I am going to be getting a new phone and its going to be a smart phone. Reception is the big selling point to me due to where I live. I have a mororola Tundra right now and it does really well because it has an external anntena. I have had other phones though such as an old nokia 6095 and a nokia 6950 and they did not work at all. I know that att does not have a smart phone with an exteral anntena but does one have better reception than another? Rather it be an iphone or some other brand it has to have good reception. T
they seem to mostly perform about the same in my experience, you do have 30 days from date of purchase to return/exchange a phone. try it out yourself because it's mainly going to just be opinions on here
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Some others will balk at this, but I currently have the Motorola Backflip and my wife has an iPhone 3GS. She has reception where I don't most of the time. Motorola has had good reception for me in the past, but this Backflip hasn't been good for me.
I've had good luck with Nokia phones as well, though you said you didn't. I had my mom using a Samsung (external antenna) flip phone and she didn't have great reception at home so I picked up an old Nokia bar phone (no ext antenna) on the cheap and increased her reception by at least one bar throughout her house.
Certain makers have reputations for good/bad reception, but I think it depends on the individual model and location of the user. I would try the phone you really like and make sure you test it well within the 30 day return window.