Ip7 reception still worse than 6? Can sims from different carrier work to test?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by maverick22, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. maverick22 macrumors 6502

    Sep 30, 2012
    I am having bad LTE reception with my 7+ on T-mobile. Wife's 6+ is better. I was looking online, and early on, many people were saying their 6/6s's provided better reception. I'm wondering if that's still the general census from most of you.

    I'm not sure if T-mobile is to blame, or the Intel is just really inferior.

    My parents have AT&T, and I was thinking about using one of their sim cards in my phone to see if it's my phone or the network that is struggling. Is that possible without messing anyone's phones/carrier settings up?

  2. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    Yes. Nothing in that regard will happen.

    However, you'll need to have your 7+ unlocked first. Otherwise, you will get an invalid SIM error.

    T-Mob requires a device to be active on their network for 40 days minimum. Additionally, if the device is on EIP they will not unlock until it's paid off.
  3. BrettApple macrumors 65816


    Apr 3, 2010
    Heart of the midwest
    Yes it is noticeably worse. I have an T-Mobile model I bought unlocked straight from Apple via preorder and I'm using it on AT&T. I cannot even get service in areas I used to be able to with other phones including my old 6S.

    My guess is part Intel modem and part antenna design. I have an iPhone 4S and 3GS (both on iOS 6.1 FWIW) that I put my SIM card into all in the same location and same day back to back just to check and I get no service to 1 dot on my 7, 2-3 bars on my 3GS, and 3-4 bars on my 4S all in the same location. Go figure.

    Now bars aren't everything and I did check the dBm readings and the 4S was at least 10 dBm ahead of my 7. So I'd say the antenna on the 7 just isn't very good. And the Intel modem makes matters worse by allegedly performing worse then its Qualcomm counterpart, particularly in low signal areas.

    I gave my 6S to my mother and my SE to my fiancé and they are both on the same carrier and can load pages and make calls where I can't. So, that's enough proof for me.

    The other issue I have is my data connection randomly dropping, even in town where I should have a good signal. It'll sometimes say 4G or LTE but won't load a thing or even receive iMessages till I power cycle or use airplane mode off and on a time or two. Not sure if that is isolated to my 7 or not. The 4S I used for an entire week last week was 100% fine in the same locations.

    I seriously think the antenna design in the older iPhones is superior to the newer ones. Form over function perhaps. But none are that great other than the 4S. I've had other brands and I'd say my Moto X had hands down the best reception of any phone I've ever owned right next to a couple of Blackberry 10 devices. Apple needs to step up their game.
  4. cbreze macrumors 6502a


    Nov 26, 2014
    I'm using a 7 on Verizon and find I have really good reception and call quality. I watch the dbm and not the bars and it is on par with my other devices. I thought my old 6+ was noticibly worse and was a tad concerned going into the 7 but have been pleasently pleased with that aspect if it.
    I had heard that Verizon's 7's on release day were having all kinds of reception issues, drops etc. I held off for awhile and then a patch of some sort was released so maybe that improved it above and beyond . It's great tho, no complaints here at all.
  5. maverick22 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 30, 2012
    Thanks for the reply! Just what I was looking for.

    I'm a little confused which one you bought though..."T Mobile model bought unlocked straight from Apple and using on AT&T." Does/did yours have the Intel or Qualcomm then? I have T-mobile but am thinking of going back to AT&T. I don't want to switch back to AT&T and pay more per month if the 7 antenna issue will still be present on AT&T as well.

    I can't tell if it's carrier (Tmob related) or the antenna...or maybe both. Don't know if switching will solve the problems. My 7+ isn't unlocked so there goes my plan to test an AT&T sim on it.
  6. darksithpro macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2016

    For ATT and T-Mobile doesn't Apple use Intel chips instead of Qualcomm in iPhone7 that lacks CDMA? It would make sense since the Verizon user who posted in here has the Qualcomm chip and has no LTE problems.
  7. BrettApple macrumors 65816


    Apr 3, 2010
    Heart of the midwest

    Ah yes, the reason is because I am on a business account with my family/family business on AT&T and they wouldn't allow preorders for phones and any time I'd try it would ask for info I didn't have or for an admin so I just went and bought the T-Mobile variant since it is the same model number and same GSM band support so I figured why not. It didn't ask for any T-Mo credentials or anything. I WOULD have bought the normal Unlocked SIM free version that's Qualcomm but it didn't exist at launch. I hate that they do that as it's the one I wanted. But this was also the first iPhone I've purchased new. I've had 3GS/4/4S/5/5C/6 Plus/6S/SE and all the while only bought them used. I planned on keeping this one longer term since I find that they have matured quite a bit and year to year changes aren't quite as drastic as say the performance difference between 3G and 3GS or 4 and 4S etc and camera improvements aren't quite what they were either.

    The T-Mobile and AT&T phones are the same model (A1778, GSM unlocked + TMO/ATT) they all have the Intel XMM 3360 modem where the Verizon, Sprint, and now SIM-free unlocked model have the Qualcomm X12 modem in them (A1660). Yours should say A1784 (Plus variant) on the back.

    So they would both have the same modem yes.

    It could be both, but I know people complain about T-mo's voice network on the 900 MHz spectrum as being worse for building penetration. But I don't know how much that would affect LTE performance.

    As for the Verizon user, I have a friend with the VZW iPhone 7 and his has been fine since launch but they did release an iOS update specifically for them back near launch. iOS 10.0.3 was to fix some of the data drops they were having. So that explains that.

    This screenshot is of my 4S and 7 on the same desk same day just a few minutes apart while I reset the 7 and signed back in to things to make it fair. 7 was a fresh restore of 10.3.1 via iTunes and the 4S was freshly reset on iOS 6.1, though they did update the modem many times since then I love the older faster iOS 6 vs something like 9 on the old 4S.

    In retrospect I should have put them both into dBm for the screenshots but oh well. I also turned off WiFi and went to load up a couple pages in Safari and the 4S was actually quicker, despite the 7 having some huge number of times faster processing abilities. Haha.

  8. maverick22, Apr 20, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017

    maverick22 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 30, 2012
    Apple called me back and ran diagnostics. They said nothing is wrong with my phone. They are leaning towards issues with the carrier (either bad sim card or just overall network in my area).

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