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For those of you that had the first generation iPhone and then upgraded to the new iPhone 3G, you might have noticed that the number of bars for reception on your phone went down. How could that be? Why would Apple create a phone with a reception quality that’s inferior to its predecessor? Well it is and it isn’t. It’s the 3G and you should turn it off. Here’s why:

I have figured out by having 3G turned off, my reception quality goes up and I get fewer dropped calls. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the image image above. On the top is a screenshot of the iPhone with 3G turned on. Notice the number of bars, 1. Now look at the bottom screenshot with 3G turned off. Notice it has full bars.

Why exactly this is happening I don’t know. My educated guess though is this:

Not every cell tower in an area is 3G enabled. The iPhone was programmed to first look for a 3G tower and then any tower if a 3G one doesn’t exist in that area. This means that you could literally be standing next to a tower that isn’t 3G enabled and it still won’t connect to it, because it wants the 3G one that it found 5 miles away.

Now please don’t tear me appart for technicalities in that statement. I don’t personally know the range of cell towers or anything. This all is just an educated guess.

Regardless of the fact that my educated guess is most likely completely inaccurate, the one thing that I know is a fact is that turning off 3G improves reception. If you don’t cruise around on the internet all that often, turn it off. Then when you really need to use it turn it back on. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open “Settings.”
  2. Select “General.”
  3. Select “Network.”
  4. Flip the “Enable 3G” switch from “On” to “Off.”

Also, as noted in yesterdays article “5 Ways to Conserve Your iPhone Battery Power“, there isĀ an added bonus to turning your 3G Off. The battery life of your iPhone will increase.

So what’s your experience with the 3G of the iPhone 3G? Does turning it off improve your cell phone reception? Let us know in the comments below.