Apple puts Verizon and Motorola Droid X on blast, shows antenna problems on video

Apple shows Verizon Motorola Droid X death grip antenna problem
Apple shows Verizon Motorola Droid X death grip antenna problem

Just when you thought Apple was done bashing other smartphones on its “Smartphone antenna performance” web-ucational page, the iPhone maker adds the Verizon Motorola Droid X to its “antennagate” lineup. In doing so, Apple essentially calls out Verizon and Motorola’s Android-powered Droid X flagship for losing reception when its antenna is covered up by a human hand – the “Death Grip,” which was made public and popular by the iPhone 4.

Make no mistake. The Motorola Droid X is the epitome of an Android superphone, and is only rivaled by the Sprint HTC EVO 4G. By showing that even the creme de la creme of Android phones also suffers from the “Death Grip,” Apple is trying to prove to the world that the iPhone 4 is not alone in its antenna issues.

The updated Apple webpage indicates exactly where the Droid X antenna is located. It also posts a video showing a hand model grabbing the phone with their right hand and causing the signal bars to dwindle from three bars to none. Easing the grip on the phone immediately brings the signal bars back to life.

Intrigued? Well, before you believe all the hype, we have to say that our Droid X doesn’t seem to be affected in the same way as the handset in the video. In comparison, we can sometimes get our iPhone 4 to lose signal by holding in the “Death Grip.”

So, are you still planning to get a Droid X?

[Via: MacRumors]

  • STR

    This claim by Apple is ridiculous. I have the phone and trust me it's a complete fabrication. There is no noticeable attenuation when I hold the phone in that manner. In addition, the camera button prevents you from even holding the phone in the way they claim causes the issue. Nice try apple but you don't gain business by drawing attention away from your product. Not in this case.

    • Jake

      Well, my wife and I have an interesting problem on our droid xs. No grip problem, but if we have full bars before we make a call, when we make a call our bars go to 0 and sometimes drop calls. I love the droid x, but wonder what this is about?

      • Me

        I have a droid x and the same issue. It’s one thing to not have a signal, but what’s up with the phone having, then losing a signal while you’re standing in one spot? I could have four bars 3G and the next second I drop a call? VERIZON, I believe we’re paying you to work this out, not you’re paying us to be guinea pigs. I pay $145 a month to have worse service than before. Great, that’s just great, I’m always looking elsewhere.

        Verizon’s ONE strength was its network (which we overpay dearly for), and it looks like it’s decided to ride that to its soon death.

        None of my iphone friends have to deal with the incompatable/erresponsi e app issues… looks like I’me ready to switch.

  • guest

    There is a difference between normal use and abuse.

  • Russ Whitebear

    Maybe they can get all those aspiring video guys to help build white I Phones instead.

  • antony

    this is a joke from a t &t they don know how do they take verizon's costimer but they cant. look at all video's complaining droid x are without anyone's voice.
    at & t you are gonna die .

  • kevin

    i have a droid x… spent the last 5 minutes trying to replicate apples results… i was at 4…. after about 3 minutes i went up to 5 bars… hmmm something fishy apple

  • Josh

    Ya I've tried this "grip of death" on my Droid X, and holding it both the way they do in their video and by completely covering the top and the bottom of the phone I can't get it to drop a bar. As a matter of fact I went from 3 to 4 bars once I started to "grip of death" the phone.

  • swb

    This is not correct and should be deleted as an article altogether. I have a droid X and it is working perfectly…Apple is just trying to create sales losses and take some heat away from the fire they created with corporate mishandling and poor engineering on their end. This is pitiful that they stoop to this level, and I don't buy into Apple brand. They are misguided and sell a lifestyle more than anything else. It's getting old quick, especially with this mismanagement and flubs, they are no different than BP or any other company that purposefully neglects to take care of something in lue of profits. Shame on them

  • Jon M

    A bit fishier here than a BP photoshopped image? If this test was done in Cupertino (which would be interesting to know), it should begin maxed out at four bars because there is a Verizon cell site on the Cupertino campus.

  • Jared

    I've tried with mine with given position of holding phone and I can't get the signal to budge, strange. I even went as far to cover hold bottom of phone with both hands tightly around bottom, notta zilch five bars in the sticks. I had a Eris before and this phone picks up a signal better and therefore seems to consistently have more bandwitch speeds than I was getting on Eris. Maybe they got a prerelease to do this video with not updated radio and such…

  • jrac86

    Tried this on mine and it actually added one bar to the signal… Apple must be desperate. I wish they would just FIX THEIR DESIGN so we can stop hearing about this junk.

