Hi Fordoc, so far I haven't seen any 1xRTT signal loss (the radio technology used for voice calls) when holding the phone in a variety of normal (at least for me) positions. When holding it and using it for Internet activities (3G/4G), I also haven't seen a drop.
We've only had the phone a few days, so it's hard to issue a verdict on battery life. But I've yet to see a WiMAX 4G phone with 4G turned on that has very good battery life, and this phone is no exception. Battery life isn't stellar with 4G turn on.