Smartphones can do so much these days, whether it’s downloading apps or taking photographs, but a study has found that our fancy, modern handsets are actually not as good as old mobile phones in one crucial area.

According to research commissioned by Ofcom, budget handsets and mobiles from a decade ago are actually better at picking up weaker signals than luxury smartphones.

The study was carried out on a selection of smartphones and non-smartphones currently available to buy, showing that the basic handsets had better signal performance than their flashier counterparts.

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Ofcom has chosen not to name the phones it tested, but did say that some of the smartphones it tested needed a minimum signal ten times stronger than non-smartphones just to make or receive a call, which makes them below international standards.

Smartphones also required a signal seven times stronger than a basic phone using a 2G network.

"We tested a very small number of mobile phones, not for ranking but to understand how handsets performed in different situations," an Ofcom spokesperson said.

It is thought that smartphones can fall short in the signal stakes because of the glass and metal used in many of them, unlike the plastic used on cheaper mobiles.

Have you had problems with your smartphone’s signal, or have you stuck to a more basic mobile? Let us know in the Comments section below.