Carrier Need help with T-Mobile quandary I'm having.

Septembersrain

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TL;DR Skip to bottom

Upgraded my iPhone 7 Plus for the OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren. Well it overheated and shut off. Not to mention it got -126dBm and I'm supposed to be in a 5G area.

So it was obviously returned. I'm back to my 7 Plus. It gets about -114 to -120dBm on average. It's abysmal but I'm not ready to give up my JUMP1. So I'm also using AT&T prepaid on my LG G8 ThinQ.

I'm not willing to spend a small fortune on another device after my last experience so I'm needing advice here. I'm in a coverage black hole. It's very depressing.

Would the XR or 11 give me any advantage at all in terms of reception here (Compared with 7 Plus)? If so, which would be best? Those two are the only ones within my budget. I know they are only 2x2 MIMO but all 4x4 are out of my current price range.

I think the XS may be in range as well?

Thank you!
 
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sirghost

macrumors member
Jun 22, 2014
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As suggested in your redit thread getting the xr or higher iPhone will give you access to band 71 which will probably help you out with the t-mobile signal.
 

Septembersrain

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I went with the XS, only reason why was because it has 4x4 MIMO and was in my price range. Between talking to T-Mobile and Apple, I've found I've only got so many frequencies here to tap into so the UWB of the iPhone 11 will do me no good. So having additional antennas might be my best bet. Either way, no restocking fee since it wasn't bought in the store.
 

dooku77

macrumors regular
Nov 24, 2014
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If you want an example of connectivity, I brought my unlocked 11 pro max and note 10+ to work. I have t mobile also. I had the SIM card in the note and could not connect to anything in my office. I put it in my 11 pro max and I had lte. It was 1 bar and I was able to send and receive texts as well as some web usage. Qualcomm in the note, 2nd gen intel in the iPhone. I’m very impressed with the 11 pro this far. When I had my xs max, it wouldn’t connect to anything almost all the time.
 
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Septembersrain

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If you want an example of connectivity, I brought my unlocked 11 pro max and note 10+ to work. I have t mobile also. I had the SIM card in the note and could not connect to anything in my office. I put it in my 11 pro max and I had lte. It was 1 bar and I was able to send and receive texts as well as some web usage. Qualcomm in the note, 2nd gen intel in the iPhone. I’m very impressed with the 11 pro this far. When I had my xs max, it wouldn’t connect to anything almost all the time.
I'm going to give the XS a try. Worse case, I'll return as there is no restocking fee. Then I'll wait it out until the 11 Pro drops a bit or a newer cheaper iPhone hits with 4x4 MIMO. The 11 Pro is going to be better than the regular 11 as it has 4x4, regular 11 is 2x2.
 
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Septembersrain

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Let us know how it goes, hopefully Band 71 gets the job done for you.
It didn't work out. I returned it. It got worse reception than my 7 Plus. Unfortunately my 7 Plus is the GSM only model.

It's alright. I picked up an A1660 new iPhone 7 128GB jet black for $250. I'm going to be trying out a Verizon MVNO.

It'll be likely I'll get a new iPhone when they have Qualcomm again. I'll revisit my options at that point.
 
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tonybarnaby

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Dec 3, 2017
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People told me for years how great the Qualcomm modem was. I went from an Intel 8+ to a Qualcomm 8+ and noticed zero difference. My pixel 3xl gets WAY better signal than any iPhone I have ever had. It's ridiculous. Mint 3xl can be had for under $300 on swappa. I would look into a 3xl or even the 3a xl for around $300. Best phone I have used in years. I'm also on T-Mobile and work in a signal dead done.
 

Septembersrain

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People told me for years how great the Qualcomm modem was. I went from an Intel 8+ to a Qualcomm 8+ and noticed zero difference. My pixel 3xl gets WAY better signal than any iPhone I have ever had. It's ridiculous. Mint 3xl can be had for under $300 on swappa. I would look into a 3xl or even the 3a xl for around $300. Best phone I have used in years. I'm also on T-Mobile and work in a signal dead done.
My LG G8 hangs onto T-Mobile better than the darn OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren did (I returned it due to overheating and shutting off). No iPhone can get near the G8, I've rarely seen "No service" with it. I think the differences between Qualcomm and Intel would have been night and day if Apple hadn't neutered the Qualcomm one.

Really me getting the 7 is so I can go test some Verizon MVNO waters. My 7 Plus is the Intel, so I'm stuck there.

I'm paying for T-Mobile and AT&T right now. It's likely I'll be keeping T-Mobile as I'm anticipating the merger with Sprint and I love my JUMP1. However, AT&T is a bit pricey even with the $20 autopay discount. $71 after taxes.

So I'm going to give Visible (Verizon MVNO) a try with this iPhone 7 that is being shipped to me. $40 a month taxes included, no current speed cap. It has hotspot capability as well. Though it says video will only be 480p, people are writing articles saying YouTube can still run as 1080p on Visible right now. I really only use YouTube, all other stuff I pop out my iPad Pro. Whew I'm complicated!
 
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brucemr

macrumors regular
Sep 25, 2019
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I would forget about modems, antennas, etc. That stuff is not going to make a significant difference for your issue.

