Other iPhone XS/XS Max signal Poll

Does your iPhone XS/XS Max have worse cell signal than your prior phone on the same carrier?


  • Total voters
    361

twennywonn

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 15, 2012
234
220
I know there is a large thread about this already but the issue is pretty polarizing with some people definitely having issues and some definitely not having issues and I'm curious to poll everyone.
 

archvile

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2007
463
596
I know there is a large thread about this already but the issue is pretty polarizing with some people definitely having issues and some definitely not having issues and I'm curious to poll everyone.
The results right now are literally 50/50, so it’s definitely polarizing. FWIW my AT&T XS Max has been the same if not better, no issues. Wonder if it is something specifically related to the CDMA carriers.
 

twennywonn

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 15, 2012
234
220
The results right now are literally 50/50, so it’s definitely polarizing. FWIW my AT&T XS Max has been the same if not better, no issues. Wonder if it is something specifically related to the CDMA carriers.
Well, my theory that if you had an Intel modem last year then this year is the same or better. If you purchased from a CDMA carrier or Best Buy last year you would have had a Qualcomm modem. My concern is there isn't anything wrong with the phone just that it performs worse in fringe areas compared to Qualcomm based iPhones. My goal is to draw attention away from OPs thread but I think the poll will be interesting.
 

airjay75

macrumors regular
Oct 1, 2014
199
162
No issues here. Upgraded from an Intel iPhone 7 (which many people on this forum told me I was supposed to have all sorts of problems with but never did) to an iPhone Xs. Both on AT&T.
 

OTACORB

macrumors 68000
Jun 21, 2009
1,526
1,009
Central, Louisiana
I think this poll validates what some of us has been saying. This issue is not inherent to every phone. YES there are some with phones that have reception issues rather Wifi or Cellular. However, not all of them have the issue.
 
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rjjacobson

macrumors 65816
Sep 12, 2014
1,078
551
With AT&T on a Xs. Getting same to a bit better than my X of past year

UPDATE: I am starting to have problems with my
WIFI failing both 2.4 and 5 ghz when i am out side still works in house and bars look same but fluctuate a lot so outside WIFI is worse.
Since I also have only 1 sometimes two cell bars those seem to be worse today but not earlier this weekend so I guess I am joining the 40% with issues interesting changes hmm. In strong cell areas 3-4 i am still getting better results
Sent from my iPad

 
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jiangning

macrumors member
Jan 29, 2010
47
17
I'm on AT&T. Always had Qualcomm version (i.e. Verizon) in the past. Both signal and WiFi connectivity are noticeably better.
 

BiggAW

macrumors 68030
Jun 19, 2010
2,542
171
Connecticut
Well, my theory that if you had an Intel modem last year then this year is the same or better. If you purchased from a CDMA carrier or Best Buy last year you would have had a Qualcomm modem. My concern is there isn't anything wrong with the phone just that it performs worse in fringe areas compared to Qualcomm based iPhones. My goal is to draw attention away from OPs thread but I think the poll will be interesting.
That's pretty logical, considering that Intel modems might have gotten slightly better, but still aren't at the level Qualcomm is at, combined with generally weaker RF performance for the Xs/Xs Max aside from the modem, making AT&T and T-Mobile models about the same, and Sprint and Verizon models noticeably worse. To further complicate matters, in 600mhz markets, even with worse RF performance, the new iPhones should get better T-Mobile service since they have B71, but still won't match the Galaxy S9 series that has B71, a Qualcomm radio, and a better RF chain.

I think this poll validates what some of us has been saying. This issue is not inherent to every phone. YES there are some with phones that have reception issues rather Wifi or Cellular. However, not all of them have the issue.
It's highly unlikely that there is that much variability in performance between phones. I think what you're seeing is some people are mostly in areas with strong signals, so they can't really discern the performance of the phone, while others go in and out of weak or dead spots all the time, and even a small difference is night and day to them. The ones who are usually in strong signal areas will be in for a rude awakening when they travel and go in and out of dead zones, and lose fringe reception as a result, especially those on Verizon who are used to Qualcomm-based devices.

Also, I'm surprised no one has posted the link yet:

https://www.wiwavelength.com/2018/09/iphone-xs-and-xs-max-mostly-fail-to.html
 

rjjacobson

macrumors 65816
Sep 12, 2014
1,078
551
That's pretty logical, considering that Intel modems might have gotten slightly better, but still aren't at the level Qualcomm is at, combined with generally weaker RF performance for the Xs/Xs Max aside from the modem, making AT&T and T-Mobile models about the same, and Sprint and Verizon models noticeably worse. To further complicate matters, in 600mhz markets, even with worse RF performance, the new iPhones should get better T-Mobile service since they have B71, but still won't match the Galaxy S9 series that has B71, a Qualcomm radio, and a better RF chain.



It's highly unlikely that there is that much variability in performance between phones. I think what you're seeing is some people are mostly in areas with strong signals, so they can't really discern the performance of the phone, while others go in and out of weak or dead spots all the time, and even a small difference is night and day to them. The ones who are usually in strong signal areas will be in for a rude awakening when they travel and go in and out of dead zones, and lose fringe reception as a result, especially those on Verizon who are used to Qualcomm-based devices.

