Apple products have always been slightly behind compared to Android smartphones, which were the first to receive new class LTE modems. Fortunately, the Cupertino engineers have managed to catch up with the technology that is used for wireless communication. The new iPhone XS is equipped with a high-end LTE modem that supports technologies used by LTE Advanced Pro networks. Unfortunately, the “budget” iPhone XR still lags behind the flagships on Android. What are the differences?
Let’s start with how the advanced LTE modem has last year’s iPhone X. It has a chipset, which is classified as an LTE device in category 12. This means that the iPhone X support aggregation of 3 frequency bands, 256 QAM modulation and 2×2 MIMO. This gives into a maximum theoretical data download speed of 600 Mbps. Honestly, it was not a revelation at the time. The same was offered a year and a half earlier Samsung Galaxy S7, in which the activation of the 256 QAM modulation was introduced by installing one of the updates.
We do not know too much about the LTE modem in the iPhone XR
Apple is reluctant to give too much detail in the technical specification that it publishes. We only know about the iPhone XR that it has an LTE Advanced modem. In practice, this means that it probably has the same capabilities as the system installed in the iPhone X. Perhaps Apple was tempted to increase the number of aggregated radio bands from 3 to 4. In this case, the modem in the iPhone XS would allow to download data at speeds up to 800 Mbps.
iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have Gigabit class LTE modem
Apple has decided to implement the service of all the most important technologies that are used by American operators. The new iPhones have 4×4 MIMO antennas, which allow for faster data transmission and improve the quality of connection at low signal level. However, to take advantage of this solution, you need to be within range of the base station with 4×4 MIMO antennas. Fortunately, they are becoming more and more popular not only in the United States, but also in Europe. Another technique that significantly accelerates the mobile Internet is LAA (Licensed Assisted Access) technology. This technique allows operators to use LTE technology in the unlicensed 5 GHz band (the same on which Wi-Fi networks operate). Thanks to this, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max can download data much faster than the iPhone X. The first tests, which were made in the networks of American operators, show over twice as fast data transmissions.