Samsung Captivate/Vibrant Caught in Grip of Death

The “grip of death” antenna issue with the Apple iPhone 4 has become a bit of a PR albatross on the device’s back. Apple has (correctly) pointed out that a number of phones from a broad range of manufacturers also exhibit significant signal loss when held in particular ways—there’s just no denying that putting a big insulator like a hand or a skull right next to a small radio is going to cause some signal loss. Similar signal loss has been demonstrated with Apple’s previous iPhone 3GS model, as well as phones from the likes of HTC, Nokia, and RIM.

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Now it seems Samsung’s new line of Galaxy S Android-based smartphones aren’t immune either: according to Information Week, both the Samsung Vibrant (available on T-Mobile) and Samsung Captivate (available on AT&T) exhibit very similar “grip of death” signal loss when held with either the left or right hand around the bottom of the phone. The author of the article reports the phones drop from three or four signal bars to zero in the space of a few seconds when held in this seemingly ordinary way, and regain signal when the grip is released.

The article notes that neither phone dropped a call while in the “grip of death,” and the author was still able to send text messages in that state. But on the other hand, the author also notes he has never lost a call or data connection with the iPhone 4’s “grip of death” either.