Evo 4G Wifi signal test

It's no great secret that the Evo 4G doesn't do as well as other Android phones when it comes to holding a Wifi signal. In fact, we've got page after page in our forums of how displeased many of you are.

But how does the Evo 4G's Wifi stack up? We put it through a couple of relatively unscientific tests, using the Wifi Analyzer app from the Android Market. Check out our results after the break.

Evo 4G Wifi test - Phil's results

The particulars:

  • Router: Linksys WRT350N, 802.11b/g/n at 2.4GHz
  • Phones: Nexus One, Evo 4G, Motorola Droid

My router's in one corner of my house. I started in the corner of the house farthest away, working my way back toward the base. I held the each phone in the same manner, pointed in the same direction, and let it settle on a signal. Rooms are listed from farthest to closest. Strongest signal is noted in bold.

  Evo 4G Nexus One Droid
Laundry room -95/-98 dBm -90 dBm -85 dBm
Dining room -91/-85 dBm -80 dBm -84 dBm
Living room -80/-88 dBm -66 dBm -78 dBm
Bedroom -89/-86 dBm -71 dBm -69 dBm
Office (router location) -49/-50 dBm -42 dBm -45 dBm

Note: Evo 4G was tested with two radios. First number is stock, second is 1.39.00.05.31 from Geek for Me. Also, I'll re-run this test with a Droid Incredible, just as soon as I find out in stock.

Evo 4G Wifi test - Jerry's results

The particulars:

  • Router: Netgear WNR3500L 802.11 b/g/n at 2.4GHz
  • Phones: Evo 4G (with 1.39.00.05.31 radio), Nexus One, Sprint Hero, Google Ion (dev phone)
  Evo 4G Nexus One Sprint Hero Google Ion
Back porch No signal -90 dBm
-90 dBm No signal
Living room -60 dBm -47 dBm -52 dBm -60 dBm
Kitchen -85 dBm -60 dBm -65 dBm -80 dBm
Office (router location) -48 dBm -35 dBm -45 dBm -50 dBm

Our unscientific conclusions

It doesn't take a blogger to tell you that the Evo 4G doesn't get nearly as good a Wifi signal as other phones. In our tests, the Nexus One (and the Droid, too) bested just about everything.

Will a software update be able to make things better? Maybe, but there likely are hardware concerns, too. We wouldn't go so far as to say this is a reason to not buy the Evo 4G. But it is something you should be aware of before purchasing one.

 
There are 51 comments

sjcea says:

Whats awesome is I just performed this test with my HTC Incredible and it SMOKES all 3 of those phones !!! Run it and check for yourself !! wifi analyzer in the market

mikemick says:

Did you test with the same router that Android Central tested the units with? Did you test in the same building that Android Central tested in?

Good lord, I hope not. :p And I'll definitely test again with an Incredible, once I get it.

Hey Phil,

The Evo looks purple-ish, is that an off angled discoloration of the screen (or is it really that color on the Evo)? i've noticed that hue on iphones as well. (blah)

i have an incredible, curious how it compares wifi-wise

rttisdale says:

I don't think we should rely on scientific data, cause most of the time it is not the real world. When we go out and use our phone that is the real test, not in some lab where everything is perfect. I test my nexus one at home and get better coverage/wifi then when i'm at work.

he said its an unscientific test. but its still useful as a comparison between the phones since they're all tested under the same conditions. You're home/work connection is irrelevant. If anything.. this test should tell you that the Evo would perform worse at your home and work than your Nexus One.

belogical says:

looking forward to hearing the incredible results!

icebike says:

Nobody's tests are comparable to anyone else's.
All you can do is test two phones against each other.

Same time, same place, and hold them the same way.

frettfreak says:

lol.. can you even root yet?? :p

robotphood says:

Har, everyone run to the AC office and check it yourself....

ben dover says:

ran the test on my evo and it smokes all of those as well. the only way you can test and compare to this post is if you were there testing at the same time.

bk420 says:

My EVO smokes my mobile broadband card (w/ amplifier antenna) hands down!!! Not so sure about WIFI (WiFi-tether works great!), since it's faster than my neighbors Verizon DSL LOL!

I'll mention that my EVO smoked a guys ipad-3g at a bar (over bar-wifi and 3g.)