You are living in a dead spot, on the carriers you have tried. You have not specified whether you are rural, town, urban. But in each case, the solution, if there is one, is trying different cell carriers.
 

rui no onna

macrumors 604
Oct 25, 2013
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Verizon tends to have the best and most expensive service
I think pricing on Verizon and AT&T are pretty comparable nowadays.

I've tried AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile and where I use cell service, Verizon's fastest. T-Mobile's the worst. Can't watch a YouTube clip without buffering and latency's pretty bad. At one point, TMo were faster than AT&T after TMo did some network upgrades but I guess they have a ton more subscribers in my area now since they've gotten pretty slow again.
 
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Septembersrain

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I would forget about modems, antennas, etc. That stuff is not going to make a significant difference for your issue.

You are living in a dead spot, on the carriers you have tried. You have not specified whether you are rural, town, urban. But in each case, the solution, if there is one, is trying different cell carriers.
That's why I got the iPhone 7 A1660. All my devices currently are GSM only. Having the Qualcomm is just a perk.

Edit:

I've got a SIM coming from Visible right now. $25 first month, $40 after. All taxes included. I'm either going to go with them or stay the course with AT&T even though it's spotty, it's still better than T-Mobile. It's just more expensive than T-Mobile.

I'm holding out and keeping T-Mobile though because I've got a great plan and I'd like to see where they are headed with this Sprint merger.

So I'm trying to minimize my bill keeping two carriers.
 

ecschwarz

macrumors 65816
Jun 28, 2010
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By the way, regarding Visible (and Verizon as a whole) - they'll activate the Intel-equipped (aka GSM-only) 8/8 Plus/X units, especially as Verizon is going to shut down their CDMA network later this year and Visible was never using it. Obviously, you'll still run into the Intel vs. Qualcomm debate for signal strength, but it's worth keeping in mind that it may not matter for carriers as much.

(The 7/7 Plus apparently are a weird exception where they can't activate them...or won't?)
 

Septembersrain

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By the way, regarding Visible (and Verizon as a whole) - they'll activate the Intel-equipped (aka GSM-only) 8/8 Plus/X units, especially as Verizon is going to shut down their CDMA network later this year and Visible was never using it. Obviously, you'll still run into the Intel vs. Qualcomm debate for signal strength, but it's worth keeping in mind that it may not matter for carriers as much.

(The 7/7 Plus apparently are a weird exception where they can't activate them...or won't?)
I can tell you that I tried them. They were horrid. Almost worse than my T-Mobile. So I just went with AT&T postpaid. Traded in that 7 for money off the 11 Pro Max. It was a profit as they gave me more in credit than I paid for the device.
 

ecschwarz

macrumors 65816
Jun 28, 2010
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I can tell you that I tried them. They were horrid. Almost worse than my T-Mobile. So I just went with AT&T postpaid. Traded in that 7 for money off the 11 Pro Max. It was a profit as they gave me more in credit than I paid for the device.
Wow, that was fast since your last post! I gave them a try (doing the two months to at least get the $100 prepaid Mastercard promo) and have been running it in my 11's physical SIM slot, while AT&T Prepaid is on the eSIM. I've always been curious and it either works fairly well (the high pings kill some things for me - Siri almost always has to take a pause with a 'wait a minute' in the car), but there have been areas that the deprioritization is felt badly. I suspect as things go along, Verizon will work to make it better, but it still feels very beta-test.

Glad to hear things worked out, though!
 
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Septembersrain

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Wow, that was fast since your last post! I gave them a try (doing the two months to at least get the $100 prepaid Mastercard promo) and have been running it in my 11's physical SIM slot, while AT&T Prepaid is on the eSIM. I've always been curious and it either works fairly well (the high pings kill some things for me - Siri almost always has to take a pause with a 'wait a minute' in the car), but there have been areas that the deprioritization is felt badly. I suspect as things go along, Verizon will work to make it better, but it still feels very beta-test.

Glad to hear things worked out, though!
My apartment is a black hole. AT&T really is the only carrier that works.

Plus Verizon network doesn't work well out in the specific rural area we are trying to move to. It's crazy.

I guess even the biggest carriers still have spots where they are useless.
 
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Wide opeN

macrumors 68000
Aug 27, 2010
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My apartment is a black hole. AT&T really is the only carrier that works.

Plus Verizon network doesn't work well out in the specific rural area we are trying to move to. It's crazy.

I guess even the biggest carriers still have spots where they are useless.
It's all about location and tower placement. I run dual sim with T-Mobile as my main and Xfinity as backup. Have yet to see No Service on either.
 

1rottenapple

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Apr 21, 2004
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Try the verizon MVNO visible. I have that and I pay $25 for unlimited data and everything. Can’t believe it’s true but it is.
 

Septembersrain

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Try the verizon MVNO visible. I have that and I pay $25 for unlimited data and everything. Can’t believe it’s true but it is.
I did. It didn't work in my apartment.

Only AT&T does.

I recouped my cost on the iPhone 7 when I traded it in to AT&T. They gave me about double what I paid in credits off my EIP for the 11 Pro Max.
 
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