HTC ONE X
By all accounts, the HTC One X is a truly great Android phone in both hardware and
software. After a few weeks of availability, however, some cracks are beginning to form in HTC’s
newly rebuilt facade. Users are reporting that the HTC One X suffers from a “death grip” of sorts
that indicates a Wi-Fi antenna defect.
Users noticed that despite an all polycarbonate shell, the HTC One X was getting fairly mediocre
Wi-Fi reception. All phones are different in that respect, but some are now claiming that this is
the result of a clear hardware fault.
Members of the famed modding community at XDA Forums suggest that One X users ought to
test their devices as follows: Grab an app that can accurately measure your Wi-Fi signal in dBm,
and hop on your nearest wireless network. Apply pressure on the back of the phone between the
camera lens and the volume toggles. If the device is affected by this supposed defect, Wi-Fi
signal will improve only to drop back down to middling levels when you release. I suppose this is
more of a life grip, actually.
There is a long history of the enthusiast community finding bizarre bugs, which are then ascribed
to catchable hardware mistakes. Back in 2010 XDA members were busily tearing down Galaxy
Sphones to re-solder the GPS antenna, which had rather poor performance. Earlier that year
people were complaining about the below-average signal reception on the Nexus One.
The most prominent example of this pattern is obviously the iPhone 4 antennagate scandal.
Owners became obsessed with the idea of a death grip after finding that signal strength could be
reduced by touching the iPhone in a certain spot.
I am not claiming that these are not problems. If everyone can agree that a phenomenon exists,
and it can be demonstrated consistently, that is a bug. However, these are minor hardware
problems in the grand scheme of things. If the One X Wi-Fi issue turns out to be real, I don’t
expect to see droves of users sending the device back just because it gets mediocre Wi-Fi
HTC is looking into the reports, but XDA users are already making video tutorials on how to tear
down the unibody device to screw around with the Wi-Fi antenna directly.