VAGolfDad says:

I agree it is not on the same network but I ran this test on my Incredible also....same results. Very strong!!! I will not complain, and I have not had any complaints.

chrisho says:

i hope a software update will help somewhat?

wrinkefree says:

Man that OLED screen is much blacker ;)

ObsidianGT says:

I'm excited to see the super AMOLED on the Samsung Galaxy S. The N1 and Droid Incredible definitely have nicer screens than the EVO and Droid. Although, I haven't seen the iPhone 4 in person, I don't believe IPS can stand up to OLED, either. At least from what I've seen and read.

Blubble#AC says:

I thought I must have gotten a bum EVO since my Pre got a great signal while my EVO had problems staying connected to WiFi just one room from the router. The Pre also gets a significantly better 3G signal when side by side with the EVO.

benthe1 says:

That's weird. I have a Pre and an EVO as well and the EVO had way better and faster 3G coverage. It was about twice as fast when loading pages. I love being able to finally watch flash content without having to jump on my computer every time. I didn't check the WIFI at all yet and I hope that an update will fix this. (fingers crossed)

Blubble#AC says:

The EVO renders pages a lot faster than the Pre. That doesn't necessarily indicate a faster connection.

There are two issues that affect how quickly a page is drawn, connection and rendering speed.

The Pre could have a better 3G connection, but it is very slow to actually render(draw) webpages. The EVO renders pages very quickly, so it could actually download the page content more slowly that the Pre, but still display the page faster due to its superior rendering speed.

Slapisaurus says:

while this is a concern, I haven't had any problems with wifi at all. Of course I live in a smaller apt. But I tried it out at school and was able get connected there (in an older building no less) also the 4g worked exceptionally well through the CMU walls

Kedar says:

Yeah I was weirded out when I was like 10 feet away from my router and I had one bar. I hope this gets fixed soon.
Also it might help battery out cause when I had wifi on at my university, battery seemed top drain quicker.

kyrumo says:

It's overhyped because you don't have 1

sjcea says:

Its is way over hyped thats for sure and if I wanted one I could buy as many as I want with my business, but the phone is to big and the fact it is on Sprint it will always have a handicap to other phones , Sprint network sucks and its just a matter of time until verizon will smoke there mini 4g network , And on that note I should also say I will never buy another HTC phone of any kind , just so sick and tired of the battery issues , they all suck !!!

benthe1 says:

If you don't like them, then stop reading and commenting on articles about them. Haters annoy me.

gbhil#AC says:

such hate. are you like this in real life?

scottae316 says:

Well, Sprint usually leaves Verizon in the dust on 3G tests. As for the "mini 4g network" Sprint will have their network up and running umm when..... NOW. By year end they will cover 1/3 or the pop. And where will your precious Verizon be...... oh yeah just STARTING their roll out..... hahahaha. Stay on Verizon friend with your "business" account. Those of us who are on Sprint will enjoy all the 4g goodness.

kyrumo says:

I'm sure your gonna love Verizons limited 4G, they are gonna cap the shit out of it

oak25 says:

The evo is an over hyped phone.

Ecoteric says:

If you've ever used one or owned one you wouldn't be saying that.

Clearly you are jealous because you are stuck with some new verizon phone and a 2 year contract, when you could be enjoying all the features of the Evo and 4G speed!

garciaop says:

yes thats the only thing that sucks about evo

but one thing i also noticed that when using sprint towers is really fast faster then my pre or blackberry which is good cause i dont have to connect to my wifi and havent had any data problems regarding the network

Certainly not scientific but I can tell you that I get a great signal with my Incredible on a Netgear WNR2000. I have never had a problem even on other networks. I hope this is nothing more than a software issue and that it is fixed soon.

Okay after installing Wifi Analyzer, I am finding a signal strength of around -40 dBm in the room with my router. Since my house is a different size than the two that were tested with and I have no other phones to do my own tests with the only one that really matters is the "Office" one.

robotphood says:

What does this have to do with the numbers Android Central got?

It has nothing to do with the numbers they got. Phil said that he was going to test with an Incredible when he finds one in stock. Since I can't replicate their tests, I posted my results when I was in the same room as my router which is similar to the router Jerry used. I figured that since people keep saying that the Incredible is just a less advanced Evo that some people with an Incredible might be curious if the signal strength was bad. Maybe people thought that I was trying to say the Incredible was better than the Evo (which I wasn't) but since my comment was marked as spam I think next time I will just leave it up to the experts lol.

