VIDEO: Research Report Preview - mobile phones

Our team of researchers have been hard at work testing more than 30 mobile phone handsets for February’s Research Report.

Ben White

Mobile phone are used for much more than making and receiving calls; text, email, web browsing and using apps are essential parts of our day-to-day lives. But ultimately, a phone is pretty useless if it has poor reception and cannot send and receive calls and data from a tower. 

The Kondinin Group Team’s phone test protocol is a simple, albeit a tedious affair and involves placing a series of two-way calls at varying distances from a mobile tower. 

Each phone has to locate the network, and then a call is placed. Both sender and receiver must be able to carry out a successful conversation. Phones are placed on speaker and held in the air facing the tower, allowing maximum reception for each unit. In some cases phones need to be restarted or placed in and out of airplane mode to prompt them to seek the network. The greatest distance a two-way call can be made from the tower is recorded for each handset.

After reception testing, we assemble a panel of users who assess each model for best and worst features from a farmer’s point of view. Some units simply do not appear robust enough to cope with the rigours of agricultural life. Given that it is easy to spend over $1000 on a smartphone, a screen protector and quality protective case is a necessity.

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