes down. See how far your finger has to go down before things are fine. After 2 minutes (or the bars change) you can move your finger and try again. Sorry there isn't much room. This is awkward at first and it takes some getting used to, but if you can get in the habit even somewhat, you'll be better off all around.
nowadays the engineers are using the body to enhance the transmitter, as an antenna amplifier.
If you are in a remote location, like the mountains or hills and you don't get good reception no matter what you try (1 bar if that) Wilson Electronics Inc makes the best cell phone boosters/repeaters. see my cell phone boosters page.
Wilson Electronics Inc makers of Cellular Signal Boosters
Hope this helps.
how long do cell phones last? my experience is 4 years. it starts to act flaky and does random things by itself or when you press a button.