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Renegade signal is terrible! What happened Sprint??!

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Journeyman

Renegade signal is terrible! What happened Sprint??!

I felt pretty confident buying the Renegade V950 because I had a hybrid before, and where I live, the signal from Sprint was better than Nextel, but I get this phone and the signal is much MUCH worse, in fact, I can't get more than one bar here, and I'm lucky to actually get a call to come through. And don't even get me started on the TERRIBLE PTT. ugh. What happened with these phones!? I assumed it was like the hybrids. And why does Sprint always use its customers like we're lab rats?

Another issue is I went looking for some sort of an antenna booster for this phone, because I'd like to keep it, IF I can get something to give me more signal at my house, but when I went into both of the Sprint stores here, they claim there is only ONE option for an antenna booster and it would cost me $250! Are you kidding me?! I have family members that are on Verizion that got a signal booster FREE from Verizion. And someone at Radio Shack told me I should call Sprint and threaten to cancel my service if they didn't fix it and then they'd send me one to TRY. Why not just give one to every customer since their service is so terrible!?

My question is, does anyone know of an antenna booster I can get for this thing that won't cost me an arm and a leg other than the stupid sticker that doesn't work (I already bought one)?

And a second question, if I sent this phone back and shelled out the $150 for the i9 stature, would I be in the same boat or is that phone all Nextel?

Thanks!

11 REPLIES 11
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Journeyman

The I9 is Nextel only

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Master

Your signal should be identical as far as voice calls go with native Sprint coverage between a PowerSourse and NDC on Sprint device.

PowerSource devices used CDMA for Voice/Data and iDEN for PTT only. The Renegade is an NDC on Sprint device that utilizes only the CDMA network, no iDEN whatsoever. So as far as your voice calls and data are concerned it should be just about identical. The difference you would see would be on the Direct Connect side of things, and the fact that the Renegade will have greater roaming capabilities being able to use the 800MHz CDMA band.

This is actually the first time I've really heard anything bad about a Renegade to be honest. Just about everything I've read around the net says it is a great device.

The i9 is an iDEN-only device. So if you don't have Nextel coverage, you won't want to go with that one.

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Journeyman
Journeyman

Danielle,

 

When you check your address in the Sprint coverage maps, what type of coverage does it show for your address?  (check under Sprint coverage, not Nextel) Do you have any other experience first hand using a hybrid phone (ex. ic402, ic502, ic602 or ic902) or other regular Sprint handset or a friend or family handset at your address?

 

This will go a long ways to determine if your address is simply on the edge of Sprint's network coverage, or if indeed it is the handset itself that is not getting good coverage.

 

If you have otherwise experienced good Sprint network coverage (not Nextel iDEN coverage), then it's possible that you just have a defective phone. In that case, you might check into swapping to a new Renegade handset and see if that improves the situation.

 

However, if you are on the edge of Sprint coverage, the recommendation would be to either stick with a pure Nextel iDEN phone (if you are in a good Nextel coverage area and need the Push to talk features) or to get an Airwave device if you wish to stick with the Renegade.

 

As far as I know, Sprint does not actually sell atenna boosters to consumers, my guess is the Rep was referencing the Airwave device which basically sets up a mini Sprint CDMA network cell site in your home and gives you much better signal coverage if you are in a fringe Sprint network area. You would need to have a broadband connection for it to work.

 

If this is the situation you are in (fringe Sprint coverage area) and you are not interested in a Nextel handset, you may want to call into customer care and see what they can offer you regarding an Airwave device and if you are a good canidate for one.

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Danielle:

Wow...I feel bad now that I recommended the Renegade to you. But honestly, I don't think it's Sprint so much as you might have simply gotten a bad phone. I'd suggest taking the phone back to the store you got it from. If you got it online, I'd take it to the nearest Sprint store to have it checked out. Normally, as Kevin said above, the V950 is a very solid performing phone whose only drawback was piss-poor battery life between charges.

