The iPhone 11 Pro is slower than XS on T-Mobile and AT&T, but not on Verizon

The iPhone 11 Pro is slower than XS on T-Mobile and AT&T, but not on Verizon
Gather around, iPhone and carrier fanboys, the annual drive-by network shooting testing will determine which of the new iPhone 11, Pro and Max has the fastest download speeds, and enjoys better coverage from the big four - Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Well, not Sprint, as the tester was blocked after jumping with SIM cards between devices too many times, but the big three.

PCMag, whose parent company owns the makers of the Speedtest app, didn't take advantage of that insider knowledge this time, as there isn't nearly enough crowdsourced data with the new iPhone crop. Instead, they took several different iPhone models, and ran some impromptu speed testing around Manhattan themselves.

On theory, the new iPhone 11 and Pro models should have faster cellular connectivity than their XR and XS predecessors, given the newer Intel XMM7660 modem version inside. In practice, the significant difference was between the iPhone 11 and the 11 Pro models, as the cheapest 2019 iPhone only supports 2x2 MIMO, just like the XR does. 

The 4x4 MIMO crowd, where the XS and Pro models belong, scored much higher download speeds than the 11 and XR, but between themselves it was actually the XS that was somewhat faster on GSM carriers, despite the older modem version.


Intel XMM7660, it turns out, supports 7x carrier aggregation (CA) but only 5x CA are unleashed in the new iPhones, just like last year, whereas the Note 10+ that has a Qualcomm modem inside, comes with 7x CA, and handily beats the new iPhones in download speeds on all carriers. 

On AT&T and T-Mobile, the XS actually scored faster peak download speeds than the 11 Pro, but not on Verizon. Long story short, we'd have to wait for the 2020 iPhone 5G for blazing fast download speeds. If your carrier and data plan can bear those, that is.

Related phones

iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • Display 6.5" 1242 x 2688 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 12 MP front
  • Processor Apple A13 Bionic, Hexa-core, 2650 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3969 mAh
iPhone XS Max
  • Display 6.5" 1242 x 2688 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A12 Bionic, Hexa-core, 2490 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3179 mAh(25h talk time)

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11 Comments

1. libra89

Posts: 2289; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Interesting...

2. Vancetastic

Posts: 1508; Member since: May 17, 2017

Weird results. Well, maybe not for those Intel modems.

3. LAgurl

Posts: 112; Member since: Dec 05, 2018

I'm on At&t and bit the bullet and got a note 10+ my sister iphone 11pro. and i noticed here in los angeles ca i dont what it can be but i have better signal and speed on my note than my sister in her iphone 11. just yesterday we were in citadel outlets and inside the stores her iphone was dropping down to "4G" while i had 2 solid bars lte on my note . And even outside when she has lte she can have 1-2 bars lte and i have 4 bars lte . Also speed is much faster on the note speed tests iphone can be getting 30 and me standing next to her on the note 70 mbps .. hmmmm interesting also I noticed my note connects calls faster I dial area code + number it starts ringing instantly in less than 2 seconds hers I tried it and it starts ringing in 7-10 seconds.

5. ph00ny

Posts: 2048; Member since: May 26, 2011

Similar experience with me and the wife on her iphone11. We were out in the woods and her phone was struggling with app updates and picture upload all weekend with one bar of lte all weekend long

7. tedkord

Posts: 17387; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

That's those Intel modems, versus Qualcomm.

10. treypoundz

Posts: 81; Member since: Sep 05, 2017

Yup. It's like this every year. Look it up

9. treypoundz

Posts: 81; Member since: Sep 05, 2017

This has always been the issue one iPhones every year. Qualcomm chips are better than intels. Look it up. I used to notice my iphone would always buff on YouTube but my note would play 1080p with no problem

4. oldskool50 unregistered

I think this is more proof that CDMA is better than GSM when it comes to handling a huge subscriber base. That is why China use CDMA. Because CDMA handles heavier traffic better. But if Apple is still using Intel modems, which I am sure they are; then that would explain things too. Because they suck and are defective and Apple knew this and used them anyways trying to screw Qualcomm and they screwed themselves.

11. treypoundz

Posts: 81; Member since: Sep 05, 2017

Yes they r

8. Alcyone

Posts: 461; Member since: May 10, 2018

Nokia (the original) tried to use their own modem in the 6100 series in the late '90s. I remember my mother taking her Sprint 61** back to BB. Picked her a StarTac instead. Seems only Qualcomm can do modem tech just right. Imo, its a matter of time before CDMA is sunsetted. TDMA couldn't avoid it. Gsm just better global acceptance, specially if esim ever really takes off. Each has pros and cons tho.

12. darkkjedii

Posts: 31253; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Intel modems are crap.

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