Poor call quality/signal strength on 4G/LTE

I recently ditched my old BlackBerry Bold work phone in favour of a Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini, the main reason being that loads of web sites do not display very well on the Bold, I was constantly getting SSL certificate errors, and well, I had had it for over 3 years and it was time to get with the programme!

I do have Android in the house already on various tablets and a separate personal phone, so am used to Android, but this is the first 4G/LTE capable phone I’ve had.

All was going well until I was on a voice call and the guy at the other end was complaining I was very choppy and hard to hear. I noticed I only had 1 bar of signal even though I would normally have a full 5 bar signal, the mast is literally just down the road.

So I went into network settings and changed my mobile network to 3G and also tried 2G/GSM. Turns out I get 4 bars on 3G and 5 bars on GSM. I switched the phone back to 4G and it drops to 1 bar.

So the solution seems to be to switch the phone to 3G or GSM when I’m at home as I don’t really need 4G because the phone is connected to my wi-fi for data.

But switching it manually back forth is a real chore, so I searched for an app. There seem to be plenty out there but the one I picked is called “Intelli3G”. This switches the phone to 2G or 3G when it detects you are connected to wi-fi, then switches back to 4G when the phone disconnects from wi-fi (i.e. when leaving the house).

It’s awesome but quite tricky to install, you need to root your phone and install the xposed framework. That is a subject too big for this post so I’ll write about that another time.

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