With regards to getting an "antenna booster", well...those "stickers" that you place underneath where the battery resides simply don't work. That's merely a gimmick. Now, if you are instead asking for a device that actually amplifies the Sprint CDMA signal in your home, well...you're talking about either of two devices. The first is a true signal booster which is comprised of an antenna that you mount on the roof of your home (looks like a smaller version of a typical VHF/UHF antenna), with cabling that runs from the antenna to the amplifier which is on the ceiling of your uppermost floor (below the attic). Investing in one of these antenna boosters is going to cost you anywhere between $200 to $2000, depending on how good of a signal you want, how tall the contraption is, and whether you are using GSM, CDMA, or iDEN (iDEN boosters, btw, cost far more than the others). The second "signal booster" is something that both Sprint and Verizon offer for their CDMA users (Sprint doesn't offer an iDEN version): it's called a femtocell. It's essentially a mini-CDMA tower that looks very similar in size and shape to most of your high end WiFi routers. Sprint calls their femtocell the "Airave". It connects to the Sprint network via the internet using your home broadband connection, and then broadcasts in Sprint's spectrum to deliver stellar connectivity. This is something that costs $250 at full MSRP, but Sprint charges (if memory serves) about $150 for the unit, and $4.99/month to keep the signal.

Now, with that being said, hopefully you are within your 30 day window. If so, then see if Sprint can replace your V950 with another one. If that doesn't work, then simply swap it out for either a hybrid (I think the only one offered still is the ic502) or opt for an iDEN-only device (like the i9 Stature). If you have a poor iDEN signal though, then no iDEN-only phone will really be great.

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Journeyman

Danielle...I am willing to guess you live in a very similar coverage area as I do....

Sprint voice is all carried on the 1X (slow data) network. The Renegade needs EVDO Rev A (PowerVision) for PTT. Unless your hybrid was the ic902, your old hybrid was a 1X only device. At my house, I get 1X service that is not great, but usable most of the time. I have almost NO EVDO coverage however, despite living right in the middle of the Phoenix metro area. Whatever panels/towers Sprint uses for their EVDO coverage in my area do not match the coverage of their voice network.

It sounds as though you don't really have an issue with 1X voice service, but if you live in an area with a very weak EVDO signal, the V950 (which needs a near constant data connection for successful PTT) is a terrible phone. It will constantly be trying to connect to the EVDO network's weak signal, and as a result, the constant data searching will mean any phone calls that come in at the time while the phone is struggling to register on the EVDO network will be missed/directed to VM.

It was primarily for this reason that I ditched the V950.

Also, I have an Airave, and it is worthless with the issue I described above since it does not support EVDO data. So the V950 still has to search for the weak to non-existent high-speed data signal in order for PTT to work.

Now if you cancel PTT, and therefore eliminate your need to constantly ping the data network, you should see a great improvement in the performance of the phone if you are suffering from the same issues I was.

Message Edited by anthromatt on 07-13-2009 08:13 PM

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Journeyman


halcyoncmdr wrote:
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This is actually the first time I've really heard anything bad about a Renegade to be honest. Just about everything I've read around the net says it is a great device.
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I concur with your comments on the popularity and good user ratings of the V950 as a phone, with the exception of complaints about it's battery life. Lots of complaints about dismal bettery life on the V950...

- Nxtl4me

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Journeyman

Thank you everyone, I did find that coverage map on Sprints website, and apparently I am now in a dead zone, which I find to be odd, because as I mentioned, the ic502 I had a couple years ago worked BETTER than a straight Nextel here, I can still turn on the ic502 and it'll show me it would have 3 or so bars (can't use it though) so that's a bit confusing, but o well. I'm just going to bite the bullet and take it back and get the i9. Although I'm not happy that Sprint is now going to charge me like $30 just to take the stupid thing back, they told me I had 30 days to try it, if I didn't like it I could send it back no problems, but now they want to charge me. Not that I'm surprised, its nothing new. lol

Dejan, don't feel bad, I would have probably chosen this phone anyway, it was between this one and the i9 in the end, and this one was a lot cheaper so I know I would have picked it anyway. It's just a lesson for me, to just shell out the cash for the one I REALLY want the first time. lol

But hopefully by Saturday I'll be rid of this phone, have the i9 and not have anymore problems! The i9 has gotten good reviews hasn't it?

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Danielle,

From what I've heard, the i9 is one of the better phones on the Nextel iDEN side. In terms of being able to find and lock onto an iDEN signal, the i9 is probably the best Nextel flip-phone for that. Other, older candybar Nextel phones have a better time locking onto iDEN signals (even very weak ones), but the i9 should work fairly well. Better than the ic502 in terms of getting that PTT signal.

