Here is what I have:
I'm hoping to improve reception which is terrible compared to other phones around me (iPhone and BB) in the same spot and same carrier.
still a very poor comparison IMHO, whether you think it's simple or not. different phones have different antenna design, amps, chipset, power levels, etc.
also are you all on the same carrier? what service are you comparing? GPRS/EDGE? UMTS/HSPA/DC-HSPA? LTE?
for example if your carrier doesn't support edge, but the carrier the phones you are comparing to do, then you are more likely NOT going to receive signal. try forcing GSM/EDGE if your carrier supports it (different power levels are typically used for different radio modes). also, very important if they support either 700MHz or 850Mhz bands, as lower radio frequencies propagate better through obstacles (building materials or otherwise). if your carrier only supports the upper bands then it is also less likely to work in that environment (basement, inside, etc.). the ground/earth itself, rocks, steel reinforced concrete and other objects/building materials are very unforgiving to RF.
a new radio might give you slightly better performance but in regards to increasing dBm or ASU/RSSI/RSRP, well that is going to be extremely marginal of a difference if at all. unless they change the parameters they've used, which they often don't...it's usually for compatibility/performance with the actual antenna you are connecting to at the tower side