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Poor Network connection

MaimairenMaimairen FreedomPop Newbie Posts: 13
I'm new to cell phones in general; I've used an iPhone a little, but have no experience with Android. I have the ZTE Prestige 2 phone (Android 6) for the free service, am beginning to learn about it. I've made a couple calls, had some trouble, but am not sure if it's due to my inexperience or some malfunction.

The Network status icon in the status bar at the top of the phone screen shows poor connection, i.e. only the bottom left corner of the triangle is "live". It looks like there are three levels: poor, medium, and good; so the connection is poor. Occasionally it goes to medium for a second or two, then back to poor. Equally often it goes dark entirely.

The FreedomPop Diagnostic app says Network Strength: GREAT (though it's rather hard to see, being in light yellow against white; whose idea was that?). But the phone doesn't seem to agree.

Today I went to the grocery store, about a mile from my house. I checked the phone several times during the trip; again, it mostly showed poor connection, occasionally medium, occasionally none. I did notice that it said LTE sometimes; I've never seen that in my house.

I live near the center of the capital city in a Mountain West state, just a couple blocks from the state capitol building. FreedomPop's Coverage map shows the entire city as solid green, i.e. complete coverage, as I understand it. If the connection is so poor right in the middle of the city, what will it be like out of town?

My iPhone is on Verizon's network, it usually shows 3 bars out of 4, i.e. good, if not excellent. Is Sprint's network so much inferior to Verizon's? Or is there something wrong with this phone?

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