Moving your physical location around to improve your phone's reception is nothing new, we do it all the time. Maybe your kitchen area adds a signal bar or two to your phone's reception strength so you always try and make all your important calls there. Or maybe your bedroom is such a black hole for wireless transmissions that not a single phone call can get in or out from that part of your house.
Although your distance to the nearest carrier antenna is a big factor in determining signal strength - walls, physical obstructions like buildings, hills and mountains can also affect your phone's reception one way or another. Phone signals are basically radio waves anyway and are of course, not some kind of magical force. They obey the same laws of physics just like anything else.
Bound by the same physical laws, what if the fix for your phone reception problems is as simple as they come?
You are simply holding your phone wrong.
A study from Professor Gert Pedersen from Aalborg University shows that switching your phone from one hand to the other could improve (or worsen) its signal.
He says that manufacturers position the phone antennas where people naturally place their hands and this affects the radio communications. By switching hands, palm placement is altered, which could improve or worsen the signal.
In fact, in Pedersen's study of 26 of the most popular phone models, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus were on the bottom of the list when used in the left hand but performed better when used with the right hand. In terms of phone reception, the HTC Desire 626 came out on top.
As Pedersen elaborates in the video below:
"Due to space considerations, some of them are not optimising for where you put the hand, as well as the best antenna they can use. They should locate the antenna so the sensitive parts are not where you put your hands."
Other "right-hand" phones include the HTC 10 and LG G5 while "Left-hand" phones include Microsoft Lumia 650, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and the Huawei P9.
To aid consumers in selecting which phones to buy, Pedersen recommends having manufacturers include antenna ratings in their phone specifications.
For now, his advice to get the best signal possible out of a phone is to go hands-free. If you're having signal problems, try laying your phone on the table and use the speaker instead. As Pedersen explains:
"When your phone is standing free in the air, you are improving the signal a lot. The second thing you can do is don't grab it firmly like this and press it into your head. Try to keep it a bit light - then you will have a much better connection as well."
To read more about Pedersen and the Nordic Council of Minister's phone antenna report, click here.
What do you think? Will antenna ratings help you decide which phone is the best for you? Drop us a comment below!