Poor signal on the Hero?

Poor signal on the Hero? As you know, I was lucky enough to borrow an unlocked Hero to review recently. I tested it on Orange and got 2 bars of HSDPA signal – I was happy enough with that. However, after finding out where the transmitter was with CellFinder it turned out to be less than half a mile away. I tried different SIM’s from T-Mobile and Three but got the same problem. I popped the Orange one back in and even parked next to the local transmitter. It seems to be a low-power repeater, because even when parked underneath it I only got three bars. Errr… Three bars? I’m 10 feet away from it! Another transmitter, which is obviously a main one, did give me full bars but only when I could see the thing physically.

I’ve spotted a bit of discussion about this and even with the updated radio the signal never seems to go up to full for any length of time. Other weirdness includes holding the handset – putting your hand on it seems to make the signal go down!? Now, I know I’m only speaking to the lucky few who’ve got themselves a Hero (and everyone else is secretly telling me to shut up about this new phone) but I’d like to know how widespread the issue is. Apparently there’s another update coming which will fix this, but do let us know if you’ve experienced the same.

Links – CellFinder (Do a search in the Android Market, it’s free)
Links – MoDaCoXDA-Developers