iPhone 11 Antenna Gain

robrobrobro

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 14, 2018
49
37
Look. This is all so far over my head it isn't even funny. But last year, there was a lot of talk over whether the XS/XS Max suffer poor reception in low signal areas. A blog (WiWavelength) dug into the science behind that in a little more detail.

I found the owner of that blog on Twitter, because I was eager to see results for the new model phones and if they fare any better. Cellular strength is huge for me, as I enjoy traveling outside the city often. You can read this guy's tweets over on his account (@WiWavelength). Most/all of what he says is way beyond my comprehension. But he posted charts of the new phones' antenna gain, which I've included below.

My own conclusions based on these graphs and his tweets are:
1) the new 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max still suffer from poor antenna gain overall, but improved relative to the XS models
2) the new 11 is better still, and perhaps even better (or at least more consistent) than the XR
3) if signal strength is important to you, the 11 might be preferable to the Pro models

Anyone please feel free to correct me or draw your own conclusions from these charts. For comparison sake, you can check out graphs for the XS/XR models over on the blog or twitter account.
 

Attachments


Packers1958

macrumors 65816
Apr 16, 2017
1,488
1,918
South Dakota
Kind of mixed results. From what I could read from his twitter feed, Verizon and AT&T models should have better reception since they user lower bands, while those carriers that use higher bands probably will not see any improvement.
 

lancastor

macrumors 6502a
Jun 25, 2011
750
284
Thanks for posting this information. That is really bad bad news. :eek::(:(:(.

For comparison a Google Pixel 4 XL.

To be fair, presumed Pixel 4 XL G020J has max conducted power in 24-25 dBm range for most bands, 22 dBm for band 30, 26.5 dBm for band 41 HPUE. Inflated >23 dBm conducted commonplace now. But Pixel 4 XL also has strong antenna gain and max EIRP >300 mW in nearly all bands.
 

Attachments

Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: borntrouble

Coffee_Time

macrumors 6502a
Nov 22, 2017
514
238
Not because of this, but for sure some will return the iPhone and go for the p4 and also some will regret not doing it.
 

Attachments

madKIR

macrumors 6502a
Feb 2, 2010
849
780
NYC
So it looks like, just like last year, the smaller model is a bit better than the Max.
 

Ngamtns706

macrumors regular
Sep 21, 2015
211
82
The results are kinda bad, much better than last year but that's not saying too much. I think it will be fine in most situations. The latest galaxy's are pretty good, and the pixel is excellent. I'm not sure if it's this black and white in real world use though.
 

torqueflight

macrumors member
Apr 3, 2018
31
25
I was also curious about any reports concerning the antenna design. Thanks for posting this. I have an XS that is barely useable. I have many locations where it shows 2 bars but no data connection. Sometimes there are spots along my drive where it shows full bars but momentary no data flow. I’m either going back to an X or upgrading. Hoping to read more soon on real world feedback about the new phones.
 

tonyy

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2011
675
91
Dallas
Reason #1 why I’m skipping this generation. I’ve hated my XS Max since I got it last September.

Just purchased an iphone X to use this coming year. Waiting for 2020.
 

Strelok

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2017
1,235
1,415
United States
I’ve only ever had issues in certain places with coverage, and it’s places where I have WiFi access so this probably won’t be an issue for me. I think Apple will improve the intel designs a lot in the next few years, so 2-3 or so years we will probably see competitive modems.
 

Ngamtns706

macrumors regular
Sep 21, 2015
211
82
Well it looks like antenna gain is 2x+ not as bad as the mid and upper frequencies and a bit better on lower as well than last year if you want to find a positive.
[doublepost=1568583446][/doublepost]
I’ve only ever had issues in certain places with coverage, and it’s places where I have WiFi access so this probably won’t be an issue for me. I think Apple will improve the intel designs a lot in the next few years, so 2-3 or so years we will probably see competitive modems.

The guys twitter he explains the modem doesn't really have anything to do with it. The intel and qualcom x were about the same.
 

robrobrobro

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 14, 2018
49
37
I was also curious about any reports concerning the antenna design. Thanks for posting this. I have an XS that is barely useable. I have many locations where it shows 2 bars but no data connection. Sometimes there are spots along my drive where it shows full bars but momentary no data flow. I’m either going back to an X or upgrading. Hoping to read more soon on real world feedback about the new phones.
I really feel for you, sucks to spend that much on a device that can barely serve its purpose. I was in rural Virginia last month with about 10 friends. One had an XS Max, and there was so many times that her phone was utterly useless, while the rest of us could get at least some signal.

The silver lining here is that I no longer feel compelled to buy a Pro model. I realistically have no use for its features, but if it was poised to have demonstrably better signal strength, I would have splurged for it. Now I can get the standard 11 and pocket that extra $300.
 

eulslix

macrumors 6502
Dec 4, 2016
367
369
If this is true, I really can’t express how much Apple sucks. A fricking antenna design, one of the few things that actually makes a phone... you now, a phone! It’s like the most basic things that needs to work properly. And they can’t fix their known issues within one year, while the competition gets solid results. That’s just plain embarrassing.

And then they still have the nerves to sell this pile of **** as a professional device? What do I spend all of this money on a “Pro” device again? I expect this aspect of the phone to work flawlessly, I can’t stress how important it is to me. I trust Apple with making sure, that these parts work reliably, without mentioning it on the keynote.

Seriously hope this is just wrong... Otherwise I’m considering leaving this ecosystem for good. This is just spitting into the customers face.
 
Last edited:

johannnn

macrumors 65816
Nov 20, 2009
1,406
776
Sweden
Looking more and more that the 11 (not Pro) is the best buy. I’m replacing my XS with an 11. The OLED motion blur is also annoying when scrolling text.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CE3

TorontoSS

macrumors 6502a
Nov 9, 2009
506
70
Thanks for this post, it’s very useful. I work in an area with very poor signal.

I was either going to take my husbands XS or get an 11 pro (not into the 11 simply because of the size). Given this is it better to just stick to the X? Or will the signal strength be similar in a poor area to an 11 pro?

Sorry, I’m just confused!
 

eulslix

macrumors 6502
Dec 4, 2016
367
369
Looking more and more like Apple engineers are simply incompetent. A mirror image of the guy running the company.
Either they are borderline incompetent, or the problems are due to internal layout constraints (not an expert, but i guess interference is a thing) and some ******* up the chain decided it would be cool to save up money by going with the same internal design for another year. Either way, I’m obviously very upset. This company is run down by penny counters and it makes me sad, since there will be no one left to fill their gap...
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: compwiz1202