  • Cameron

    That's bull!

  • Kevin

    So if you completely grasp the entire bottom of the phone in low signal areas, you will lose bars? Fail. My iPhone4 lost bars with a light standard left-hand grip… This is bogus.

  • Alton

    Who the hell holds a phone like that to make a phone call? Why can't they just admit that there's a problem with the iphone. I didn't see Toyota going around pointing out other car companies problems. I really don't know what it is that they are trying to prove. From my understanding, you don't have to hold the iPhone very tightly to drop signal. I live in Canada otherwise the Droid X would be the phone I would get right away.

  • Will

    Not bashing the iphone as I have never used one. But I have used my droid X for over a week now holding it many different ways in many different places and have not dropped a single call

  • bobby

    dumb! tried it on my phone left hand and right didn't lose any bars

  • Mark

    Just tried it on my Droid X the exact same way they are holding it and no change this is a lie!!

  • James

    no issues for Droid X. Apple is faking it. Notice how in the video Droid X is not connected to 3g.

  • UnhappyDroider

    Oh crap, I am utterly disappointed. I had planned on going to a Verizon store tomorrow Saturday to buy Droid X but this story just killed my ethusiasm. Which phone to get now that everything else seems to have the antenna problem.

    • Bigd

      You should definitely buy an Apple i4. Since Apple's consumer base tends to be mindless, electronic zelots, who throw logic out the window when they hear the word "apple", you would make a perfect customer. Did you read ANY of these reviews?

  • Nick

    my reseption is fine no matter how i hold the phone…. the only complaint i have of the phone is that the ringers and media volume is tooooo low! I miss some calls and messages. And my alarm… forget it.. might as well not even set it.. but from what i hear, that aaaaaalot of people have the same problem.. so my guess is that they are gunna have to fix this problem..

  • flojac

    This is the dumbest thing i've ever seen.
    First of all, the way the "hand model" is holding the phone is unnatural for when you're actually talking on the phone.
    You'd NEVER be holding the phone in this way! Apple is stretching for anything to make their phone not look like it has valid issues. I've never been an apple fan… I don't have an android phone either, but this makes me loose the little respect I thought I had for apple.

  • AeroTech

    WOW…Apple is really trying anything to save face. I had an iPhone 4 and would lose reception every time I would wrap my hands around the phone. I now have a Droid X, which I hold EXACTLY the same way I did the iPhone, and no signal loss at all. Way to act like a 4th grader Apple! Stop pointing fingers and just fix your phone!

  • daniel

    I held mine (regrettably) in these positions for 5 minutes at a time and all my bars stayed in tact, 4 solid bars! i live in the LA area and i have perfect reception while texting and talking. so apple can suck it.

  • mts

    I don't like the way Apple is handling this issue. I have no advice or alternative solutions to their problem, but it just all seems so desperate, so last ditch. It's surprising coming from them, I guess. I would've imagined they'd come up with a more clever, classy way to convey that they're not the only ones with reception issues. Anyway, checked out the Droid X today. Me likey.

  • mts

    Oh, and the reason I wanted to write a comment in the first place: who the hell holds a phone like that? Why are people putting their phones in death grips?

  • flojac

    This is the dumbest thing i've ever seen.
    Why is apple stretching for things to validate their bad antenna design? First off, the "hand model" is holding the phone in a totally unnatural way for talking on the phone. If you're holding your droid x in the same manner he is, then you deserve to loose your signal. Really… who holds their phone that tight at the bottom when they're talking on the phone? Just try it for a few seconds and see how it feels. Did you do it? That's right, you probably came to the same conclusion I did.

    I've never really been an apple fan, nor do I own an android phone, but seeing this made me loose what little respect I may have had for apple.

  • Jer

    I already have a Droid X, and just for fun I've been trying to do this pretty much every day since I purchased it with no luck "attenuating" the signal.

    Sorry Apple, I'm still a fan (own several iPods and a Macbook) but this is BS.

  • Philip

    I have the Droid X and after 5 minutes of trying… I can't duplicate this. Retarded. Nice try, Apple.

  • Chris b

    Call me silly but that is a very odd looking droid x. But it is funny that iphone employees have a droid x, must be for when they need to make a call and don’t know the iphone 4g super secret hold pattern which is apples built in security feature.