Also, I'm surprised no one has posted the link yet:

https://www.wiwavelength.com/2018/09/iphone-xs-and-xs-max-mostly-fail-to.html

For me Space Gray AT&T 256 GB Xs (X ready to trade in same config) I am finding slightly better and I find that the more business (downtown, mall, interstate) areas are all near 5 bars, near my home on my side of town/rural away from cells you find on major highways it is always weak with AT&T --1-2 bars -- (Verizon has better coverage near house and rural wise in Illinois but I am still on my old unlimited data plan with AT&T and not ready for the high rates of "new" unlimited plans like Verizon ;-). Anyway I am noticing as good if not slightly better even in these weak areas including my home. Now I also have a good WiFi setup at home so that is how I deal with getting data on my various iPhones with AT&T. I think that my X was as you surmised with AT&T it was a intel modem, and of course now the Xs is same but it is improved slightly in my own experience

Interesting poll that nearly 60% ok and about 40% plus having issues I think you may have hit the nail on the head for those who had Qualcomm in their older phones including X.

UPDATE: I am starting to have problems with my
WIFI failing both 2.4 and 5 ghz when i am out side still works in house and bars look same but fluctuate a lot so outside WIFI is worse.
Since I also have only 1 sometimes two cell bars those seem to be worse today but not earlier this weekend so I guess I am joining the 40% with issues interesting changes hmm. In strong cell areas 3-4 i am still getting better results
Sent from my iPad
 
Last edited:

ant the ninja

macrumors 6502
Nov 21, 2012
348
156
My XS was perfect on Verizon LTE, way faster speeds than my X ever had at my home. I bought a second XS to test out the screen since mine was wonky, it activated on the new phone. I am returning the second phone and going back to my original XS and called Verizon to reactivate it and my LTE speeds are now abysmal. Was getting around 60-80mbps at my home now between 5-20. Not sure what happend. I reset network settings, i restored the phone, popped the sim in and out, nothing will fix it.
 

Chacocliff

macrumors 6502
Oct 22, 2014
443
260
I saw on the iOS 12.1 thread that it updates the Modem Firmware and the Carrier Update for AT&T. Has anyone on a Xs/Max updated to the beta and seen better wireless or cell service?
 

Shadowbech

macrumors 603
Oct 18, 2011
5,335
1,447
Apple iPhone World
I'm currently on Verizon, and I selected the "No the signals the same or better" as I get full bars at my house on my X and I get full bars with my XS Max. No issues here.
 

redpandadev

macrumors regular
Jun 3, 2014
201
158
Service at my house is in a fringe area for ALL carriers.

My story starts with going from the 6s to the 7 (on AT&T). The 7 had notably worse signal than the 6s. After some time arguing with Apple, I eventually purchased a SIM free (Qualcomm) model, which resolved my issue completely. The Qualcomm model held 3 bars in the same location the Intel model showed “no service.” - it was literally that big of a difference.

For the X, I never even bothered with an Intel version - went straight for the Qualcomm. No issue at all, and service was better than my 7. My in laws however, not knowing better, both have Intel X - when they come over they have no service on the same network that my Qualcomm X gets 3-4 bars. I recently switched to T-mobile, which has not affected the performance either way on my Qualcomm X.

I now have a Xs on t-mobile, which of course is Intel. Although better than the Intel X (it gets 1 bar), it is far worse than the Qualcomm X (3-4 bars).

At the end of the day I use WiFi calling at home and my service quality at home doesn’t really matter. I can also report that in areas with good service, the modem doesn’t seem to matter much if at all, and the Xs achieves much faster speeds over LTE than either version of the X.

I get the idea this is something that can be improved, if not totally resolved with improvements to the software. Remember that yes, there are hardware differences, but The Qualcomm software is also much more mature (10 generations, since iPhone 1 vs 3 generations, since iPhone 7)
 
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madKIR

macrumors 6502a
Feb 2, 2010
849
801
NYC
Service at my house is in a fringe area for ALL carriers.

My story starts with going from the 6s to the 7 (on AT&T). The 7 had notably worse signal than the 6s. After some time arguing with Apple, I eventually purchased a SIM free (Qualcomm) model, which resolved my issue completely. The Qualcomm model held 3 bars in the same location the Intel model showed “no service.” - it was literally that big of a difference.

For the X, I never even bothered with an Intel version - went straight for the Qualcomm. No issue at all, and service was better than my 7. My in laws however, not knowing better, both have Intel X - when they come over they have no service on the same network that my Qualcomm X gets 3-4 bars. I recently switched to T-mobile, which has not affected the performance either way on my Qualcomm X.

I now have a Xs on t-mobile, which of course is Intel. Although better than the Intel X (it gets 1 bar), it is far worse than the Qualcomm X (3-4 bars).

At the end of the day I use WiFi calling at home and my service quality at home doesn’t really matter. I can also report that in areas with good service, the modem doesn’t seem to matter much if at all, and the Xs achieves much faster speeds over LTE than either version of the X.

I get the idea this is something that can be improved, if not totally resolved with improvements to the software. Remember that yes, there are hardware differences, but The Qualcomm software is also much more mature (10 generations, since iPhone 1 vs 3 generations, since iPhone 7)
Similar experience: I had an 8 Plus and an X, both Intel. I switched to an X with Qualcomm later and can share the exact same experience that you had by going from the Intel modem to the Qualcomm one. However, this time around it looks like it's the antenna design to blame. It has been posted many times based on the Apple technical documents shared and some other findings. In this case you can't really fix/improve it with software. It's just not a good design. Only Apple knows why they've decided to change the antenna design of the X.
 
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