We at alara Research Corporation appreciate all consumer feedback. In a recent review, a user comment caught our attention. The commenter noted that after using his alara case he claimed that “Instead of helping with signal, [alara case] actually interfere[d] with signal.” While some customers may benefit from alara in different ways, we test our cases rigorously. Not only do we maintain state-of-the-art equipment but also test our products independently at certified laboratories like Cetecom. WIRED magazine and many others have tested alara products independently at these labs, and have verified alara’s claims in every respect.

Compatibility Issues

There are several reasons why this user might have seen varying results in his home test. First, your “unlocked” phone might be the GT-i9250M or “Canadian” version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The coupled antenna system (CAS) within alara’s product is not designed for that Galaxy model, although the case will fit—as the form factor is the same as other, compatible Galaxy models.  Each alara case contains a CAS unique to the device model for which the case is designed. The alara Galaxy Nexus case is compatible with the GT-i9250 (“international” GSM) model and we have a separate case unique to the SCH-i515 (Verizon) or SPH-L700 (Sprint) models.

Variable Conditions

Second, due to the uncontrolled conditions of a home test, the “speed test” app employed shows considerable variation in signal, even with no case at all.  We observed between 45% and 54% signal on GSM in your video, with switching between the EDGE (2G) and HSPA (3G) networks. If a test is performed in an area of poor HSPA reception, the signal regularly drops in and out of this protocol. With the alara case, the signal ranged between 45% and 50% on GSM—essentially the same as with no case.  In this light, the speed test might have appeared faster with no (versus with a alara) case, because the phone was then on the HSPA network—whereas, with the alara case, the phone happened to be on EDGE. The phone likely switched between these protocols as a result of signal conditions at home, rather than as a result of the case.  Proper lab testing, of course, uses controllable signal emulators that enable “apples to apples” (no pun intended) comparisons of test conditions, without the variances your environment evidenced.

Optimized for Success

Last, a alara case is optimized for use next to the head (where most people hold the device when it’s in use), or body, so that the largest cell phone radiation (SAR) and radiated power reductions will occur on the face side of the phone—although overall signal strength is preserved and can even increase.  If you performed your test, conversely, with the phone face-up on a table—it is likely a worse configuration for signal.

In short, we—like every certified lab that tested us—stand behind every alara case.  alara reduces your radiation exposure by up to 95% below international safety limits, increases your talk-time battery life by up to 1.3 hours, and improves signal strength by up to 46%.