I know there are a couple threads about this issue already, but I wanted to give my experience. I just recently bought a Note 10+ a week ago, and have had almost every Note since the Note 2. I skipped the Note 9 and got a OnePlus 7 Pro instead, upgrading from my Note 8.
I want to be very clear from the beginning so that everyone understands what this post is about. My OnePlus 7 Pro has the same exact hardware as the Note 10. Meaning the 855 processor/SoC (System on a Chip). The reason why it's called System on a Chip is because it has all of the major components integrated onto one chip. That means processors, video processor, WiFi radio and Bluetooth radios, Cell radios, GPS radios. All impemented onto one chip as shown in the image here:
And if one would take the time to read and compare the spec sheets on the 855 and previous iterations of the Qualcomm chips, you would see that they increase the output power every year with every new iteration. So this most-definitely is not a hardware issue.
So doing some signal testing with my OnePlus 7 Pro and Note 10, I've noticed significant reduction in not only WiFi signal on the Note 10, but also cell signal. I keep my WiFi signal on my router fairly low so that it reduces the RF radiation that bombards me, and so that it's not broadcasting to the whole neighborhood. In my car garage, that's near the edge of my WiFi signal.
On my OnePlus, I connect to WiFi in my garage in about 10-seconds and I get 2-3 bars. With the Note 10, it takes minutes to connect to my WiFi, and I barely have 1 bar, occasionally 2, but mostly 1. With a Speedtest.net test, I'm getting 4 Mb/s on the Note and 12 Mb/s on my OnePlus in my garage. That's a significant reduction in speed on the Note.
Now while in my garage, I switch to my ATT cell signal. I was getting 29 Mb/s on the Note and 37 Mb/s on the OnePlus. Coincidentally, that's an 8 Mb/s reduction on both WiFi and cell on the Note.
At work, there's actually a tower nearby, so on my OnePlus I get full bars outside, and inside my office on the second floor I get 2-4 bars with excellent cell signal. With just the Note sitting on my desk, I lose cell signal for half the day with it saying "Emergency Calls Only - No Signal". Again, that's a significant difference from another device with the same exact hardware. And to top it off, I never have any buffering or music streaming issues with my OnePlus while driving. While using my Note, I was constantly buffering or just listening to nothing because of the low signal quality and constant buffering.
The FCC has regulations on how strong the RF radiation can be on a mobile device called SARS. My guess is that Samsung is keeping the RF radiation low, but too low, in reality crippling the device and making it fail at it's number one job of being a phone first.
So please be aware that it's not a carrier issue, and it most-assuredly is not a hardware issue since my OnePlus 7 Pro phone with the exact same hardware has phenomenal cell signal and WiFi signal everywhere. My Note 8 before also had poorer signal since Samsung tries to be safe and keep things on the lower side, but my Note 8 wasn't as bad as the Note 10.
On the plus side, this can be fixed with a software update. It would just take Samsung adjusting the radios via the kernel, which we don't have access to. I don't know why Samsung is taking so long to adjust the radios, if they even plan on it at all.
I can't tell you all how very disappointed I am with Samsung crippling these devices like this, being a long-time Samsung user. But my new Note 10+ is already being returned, and unless Samsung fixes this issue, I will never be buying Samsung devices again. And I can see many here who have also reported the same issue and won't be buying again either. This is literally the Note 7 battery fiasco all over again, albeit not quite as safety-related. But for such an expensive device, I expect it to have the absolute best of everything including cell and WiFi signal. Not crippling the signal for the sake of "safety" and low RF radiation.
I hope some of you who are stuck with your Notes and have poor signal quality, take the time to come back here and report that it's been fixed in a future update. I'll re-buy the Note again at that time. Until then, I'm going to stick with a device that actually works at being a phone first.
Not sure if it is safety for radiation or to avoid overheating.
My gut tells me that they wanted to avoid exploding phones again and they reduced the risk by compromising signal reception.
How were you able to return your device? Support in my country denies the problem and only offers me to inspect the phone (charging me if they find nothing...).
Do you know if there is an official announcement recognizing these signal issues everyone is having?
How were you able to return your device?
Samsung has a 15-day return period for a full refund, and a 30-day trial period. I only had mine for a week and immediately noticed the reception issues from the first day, so I returned it within the 15-days to get a refund.
And I've looked around and have seen nothing official from Samsung. it looks like this issue was present on the S10 as well. This late in the game, it looks like Samsung is just going to ignore the issue and take their losses on this one. Hopefully they will do better on the Note 20. But I will for sure look for these type of posts and do my due diligence before I purchase another Samsung product in the future.
This is absolute absurdity that such an amazing piece of hardware is crippled and unusable due to something that shouldn't even be an issue.
Did you say SARS ? As in South Asia Respatory Syndrom/ Symptom. Middle Eastern Respotory Symptom MERS.
And of course Coronavirus. I find it interesting the presidential elections are postpone. Everything comes to Paused but Tmobile and Sprint merge. 5G a stronger RF if not more is activated. Merge / 5G enabling is not some automated process or procedure.