Well I have my Evo but can't activate it til tomorrow. I can with no doubt confirm without any test that it's a weak signal. It still works decent but in order to get full signal I have to be right on top of the router. Sounds like a radio issue...

kyrumo says:

My EVO wifi works great, I havn't had any issues

aflynn says:

Is the incredible like the forgotten child or sth? Why do you still have the moto droid in so many pics/articles and not the incred when its argueably more reliable and stable than the EVO? Yall need to start showing that phone more respect

AWDmonster says:

If you look closer, Phil said he will run the same tests with the Incredible as soon as he finds one in stock.

moises1204 says:

hello every one for what is worth, i just got my girlfriend the my touch slide and i got my self the htc evo, and i can not believe what happened after i did several speed test against each other, the my touch was a bit faster or even in almost all of my speed test, i am wandering if the evo is being under-clocked for battery consumption, how can this be happening the evo has a much faster processor than the one in my-touch slide, i am so disappointed i think my evo is going back, can someone do a speed test with the my touch slide and let us know how you did?

Bodar says:

Are you talking WiFi speedtest, as in: you went to speakeasy.net or mobilespeedtest.com on both phones? How far away from the router were you? WiFi speeds will vary based on the signal strength at the time, and the EVO does not get great signal compared to other phones. It's more a networking issue than a CPU issue.

It's a definite black eye to an otherwise excellent device (EVO).

Simer03 says:

yea the Nexus gets great wifi signal coverage....i am getting signal from my neighbor's house 4 houses away! its crazy!

xontic says:

Phil, do you know if they will unlock WiFi N in Froyo or any other future updates?

MacBook says:

i dont use wifi anyhow so that means nothing to me...

ShortySk8n says:

Moises1204 I ran the Wifi Analyzer an my G1 (I don't have a myTouch. Sorry) Next to my Linksys wrt54gp2 I got -30. In same room away from router got -50. Around corner -70. & in bedroom (2nd floor) above router -70 on bed & -50 to -45 off bed. But like everyone else said you can't compare tests in different houses at different times.

DisorderlyDj says:

Ok I am in a room, three rooms from my router and I pulling three gigs down from my router. Good enough for me on an Evo.

myanez says:

Just checked my HTC Incredible and I am getting 7 Usable signals.

Tested my personal WRT54g and I got great results did not drop below
-70 but then again my place is only 850sq feet...

kinster02 says:

I just checked my Evo and my wifi signal is almost pegged out at -42!

guruffl says:

On the bright side my EVOs radio for voice calls and 3G are way better than all my previous phones. Sprint signal is on the weak side at my house. Pre, two Blackberries, nextels, all of then barely worked at my house, almost always dropped the calls, and definitely dropped the call in my basement and other know useless spots in the house. EVO can be used ANYWHERE in the house and that is HUGE. I previously had to rely on the ROAM ONLY patch on the pre to have any type of conversation on my cell while at home.

philb#AC says:

I am so glad I passed on this cup of cool aid, first paying for a service not available (my plan already has unlimited data) second it seems when the service is available speeds nowhere as close to promised...I have a year before my contract runs out, another "God phone" may be here by then. I am not unhappy I recently switched from PRE to HERO, yes I do miss some webOS functions, but that ship is taking on water too fast to continue to ride, Android has some issues but I can deal with them until my contract runs it's course.

nutflush920 says:

Mine works just fine at home. I had the Moment and that thing would never stay connected to my home Wifi. The Evo allways connects when I come home and stays connected. Props to HTC. Great phone.

The Nexus One is great on Wifi, and great on 3G/HSDPA (beats the heck out of AT&T iPhone 3G[s]) WHEN you can get a signal from T-Mobile, which here in the suburbs of LA isn't all that often. I'm also not pleased with the flakey touchscreen behavior on the N1, so I purchased an EVO 4G on the web last night, primarily to get an Android phone that's not T-Mobile. These tests are a little disappointing to read, but hopefully, in my house, with three routers strategically placed, it won't be a real-world issue for me.

http://s4.photobucket.com/albums/y145/GeauxTooTie/?action=view&current=1...

Take from it what you want.

Me personally don't have any single issue with Wifi, 4G or 3G for that matter. I am seeing my EVO run at blazing speeds compared to my friends Inc and Droid, so whats the fuss again??