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How to Increase Reception on Sony Xperia X1

How to Increase Reception on Sony Xperia X1

Posted on Dec 8, 2009 by Paul White

I was skeptical this would work, but so far it seems to have worked.  For anyone who is having problems with low bars or dropped calls with their Sony Xperia X1, X1a or X1i, this mod might work for you.  I have included step by step instructions for taking apart your phone to do this mod. 

What causes poor Cell Phone Reception?

Poor Cell phone reception can be caused by many things.  Not being close to a tower is one, but the most common reason is interference, or objects blocking the signal.  Metal and solid objects like concrete and steel beams found in buildings can cause interference.  There isn't much you can do about those but there is one other thing that is possibly killing your reception.  This is the materials that are used to construct you phone.  Its been proven that the first Generation Iphones had reception issues due to thee metal housings.  This one of the reasons the Iphone 3G was made out of plastic instead.

The weakness in the Sony Xperia X1 's construction

The Sony X1 is a work of art.  Aluminum battery cover, and solid construction, make it a very sought after hand set.  Even though the hardware and OS ( Windows Mobile 6.1 ) do have performance issues, the construction is the real evil.  The battery cover in my experiments negatively affects the signal.  Try taking off the battery cover for a few seconds and watch as you get an extra bar or two.  Unfortunately I haven't been able to find a plastic battery cover for the Xperia X1.  Such a find would be priceless to the Xperia community.  But when I took apart the phone I did find another issue with the antenna.  The antenna which is made of a think slice of copper that wraps a small module installed on the bottom of the phone, is covered by a rubberized plastic coating.  In fact the only part that is exposed is by the antenna connectors.  When you take apart your phone you will find the antenna on this block

Antenna Module on Sony Xperia X1
Also I would like to note that in case you butcher your module doing this mod you can always buy a spare one from ebay ( see link on photo ).  The above picture is what your module will look like. If you look closely you can see the thin antenna under the rubberized skin.  If there is one thing I have learned its that rubber will insulate electronics from interference.  Even though the rubber covering the antenna is thin, it still makes a difference.  If you need help in how to take apart your phone use the Video below to assist you.  I found a guitar pick seems to work pretty well, although the video makes taking apart certain pieces look easier than it really is.

So what we want to do is use a razor to scrap off the rubberized skin.  When you get done you should have something like this

Antenna Module on Sony Xperia X1 exposed
Even though the copper is pretty durable, be careful to only scrap off the rubberized coating.

Here is the technique I used for removing the coating.

Antenna Module on Sony Xperia X1 scrapping coating
Then once its done,  reinstall it back into your phone

polished Copper antenna in Sony Xperia X1
Enjoy Better Signal Quality on your Sony Xperia X1

Increase reception on Sony Xperia X1
The only thing that would help this even more is if there was a plastic battery cover to replace the metal one.  But mod took me from getting low bars on edge, to getting near full bars with HSDPA.  I can't promise this will work for everyone, as your location and surrounding interference can still make a difference, but if it worked for me, it might work for you too.

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brotha | Dec 15, 2009 12:25 PM
hi have owned the xperia x1 for about 5-6 months now and i find the reception to be quite good.

i am still interested in trying this though

Sujith | May 7, 2010 1:21 AM
Hi Paul

I am having the same issue with my X1 and have contracted a party to rubberize the battery cover. Your suggestion is tempting but my only concern is how much radiation would escape as a result of this. Can anyone shed any answers.

amer | Oct 4, 2010 1:47 AM
dear paul;
i have tried this thing and as for the signal it got much better
great idea
but i need your help when i was done and fixed the antenna back in my device now my phone doesnt ring when im getting a call (also there is no sound in the media player)
i realized that the speaker is built in with the antenna and i made sure my phone isnt in silent mode
so can you help me to know whats wrong now in my phone,could this action that ive done damaged my speaker
many thanks
filmovi | May 23, 2011 9:20 PM
Great. Finally, I solved my poor reception. Thanks!
Nikkoletto | Jul 9, 2011 11:01 PM
I Had The same Problem Of Poor Reception! I Tried with the Rubberized Coat Scrapping with a sharp Blade! And i had updated the Radio Version (See The Topic)
Now I Have best reception ever where some places that My Xperia X1 Lost All Signal now it haves at least 2 or 3 Bars :)

And Amer, I'll answer your question About the Speaker:
Maybe you broken the little Pins that it have to make contact with the motherboard,
Soldering with a little points of Soldering-Tin instead the Little Golden pins of the speaker!
Be Carrefull to no burn the speaker, once the Tin has in the place, let it cool down and Test if Works!
See ya

besplatni domaci filmovi | Jul 21, 2011 11:43 PM
Thank you Nikkoletto. That was my problem too.
Poor contact with the motherboard.
Farhan Khan | Jan 8, 2012 11:28 PM
hey paul thank youu allllooooooooooootttttttttttttttttttttttttt... really love your work and it helps me and i am using xperia x1 with full signal bars. now i'll cancel my ad of sellifng my mobile:P  thank u dude!!:P :*
bonovox | Jun 30, 2012 8:13 AM
I have problem with signal reception on my X1. It was excellent before I made Update of my software, but now signal is very poor. And what is very interesting, signal goes off when Itouch my phone, so I cant make any calls any more :((
What do you think?

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