  • Matt

    I live in the sticks of West Virginia and even here with my weak signal I can’t get my DroidX to lose signal from the” death grip”. I think there is a rotten Apple in the basket.

  • Wario

    i had an iphone 4 worth paying the cancellation fee and switching to a real phone and a real network verizon Droid X.

  • adub

    I have had the droid x since it came out and i have tried everything to replicate this problem and have not been able too, signal strength is amazing almost everywhere…my sister has the iphone 4 and i did the exact same thing and it would lose signal every time i would put the "death grip" on it………droid x=far and away better than the iphone 4

  • mayra

    I have this phone and i have no problem with the antenna!

  • Pdm777

    Did this with a Droid X in a Verizon store. Don’t have any problem with my iPhone 4…I am so glad to be free from Verizon

  • chedi_7776

    This is utter bull. I spent last 4 he’s trying to replicate this Apple claim, I have not seen it drop a bar. This is the most ridiculous thing I have heard from Apple. Never expected this shalowness from Apple.

    Apple please fix your hardware design test that rather than testing a flagship phone like Droid X.

  • Jacques

    I dont have a phone, but if I hold my wife this way, she goes from 4 bars to no bars at all. I want a bumper for her and can’t find one ;-(

  • jamie

    I just got the droid x, no probs. Apple let’s face it has hit home run after home run with product releases. This latest iphone4 was a complete blunder, with gazzilions of r and d dollars how do you not catch this “antenna problem” its the corporate cockiness that’s going to hurt them more than anything. Eventually competition catches up “droid x” and they become a threat. Apple to needs to take it on the chin, have several million in losses and get back on their feet again. Happy I got the Droid.

  • Bob Jones

    The internet has given a voice for idiots to interject ridiculous information.

  • Jim

    So rather then putting out a high-end quality product, Apple prefers to prove how they're only as good as the other products out there?

  • Emily Santacruz

    APPLE!!!! Get off there nuts!!!

  • newDroidXuser

    I have the droid x. and I have ZERO problems with it.

  • tva

    How low can you go, Apple ? Just makes me that much more glad I returned their product. Knowing Apple's culture of arrogance, it doesn't really surprise me. They think they can do no wrong. Hey Steve Jobs, think about it: If the Droid X had the same issue, the CONSUMERS would have already been all over it. Obviously this has not happened. Is the Droid X a perfect product ? Of course not, but at least Motorola and Verizon are owning up to some defects and THEY'RE FIXING THEM. LEARN A LESSON, JOBS !!!

  • Greg Moore


    This is a complete BS story. The people who publish this article must be backed by Apple….

    If the Droid X does experience attenuation it doesn't make a difference because the Verizon network is awesome….

    I recently paid my ETF to AT&T to buy this Droid and have no regrets.

  • JKen

    Apple thought they were clever by tarring the competition with some bogus propaganda video instead of fixing their design problem might help restore consumer confidence in their flawed product. The company has gone to new lows with such silly, dishonest antics.

    When my iPhone 3GS dies, I'm definitely NOT getting another iPhone (or iPad). Sheesh!

  • luc71

    WoW. Can anyone say how low can apple go! Once upon a time I had an iphone and it was great… after I jailbroke it, but now I have a Droid x which runs a real OS, which I admit isn't for everyone. So there is still room for the iphone for the electronically challenged, but Steve Jobs needs to admit to himself that his shiny toy phone has been eclipsed by something better and more powerful and either redesign the iphone in a meaningful way so that once again it is a trend setting device or move on. This is just another one of apple's childish fits.

  • Ryan

    Anyone else find it interesting that in the video the droid X is not connected to 3G? Makes you wonder what circumstances apple needed to reproduce this, because with the vast majority of the US, 3G is prevalent on Verizon.

  • Joefuss

    I'm not an Apple fan in anyway, in fact i hate Steve Jobs and any douche bags that buy his products. Any phone you do this to you may lose some reception, cell phone antennas aren't meant to be covered up. In most user manuals the manufacturer will put a picture of how to hold the phone, the "Death Grip" is not the proper way.

  • 1stkorean

    This bashing just shows what kind of Company Apple is and their Fascist-Dictator leader is not to be believed on anything. Since this coverup started jobs has lied, exaggerated the defect as being a non issue. He is his own biggest fan and a legend in his own mind not to mention looks like he has died already.

