You seem to be asking two distinct questions so I'll answer the second. If I'm heading for the woods I certainly don't rely on my cell phone. A good handheld dedicated GPS device for navigation and a VHF/SSB radio for emergency communication. A portable radio is still going to have issues in mountains on short range frequencies and not provide enough power for realistic long range communication. Then there is the issue that someone has to be listening. In any case if there aren't cell towers near your location then there isn't much a "better" phone can do about it.
In any case the dedicated GPS handheld and a cell phone (w/ GPS also probably) would still be a better option because you can leave the phone powered off while navigating and still expect it to have a charge when you need to make emergency contact after walking around for hours trying to find your way out.