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Samsung Galaxy S5 keeps dropping to 3G

mjsmigielski
Member

Hello all,

My spouse and I each recently got Samsung Galaxy S5 phones and we're finding that for one of our phones, the signal keeps dropping from 4G LTE to 3G, even when we're at home on Wifi. It seems to be happening randomly from one time a day to multiple times a day. Toggling Airplane Mode on and off usually brings it back to 4G but eventually it will go to 3G again. We live in MA in the area code of 01886.

The signal strength in our house is not very strong (usually 1-2 bars max) so I think that might be why it keeps going to 3G but I would think it should be the same for both of us. I've been reading online and it seems to be a problem with the S5 phones themselves rather than network signal. The only option seems to be to replace the phone but according to some that does not help. Restarting the phone does not help either,

Are there any fixes available for this problem or should we go to a Verizon store and try to exchange the phone?

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S5 keeps dropping to 3G

Ann154
Expert

Are both using the same network mode? Global or LTE/CDMA? Are SIM cards in the devices the ones that came with the phones or from a previous phone?

I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S5 keeps dropping to 3G

Ann154
Expert

Also have you tried switching the SIM cards to see if the phones work better or worse or the same?

I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S5 keeps dropping to 3G

mjsmigielski
Member

Thank you for the replies. Both phones have a network mode of Global and both SIM cards are brand new and came with the phone (we were upgrading from very old flip phones).

One interesting thing we've noted is that the phone we noticed that kept going back to 3G would often do so when in one of the back pockets in our jeans - even the other phone would go to 3G that way. The signal is very weak (usually 1 bar) in our house but could a somewhat tight jean pocket cause the signal to drop to 3G? Why won't it go back to 4G unless we toggle Airplane mode?

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S5 keeps dropping to 3G

GalaxyClass
Sr. Member

Change your network mode over to LTE/CDMA as  Ann154 posted and this may help somewhat. However I don't feel you have any real problem with your phone. Your problem is more to do with being on the edge of a weak 4G signal and when using Airplane mode the receiver is trying to go to the 4G signal and then dropping back to 3G. As to tight jean pockets your own body can cause signal loss in an already weak signal area. I would also do the switching of sim cards for signal improvement testing  and see if there is any increase.

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S5 keeps dropping to 3G

mjsmigielski
Member

Thank you for the advice. I'll try changing from Global to LTE/CDMA and see if that helps. Would this have any negative impacts? I'm not planning on traveling out of the country any time soon or anything so I'm thinking no.

Sometimes I've even noticed that it doesn't say "3G" even, it just has some bars. I'm assuming this is 1G? But almost all the time when I reconnect by toggling Airplane mode it goes back to 4G but it seems to never switch back from 3G to 4G without this toggle.

By switching SIM cards, do you mean getting new SIM cards or swapping them between the phones? Would the phones still essentially be the same except that the telephone numbers would be swapped?

I'm thinking of going to a Verizon store and seeing what they say too - maybe they can tell if my specific area is far from an antenna or something. I'm hoping it is just a weak signal issue but one phone seems a little more affected than the other. I really don't want to replace the phone and from searching around, that doesn't always solve this problem.

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S5 keeps dropping to 3G

BigLefty24
Novice

It is a problem with the phone itself. Many S5 phones have this issue. Mine will go from 4G LTE, to 3G, to 1X. I have taken screenshots of locations using Google Maps to let Samsung reps know it isn't a location issue. The Samsung reps are clueless as to how to fix. The last "suggestion" I got from Samsung was to return the phone for a new one. Good luck. I'm a big fan of Samsung, but this S5 might be the worst phone I've ever owned.

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S5 keeps dropping to 3G

GalaxyClass
Sr. Member

The SIM cards will be swapped between the phones to see if signal improved. The phone will remain with the same settings as before and the only different would be if you had change the phone's number. If you still feel you have a  problem you can take the phone in to a Verizon store.

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S5 keeps dropping to 3G

mjsmigielski
Member

Thanks again all for the replies. Changing the SIM cards didn't seem to have any major affect - both phones would still go to 3G (especially when in pockets) and one seemed to do it a little more than the other (non-scientific observation just over casual usage).

Last night I left the phones on my nightstand from about 8pm until 7am the next morning and the signal was still 4G when I picked them up. I'm going to watch them carefully today and try to keep them always out on a table or something to see if the signal degrades to 3G at any time. Due to the above, I'm cautiously hoping that it is just a weak signal causing the 4G to 3G drop and not anything with the phone (since I've been finding from research and this thread that the S5 phones can be a problem).

Can putting a phone in a pocket really cause that much of a signal degradation?

What exact impact does changing the network mode from Global to LTE/CDMA do? I thought Verizon was all CDMA - maybe I am not fully understanding.

Again, thank you for all the help.

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S5 keeps dropping to 3G

GalaxyClass
Sr. Member

Go with the sim cards that came with the phone as there was no basic change. As for the signal level on the nightstand, think of it as a person breathing. Hand over month..problem, no hand = no problem getting air. Now your phone's antennas need to receive signal as well. Your body, hand, inside a car, tree leaves and you are already in a low signal area..problem. Global mode for our purpose of discussion = uses two types of radio, GSM and CDMA. The Verizon Network was built on the CDMA base and as of now you will have a better chance of "Hand - Shaking a 3G/4G  signal in CDMA  mode.

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