It's possible that I have an extraordinary phone then. I decided to compare.
My phone is seeing -60dbm from the Hawking extender that I'm closest to, which is about 20 meters away, behind three stick-frame (pine 2x4 studs, sheetrock) walls. The reading varies dramatically, depending on where I put it on my desk. So let's see what some other WiFi devices do...
My MacBook reads -58dbm. My iPad2 reads -59dbm. An HP Envy 15 reads -65dbm. And a Moto Atrix2 WCS (With Cracked Screen) reads -61dbm.
A transfer of 200MB ("random" data created via linux: 'dd if=/dev/random of=200mb.dat bs=1048576 count=200' so that compression algorithms don't skew the results):
Razr (6.12.79 ICS Black Widow): 9s
MacBook (Lion): 6.5s
HP Envy 15 (Ubuntu 11.10): 7.5s
Moto Atrix2 WCS: 10s
I didn't repeat the test, and that is a busy WAP, but the results are what I expect for battery-operated devices. I also expected the ipad, atrix and razr to lose the race, since they have relatively slow storage systems, which have inherently poor write performance on files of this size (200MB won't buffer at all).
The WiFi cable will look like a white or black wire with a gold junction on the end where it meets the motherboard. I would expect that if you've had the phone open, you would definitely notice a wire hanging loose! I doubt that's the problem, but that wire is a coaxial shielded cable - like on cable TV only really tiny - and you can do all kinds of DIY replacement antenna stuff eg, adding an external jack so you can "beam" WiFi a mile away using a hacked Pringles potato chip can.
I actually think the problem might be RF noise in your environment. Florescent lights (CFLs), computing equipment, HVAC compressors, and motors can effectively "jam" WiFi signals, causing packet transmission failures to increase rapidly as the distance from the WAP increases.
We have a Fluke RF analyzer here, and our WiFi setup is quite good as a result.
Does anyone know if the Razr is unusually susceptible to RF noise? Maybe noise that the Razr generates from the motherboard/CPU/radios/BT? I'm not equipped to test that.
---------- Post added at 09:15 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:29 AM ----------
Do you have other devices to compare the Razr to?
Did you try pointing all the rubber duck antennas on the WAP straight up?
I just checked an iphone, another ipad, another Razr
, and a Dell laptop, and my boss's Razr was technically the winner on signal strength and transfer speed, but let's call it even. There are too many variables, and statistically significant benchmarking is beyond the scope of a forum comment.
The Razr has typical WiFi performance in this environment