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Which phone has the best reception in 2022?

Are you looking to buy a new phone? Before you make up your mind you might want to make sure that the model you chose provides the best reception for excellent quality phone calls.

Phone with the best reception for calls.

In order to understand which phone model is the best at mobile signal reception we looked at a research conducted by Prof. Gert F. Pedersen at Aalborg University in Denmark. Prof. Pedersen tested the most popular phones in the Propagation and Networking Lab while he primarily focused on antenna performance. 

Before we jump to the results of Prof.Pederson’s research, let me explain what parameters were measured and why. A mobile phone has two types of signals: uplink and downlink. Uplink is essentially a signal that a mobile phone sends to the base station (important for the quality of phone calls). Downlink is a signal that the base station sends back to a cell phone (important for the quality of mobile data). The team at Aalborg University measured both uplink and downlink signals for the selected phones. For uplink signal they measured TRP (Total Transmitted Power, dBm). For downlink they measured TIS (Total Isotropic Sensitivity, dBm). The higher the TRP, the better uplink signal. The lower TIS, the better the phone’s reception in weak signal areas and the better its data service. The results of Prof. Pedersen and his team’s research are shown below in two tables that list phone models from the best to the worst performing, according to their TRP and TIS values.

Phone reception measurements
Phone data service measurements

How the tests were carried out.

The team at Aalborg University tested all selected phones in four modes: free space, right hand, right hand next to head and left hand next to head. In free space mode a phone would be placed in free space with no objects next to it. In right hand setup, a dummy hand would be holding the tested phone. In the right hand and left hand next to the head setup, a dummy hand would be holding a mobile phone next to the dummy’s head on the right or left side respectively. Basically the engineers were trying to reproduce a real-life environment to test mobile phone’s reception. The tables above show a right hand next to head setup results as this is the most common scenario. 

Smartphone with the best reception 2022

The online magazine, “Smartphones Revealed”, recently tested the most popular cell phones for antenna performance. They based their analysis on Prof. Pedersen’s research whereas they measured antenna parameters and assigned each phone model a certain score. They then listed phone models from the best to the worst according to the antenna score.

Mobile PhoneTotal Score(out of 100)Antenna Performance(out of 10)
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 128 GB + 4G818
Samsung Galaxy S22+ (Android) 128 GB918
Xiaomi 12 (Android 2022) 256 GB868
OnePlus 10 Pro 5G (2022) 256 GB907
OnePlus Nord 2 5G 128 GB827
OnePlus Nord 2 5G 256 GB827
OnePlus Nord CE 2 (2022) 128 GB757
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G 128 GB807
Apple iPhone 12 64 GB727
Apple iPhone 12 128 GB727
Apple iPhone 12 256 GB727
Motorola Edge 20 (2021) 128 GB726
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 128 GB886
OnePlus 10T (2022) 128 GB866
Samsung Galaxy S22 (Android) 128 GB786
Smartphones ranked by antenna performance

So when it comes to the best reception, the Samsung Galaxy S20 is an absolute winner followed by the Samsung Galaxy S22 and the Xiaomi 12. 

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