My phone works great at Work and Home, but has numerous Dead Zones, where it keeps Searching for signal. My Razor always worked and rarely had Signal problems in these same areas. Is this a bad phone or weaker receiver? I see that this phone allows for an External Antenna. Does this mean it needs it?
Not necessarily. If you very carefully open up the upper dark portion of the back of the phone (where the antenna extension is), you'll see that the antenna of the phone is actually a metal track which winds around the back of the headplate.
Check to make sure the two prongs which touch this headplate can do so without any problems. If the internal antenna is corroded, it may need to be replaced.
Most cellphones have varying antenna power, so you can expect to see differences when comparing two cellphones side by side. If you find your phone has no signal mostly when driving, check out this link: http://www.cellantenna.com/Boosters/cellphone_signal_boosters.htm
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I had a similar problem with my SMT5600. I've found that when this happens, if I just hold the hangup key until the keypad locks, I can then unlock the phone and it will function normally. Try this to see if it helps.
If phone was on ATT/Cingular originally, then you can buy UnLock code off ebay or net. If it is an older old BLUE ATT network, then the phone must be unlocked my using downloadable software you can use youself with an XP or earlier PC with an USB port. I don't know of any one selling unlock codes, based on phones IEMI code, that would work. Or at least get a guarantee if someone offers you this. If it is an ATT/Cingula or T-Mobile phone, then it can be unlocked using a code sent you base on IEMI number.
Google phones model and UNLOCK to find free downloadable software. This will also work on any HTC Typhoon phone, which the Audiovox SMT5600 is just one of many carriers that sold it.
Screen sound bad, or intermittent connection inside. You can find disassembly instructions on the net. Search with phone model and disassemble. Remove and reattach all cables in case one is lose or contact dirty.