Call quality on the i9 has been between "typically so-so" to "stellar" depending on who you talk to about the phone. Incoming calls were easily heard, and it's probably among the very few phones where I felt that I could actually still hear AND understand what the person on the other end was saying, even though I was in a very loud room of people talking, or radio/music blaring, etc. Personally, I think also that it's somewhat crisper for others to hear me talking on the i9 than it is for me to talk to them on my i90c (which is now 6 yrs old), but I felt that the i9 was...believe it or not...almost too thin. I felt like I would break it...not that the phone is cheaply made, just the way I hold flip phones makes me feel like the hinge is weak.

And that brings me to the phone's build. I think despite the fact that the phone is thin, it seems very solid. It's far more solid than the i830 (Nextel's truly thinnest phone), and packs far more "under its hood". Sorry, I use car references...I'm a car guy. It's thin enough to fit into your shirt or pants pocket, but bulky enough to remind you that you still do have something there (which is something I didn't like about Motorola RAZRs because they had no heft to them).

Overall, I really like the i9, but I have a few gripes about it. First, the complete lack of WiFi and WiMAX. Ok, so I'm a techno-geek too. Sue me. Still, since iDEN data access is, at best, only 2x dial-up speed, I would think that Sprint would have been slapping on WiFi modules to all of the iDEN lineup, like BlackBerry did for the 8350i. Secondly, I was disappointed re the internal display and keyboard. There's nothing wrong with them, but I misread a promo from Motorola about their "touchscreen" and their "morphing" keys. I assumed that Motorola was using what some companies are now referring to as "electronic ink" or "E-Ink" where the numers/letters/pictures on the keypad are digitally created. Almost like a touchscreen, but not exactly. Anyhow, as I said, that was my error, and it shouldn't take away from the phone itself. Finally, I found that texting on the phone was 1) rather loud since the buttons seemed to *click* rather loudly for a phone so thin, and 2) the response on the screen seemed to be slightly slower than on my own i90c. Finally, the camera (yes, it's a 3.1MP camera with LED flash) didn't seem to take pictures as crisply (i.e., the pictures seemed darker than they should have been, if you ask me). But otherwise, the phone worked as advertised. Again, that's just my taste of how the phone operated for me, so overall, I opted to not get the i9 and have decided to wait and see what (if anything) Sprint offers up as the eventual replacement.

So, assuming you have even a decent signal, the i9 should be a very good phone for you. I doubt you'd be disappointed.

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Journeyman

Thank you Dejan, I should have just gottan the i9 in the first place, but I tried to be cheap, and I got what I paid for. lol I have a hard time paying over $100 for a cell phone, but I've decided this will be the LAST phone I buy from Sprint/Nextel, after my 2 years is up, I'm done with them, I heard that Sprint is going to do away with Nextel anyway. and if thats the case, I will definatly be switching.

When I seen the i9 I thought it was the best thing Nextel has ever done, as far as the way it looks, and I haven't heard too much bad about it. So Saturday, I'm going to correct my mistake and get the right one! lol

Again, thank you, I really appreciate all your help!

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Danielle:

Well, that's ashame that you've had such a tenuous experience with SprintNextel. However, I hope that if the i9 ends up performing for you as you hope (and as I expect), that perhaps it may be just enough to make you consider staying with SprintNextel...at least on the iDEN side anyway.

As for Sprint "doing away" with Nextel, if you ask me, they've been doing that since day 1 of the merger 4 years ago. However, I doubt that anything that they'll do will do anything to help the company overall. They simply have to do the basics right: invest in both networks, expand coverage and capacity of both iDEN and CDMA, and continue to improve CS. Until this company does that, they will continue to lose their highest paying customers. Heck, even I could be one of them.

Anyhow, let us know how well, or *gulp* how lousy the i9 performs for you.

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Journeyman

I have to tell you, I've been using my Renegade for over a year now and I am totally disatisfied with the DC and normal phone use.  I miss calls constantly even though I have 3 plus bars on my signal strength.  I'll get a notification out of nowhere that I have multiple voice mails even though my phone has been on and with me the whole time.  My co-workers have basic Motorola phones and never have the issues that I do with DC or voice calls.  The look and fell of the phone is great, but the connection is the worst I've experienced with any phone.

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