05-05-2011 10:41 PM
I've just switched from the HTC Magic to the Desire S and overall, it's a fine upgrade.
However, I've only had it for a day and I'm having serious concerns about the Wi-Fi ability of this device. It constantly drops the Wi-Fi connection instantly then loses the signal altogether, then repeats the cycle. Compared to the HTC Magic it is embarrassing, and is making me consider returning it. I've experienced this with 2 separate routers, with various ranges, both holding the phone in various ways and putting the phone down! (I even found an option for Better WiFi Performance that made no difference) My related worry is that I'm not on unlimited data so this clear design fault is going to cost me long-term unless Vodafone acknowledge this and relax my limit. I would also be grateful if you could confirm the length of my cooling off period.
06-05-2011 08:54 AM
I've done the same upgrade as yourself (Magic to Desire S) and I don't have any issue with WiFi...However, may be worth checking what encryption you are using (I find WPA/WPA2 the most reliable) and try changing the broadcast channel on the router.
If you are using a channel that is also used by your neighbour or another close-by network then it can affect the reliability of the signal as the connecting device can't determine which network to be connecting to.
06-05-2011 01:31 PM - edited 06-05-2011 01:41 PM
As above... identical situation, and identical symptoms: Magic to Desire S upgrade - WiFi on the Desire S is really bad. It is constantly dropping out and losing signal.
Tested on 4 different APs (different brands, although all using 802.11g), using open, WEP, WPA and WPA2 authentication. Totally repeatable, consistently unreliable. Tested at all sorts of different signal levels. Verified integrity of the wireless AP by simultaneously running my laptop in the same location, using PING xx.xx.xx.xx -T (which simply pings constantly, rather than stopping at 4 pings), hence trivial to see that the APs are all functioning perfectly throughout the Desire S testing.
Only workaround I have so far, is to install Y5 from the market:
When enabled, Y5 logs a connection to an active wifi access point, and looks up which cellular towers it is connected to at that time. From then on, it will automatically enable wifi (yes, turn it on if wifi is disabled!) when it sees the same combination of celluar towers (ie: It's getting a location fix from cell towers rather than GPS)., but more importantly, auto-connect to that AP. So not quite what Y5 was designed for (which is primarily as a battery saving app), but it does mean you will auto-reconnected to your AP every time it drops.
Unfortunately this does mean wifi goes up and down more often than a cheap [woman-of-negotiable-morals]
Still, on the upside, at least bluetooth works on the Desire S, which is more than I can say for the HTC Magic running Android 2.2
 @fushion_julz - Yes I did take channel clashes etc into account, so it's definitely not this. Nor does it appear to be related to authentication protocol.
06-05-2011 02:36 PM
Come to think of it..I'm also running Y5, but this was because I use it as a battery saving aid and it seems to work quite well at that...I had it on my (old) Magic and just carried it forward to the Desire S...
It may be the reason I don't have any WiFi issues at all...
06-05-2011 02:57 PM
So I've now discussed with Vodafone support, and they're not aware of it as a "known issue". Similarly HTC Support also claim no knowledge of the issue.
Vodafone have agreed to replace the handset like-for-like as it's less than 7 days old, and I'll go through the whole ghastly testing process again and report back here.
06-05-2011 04:13 PM
I've had some problems with the wifi too, I think the aerial for it is behind the same bit of plastic as the camera & speaker. Try this...
- Move yourself to where the phone just starts to register full wifi signal
- In one hand hold the bottom lip of the phone only, with the screen towards you (take care not to drop it!)
- Place the palm or fingers of your other hand flat against the back of the phone covering camera & rear speaker
- Watch your wifi signal disappear!
Like the iPhone 4 voice signal deathgrip, only for wifi
(Unlike the iphone 4, the Desire S has excellent voice & 3G signal)
I've found I have the problem if I'm holding the phone landscape in both hands & operating it with my thumbs (great for typing quickly this way)
I'll certainly try Y5 as a solution
07-05-2011 11:41 AM
Y5 seems to improve the behaviour of Wi-Fi detection a little bit.
I can accept there will be a death grip - there was for the HTC Magic, and of course every model of the iPhone. But I think core to the problem is something else
I also get the feeling that this is more of an issue when the Desire S is on lower power, as the device's ability to maintain a connection and even connect to a discovered point and not endlessly scan is really unstable.
Great to see some kind of Vodafone response here (!) - I can understand HTC not wanting to admit any issue but I'll have to contact them next. I'm determined to get an answer about this, having put up with substandard 3G for 2 years, Wi-Fi has more or less been essential.
08-05-2011 04:05 PM
I think HTC made a boo-boo, this issue is affecting Desire HD users too since their gingerbread update. I've kicked of a consolidated thread here: http://forum.vodafone.co.uk/t5/HTC-Devices/Any-HTC
18-05-2011 05:46 PM
So I've got my replacement Desire S, and the issue is identical. As Mr_H points out, a hand placed in front of the ariel will drop the signal. What is interesting though, is that if you enable wifi, scan for and connect to an AP, everything is fine... even if the signal strength is quite low. The issue is if the signal strength *changes*. So for example, walking around with the handset on wifi is a no-go. Having someone walk between you and the AP is a no-go. And as for 2-hand typing in landscape mode... just don't wiggle your fingers too much, or it'll drop connection again.
Since it is quite capable of connecting to a weak AP, my money is on a firmware fix for this, rather than a physically badly designed ariel (as per the iPhone).
20-06-2011 05:47 PM - edited 20-06-2011 05:48 PM
As an update, we're still looking into the exact reason for this, and our technical team have requested a little more information to help pin this down, so I've sent out emails to get some more information.
As Wi-Fi issues have been mentioned for other handsets on Gingerbread by other users, we're pulling everything together onto this thread rather than just a Desire S one. If you haven't received an email in the next half-hour or so, post there to say and I'll resend it for you.
The more information we can get the better, so to anyone who does provide information, thank you in advance!
22-06-2011 01:48 PM
It's good to see Vodafone being proactive with this, kudos!
I haven't had an opportunity to respond properly to your email, I will try to do so this evening