Аntenna tests of the iPhone XS vs S9 vs Pixel 3 XL tip that connectivity issues may be a design flaw

Аntenna tests of the iPhone XS vs S9 vs Pixel 3 XL tip that connectivity issues may be a design flaw
Back when the new iPhone XS, Max and Xr were announced on September 12, one specialized radio connectivity performance blog raised the alarm that they might have issues with the reception at places with poor signal, both on 4G LTE and Wi-Fi networks. The analysis was based on pure speculation based on the FCC antenna performance tests with the XS and the Max.

Lo and behold, we are now getting the first user complaints that their new iPhones are performing subpar in such scenarios, and it is not limited to Verizon, T-Mobile, or Wi-Fi networks only. The possible culprit?

The iPhone XS signal amplifier (in red) is not the issue here/image via iFixit/

The iPhone XS signal amplifier (in red) is not the issue here/image via iFixit/

According to radio engineer Andrew Shepherd, pouring over the FCC files revealed that, while the new iPhones' signal amplifiers are very powerful, the antenna gain is the weak link that fails to grab a strong enough signal. 

Apple put no less than four antennas inside and covers a record number of bands this year, but this cramping, along with the hard to pierce steel bands surrounding the phones, might have contributed to the weaker signal pick-up.

Since only one antenna can be used at a time, the overall result is that the gain is always in the negative, the FCC tests show, diminishing the transmission strength despite all the amplification going on. In real-life scenarios, this should be visible only in borderline areas in terms of signal strength, or, what some users are reporting now. Apple could fix some of it with software updates, tweaking the switches for the respective carrier networks, but some of it may simply be a design flaw that could need addressing. 

The same engineer, on the other hand, dug out the FCC tests of the Pixel 3 XL antennas and concluded that it will be a connectivity powerhouse in the LTE mid-bands, so we can't wait to pit it against the new iPhones in download speed tests.


source: WiWaveLength (1,2,3)

Related phones

iPhone XS
  • Display 5.8" 1125 x 2436 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A12 Bionic, Hexa-core, 2490 MHz
  • Storage 512 GB
  • Battery 2659 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 512 GB
  • Battery 3179 mAh

FEATURED VIDEO

62 Comments

1. JCASS889

Posts: 395; Member since: May 18, 2018

dont these extremely rich companies test their devices ? zero excuses from a trillion dollar company

16. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

First of all the Google and the Pixel 3's will already have something that the IPhones do not have. The latest and fastest LTE chips. The IPhone XS's and XR do not have the latest or the fastest LTE chips. This is a known fact.

25. Papa_Ji

Posts: 757; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

Selling Cheap quality products at sky high price...that is how apple become trillion doller.

27. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1261; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

Apple will have an excuse and we all know what it will be already.

63. yyzamin

Posts: 375; Member since: Aug 26, 2015

What will it be?

51. cocoy

Posts: 450; Member since: Oct 30, 2015

I don't think it's a design flaw. It has a glass back and not stainless steel back. Don't tell me that the signal is targeting the steel frames instead of going through the glass back. The reason is because they've used an inferior LTE chip in there due to their debacle with Qualcomn.

2. notfair

Posts: 659; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

"You are using it WRONG!"

3. Ericzhf

Posts: 18; Member since: Nov 27, 2012

"You are holding it WRONG!"

4. BGChicago

Posts: 213; Member since: Nov 16, 2014

"You are reading the FCC tests WRONG!"

42. bucknassty

Posts: 1187; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

"Your'e buying it WRONG!... we have a dongle for that"

49. whatev

Posts: 2017; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

You’re using your brain WRONG!

53. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Man, I thought their bashing was lame, then I saw your reply to them.

54. whatev

Posts: 2017; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

My old fan, I missed you so much! :)

55. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Sorry, was really busy with your mom.

56. whatev

Posts: 2017; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

Yeah, she and my father told me you’ve been a good butler during their long vacations trip, they might keep you long time, congrats

60. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

That was a cover up, your dad was taking the vid, wanna watch it?

61. whatev

Posts: 2017; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

He showed me one, you were struggling picking the luggage. Btw, I found your mother last night in corner trying to seduce me for 20 bucks, I gave her 50 for nothing and paid a taxi so she could go home :(

62. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Actually that was your mom in disguise trying to seduce you. She told me her darkest fantasies and told her to go for it. Sad she didn't succeed.

64. whatev

Posts: 2017; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

Lmao, you’re killing me, I’m pretty sure it was your mom, she was trying to convince me that I’m your father, she doesn’t know who is your father but I’m sure I’m not lol

5. toukale

Posts: 588; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

Don't we just love those keyboard analysts warriors. The folks on the web are somehow always smartest and know it all than anyone working at those companies. It never fails. Similar idiots had all kinds of theories too about the last Macbook Pros and we all know what happened at the end. I stop paying to any of those idiots. Besides everyone has 30 days to return the device if they are not happy with it. You have a device that's not performing, its easy to just return it get another one or get your money back and buy another brand. I always wonder who those idiots are that post on reddit. I know there are people that seems to be doing only that whenever a new product is released. Some even buy the products with no intention of keeping it, but to make a youtube video and return it. Every Apple launch comes with some noise of something is wrong by a group then died a few weeks later, never fails.

6. cmdacos

Posts: 3643; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

They are people that bought an expensive product and then got burned by quality control issues. Seems fair to me.

11. whatev

Posts: 2017; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

Exactly, just like when the note 7 decided to explode and cause a lot of victims and embarrass its users who were not allowed on planes, trains or workplaces with their notes, so I agree, it’s fair to me as well but also it’s strange and there’s too much coincidence that these people appear at the launch of every important product just to fade away in few days

19. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

People are forgetting the battle going on with Apple and Qualcomm. Qualcomm makes the best and fastest mobile LTE modems. Apple hasn't paid a dime to Qualcomm for 2 years now. So Apple definitely doesn't have access to the latest Qualcomm LTE modems or the software that goes with those LTE modems. Are people really forgetting how crappy Apple has been to Qualcomm? If a company didn't pay me, then I would be like support and software for you. Sure we will get right on that right away, because you are such a big customer to us, but wait we haven't seen one dime from you. Okay we will assign our best people to our best non paying customer Apple. What support and service is Apple going to expect from Qualcomm?

22. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

This, Apple's dealing has left a few Bridges burning behind it in the name of profit. Apple is a crooked company.

20. cmdacos

Posts: 3643; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Samsung handled the note7 debacle very well. Let's see what Apple does. Precedent says they will blame the user.

29. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1261; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

That was because it was entirely Samsung's fault. The user had absolutely no blame in that and they had no choice.

45. bucknassty

Posts: 1187; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

so ... we choose to have s**t reception... alright

57. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1122; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

You know how these Apple Fanboys be like man. They will blame themselves to save Apple even.

26. lyndon420

Posts: 6269; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Apparently getting what you paid for not longer applies to products from the richest company on earth.

9. whatev

Posts: 2017; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

Exactly, it happens with every major product release, iPhones, MacBooks, and other brands, I remember the Nintendo switch as well, I believe some of those people are just paid to do that, but we’ll never know

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Latest Stories