Xperia P affected by ‘death grip’ issue? [Update]

by XB on 15th May 2012

in Problems, Videos, Xperia P


When Apple released the iPhone 4 in June 2010, many users reported about problems regarding reception quality. This ‘death grip’ problem was used to describe the phenomenon of getting dropped calls when a user held the lower left part of the phone, bridging two separate antennas. A similar issue may also affect the Sony Xperia P according to Cnet Asia.

During their review they noticed that the signal bars would drop when held in a certain way. Whilst this didn’t affect voice calls in any way, it did stop data from being sent or received. We should say that the problem only happened in low signal areas (they weren’t able to replicate it outdoors). This kind of issue affects every phone in varying degrees, we suspect the metal housing makes it much easier to occur in the Xperia P. See this being demonstrated in the video below.

Update: We have been told from a Sony Mobile employee that they have been unable to reproduce this problem, despite trying it with a number of handsets. Therefore Cnet Asia may have had a faulty handset and this could be an isolated incident. See another video below that shows no problems at all when holding it the same way.

Via Cnet Asia [via SE-NSE].

  • Hans Kurniawan Ghozalli

    Actually My Xperia Ray has the same problem too.. seems like metal casing do have some hindrance.. But like iPhone, additional bumper could help it..

  • thelastredshirt

    Isn’t it because the NXT series has antennas inside the notification bar? Or is that just the Xperia S…

  • My Xray’s signal does drop too, specially when i’m connected to WIFI, but perhaps it’s a software issue.. hmm.

  • its work

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  • Asad Mulla

    This is a load of …. if you put your hand on any phone aerial the signal will go weak. Its a well know fact. it will also use more power as the phone will try to boost the signal.

  • Lahiru1200

    I have had this problem since Arc BUT ONLY in indoors. On out side there’s absolutley NO problem.
    Same with Xperia S

  • Roel van Vugt

    Then again, is this on WiFi or 3G? I take it as 3G. But while I’m indoors, I use WiFi most of the time anyway.

  • Roel van Vugt

    Then again, does this count for WiFi or 3G? Seems 3G to me. But while I’m indoors, I use WiFi most of the time anyway.

  • You’re holding it wrong! :) 

  • IrmaSDean
  • moopchook

    The article also mentions that the battery is 1500mAh, but the whitepapers and other specs say it’s only 1300mAh.  Which one is right?

  • Felipe Pimenta

    Yes. All NXT devices have the antennas there. I can’t say for data, but I don’t have any signal drop wth my Xperia S like this.

  • mt64

    It is the same with my Sony Xperia S (indoors only).

  • boosook

    Oh, come on! Every phone has this “problem” if you test it in a low-signal area!

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  • megane198

    Its not a death grip for me if they can’t replicate it outdoors.

  • Pallish

    I’ve tried to reproduce this on 3 of my Xperia P and I have not been successful in doing so. I tried this at work and in my apartment but I could not got even one bar to drop!

    Would be interesting to know their signal strength before and after holding phone.

  • Chompiz

    Had my Xperia P since friday and i cant replicate that no matter how i try and believe me ive tried.
    Indoor or outdoor doesnt matter, at most it drops one bar. So the “death grip” is not an issue on Xperia P.

  • For the Xperia P users here. How good is the battery life? The 1305mAh seems weak for the phone’s specs.

  • Simran315

    Good to know! I’d been reconsidering my decision to buy this phone… how is the battery life? And is the whitemagic technology battery saving?

  • Chompiz

    Whitemagic works great when im outdoors but hard to tell if it uses less power since i dont bring any other phone with me to compare it against. Batttery life overall is quite good but it it takes almost 2 weeks until a battery reaches its tull capacity. At least thats what ive noticed on other phones.
    Tested how much power the phone uses when in idle mode over night and it was 5% over 8h with wifi and gps on, mail sync every 30 min and some other stuff syncing aswell and thats good in my opinion.

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  • It’s actually quite good. The NovaThor processor and WhiteMagic do wonders together. 

  • Simran

    Good to hear! Now i just hope that there are no further delays in the phone’s release here in India!

  • Sanchamo_2
  • Lovemyxperia

    Lol. I’ll switch from my Ray to P. Ray also drops signals a few times I wonder if the same bug is on P too!

  • 81dans

    The death grip will happen when the palm touched the 2 screw from both the side.Bar drop 1-2 bars. Try it out and you will know.
    Tested P for a day the screen under the sun is superb clear view under the sun. Battery lasted a day had used download about 20 apps from goggle play. Online for an hour. Tethering for an hour.  Receive few call and make call , left about 40-50% batt.

  • AMR

    really..???will the battery last a day if we use it hardcore..??nd hwz it for gaming?
    i am planning to buy it but am wrried about the batter problem..!!!..!!

  • AMR

    will the battery last a day if we use it hardcore..??nd hwz it for gaming?
    i am planning to buy it but am wrried about the battery problem..!!!..!!

  • Sam

    I am in love with phone, the only thing that stops me from buying it is the death grip problem that i have read about. I m wanting to buy it.
    Is der really a problem ???

  • I have the exact same problem. I got my xperia p today and the signal drops to 1 bar from 4 when i hold the bottom part of the phone. as soon as i let go, the signal goes back up again! i cant believe it!

  • FireSkll

    cnet is known for its biased reviews. If they don’t have even this much technical know-how, then why don’t they shut down their website??

  • Cp2020

    Correct.

  • Gaurav

    Can u tell me how long ur full charged battery last…. wat is ur normal usage during a day..?

  • Feanor

    Nonsense… I tried to replicate the problem with my P, but it’s reception is top notch.
    More annoying is the patchy finish of the body. On my phone the aluminium frame and the plastic cover on top have a slightly different hue. Other samples that I saw in different dealers have similar issues, others more and others less.On the contrary a friend has one sample with almost perfect finish :-((
    Anyone else facing the same problem?

  • srinivasan M

    Hi,
    I bought sony xperia P on last week i face same problem which my sim signal level goes down sometimes signal not back. Have to switch off phone it is very bad experience in sony xperia p

  • shakeel

    How to fix death grip problem please tell me

  • Joe Hayden

    maybe for nerds but do normal folk know were the antenna is on a smart phone

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