    I have had 2 of those rotten pieces of fruit and returned both, got a Droid X on the 15th and now I am so glad those fruity phones crapped out. The Verizon Network puts that at&t junk to shame. Oh Yeah my new Droid X Does a lot more than that iThing4 could ever do.

    jobs & apple…Thank You for making such a terrible new iPhone, I Love my New Droid X.

  • Edwin Rodriguez


  • Stephen

    Got my Droid X July 15. I just tried to hold phone in death grip with no change in bars. I placed my finger over slot and gained bars. Wrong again iPhone. Verizon you don't need iPhone. This phone is fine. I also have HTC Evo 4G. I like it better than Droid X, but Verizon has better coverage. Not one dropped call yet. knock on wood. Both much better than BB Storm 2.

  • jarvik1394

    I've had my Droid X since opening day and I can happily report that I've experienced no reception issues. I've tried many variations of the death grip in an attempt to re-create Apple's claim. So far I've had no success. My Droid X doesn't drop below 2 bars and my signal strength is within 83-96 db. I've not had one dropped call.

    The only complaint regarding reception is sometimes I'll lose my connection to a music stream while travelling to and from work at 192kb/sec bit-rate. This only occurs in two spots and is undoubtedly a result of the hills on the San Francisco Peninsula.

    So far I cannot replicate the problem. Perhaps Apple's test phone is bad.

  • Mike

    Yep, this is 100% false. I tried dozens of times to get this to happen and it just doesn't. The attenuated signal must be from something they are doing off camera, it's really kinda sad they have to dig that deep.

  • droidfan

    I think whoever fabricated this video forgot to put the 3G icon on the status bar!!!

  • kiran kumar


    You are screwing up yourself. Set your home right first before accusing others.

    Not able to understand why Apple is behaving in this childish manner

  • Matt

    When I stand on my head, holding the phone right side up with a finger on the top of the phone and a the rest of my fingers wrapped tightly around the phone, one eye closed, my hair slicked back, wearing a blue t-shirt, jeans with only one pant leg on, a sandal on my left foot and a tennis shoe on my right foot with my dog sitting directly in front of me, all of my electronic devices in the house turned on, the door is half open, and a fan is going I lose my signal! Curse those crazy Droid phones!

  • Mat

    anybody can put up a video to show something happening … who is controlling this test … are there signal jammers involved ? Apple's response to this issue is so pathetic and lame, trying to make the next guy look worse instead of trying to fix the issue… way to waste resources on counterproductive BS.

  • max

    Here's a clarification of what's "really" going on:

  • indiana

    Apple is full of shit……i just tried this crap they cooked up and happy to report that it did not work.

  • Helios

    Apple: Save your lies. I have a Droid X, and it is a totally amazing phone. I tried to replicate the same. When I hold it in the manner the guy holds in this video, my signal actually improves strength by one bar. Thanks for leaking this secret out.

    BTW, Verizon is the only network that has coverage even underground in the metro.

  • Shutupalready

    is this the droid fanboy site? just wondering, because my co worker got the droid x and had to switch back to a touch pro2 because his screen wont work on the droid. Oh, I also have an iphone 4, have no problems with dropped calls whatsoever, no case on mine. Every phone has issues, which is why i assume they release a new droid every week. Between his droid and my other co workers evo, i have never seen a more unpolished OS on a phone before. I guess you do have that big screen though!(resolution aside) Dont worry fanboys, there will be another droid out in a week or two, then you can tell everyone how much better that one is since droid x has surpassed iphone in sales…oh…wait…nevermind…wont happen. Apple hase one phone, and a great os, droid, has god knows how many phones and still cant compete. And no, im not an apple fanboy, i cant stand macs actually, i just think this "rivalry is retarded" the apple iphone has a much more polished os, and works fine, otherwise i dont think people would still be lining up to buy them. Apple doesnt need to release a new one every couple weeks with some sort of "cover" over the os to try and make it smoother, or easier to use etc. Just get over it, if you like your droid, you do, if you like your iphone, great. they both are decent phones, just cater to different people.

  • Apple iPhone 4 sucks

    This is insane…. i tried to hold all the way and I did not drop a bar….
    Apple is lying

  • Tony D

    They have a version of BIOB sydrome (Apple that is) If the iphone has a problem it's Bush's fault.

    APPLE OBAMA whats the difference they are both the Messiah.

  • JRB1252

    i believe it. my droid x does the same thing. its the most annoying thing to me cuz without signal the phone is worthless. alot of issues need to be addressed with this phone. volume, signal, wi fi, just to name a few.

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