2019 iPhone XR might get a big cellular speed upgrade

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iPhone XR giveaway: Enter to win this gorgeous blue iPhone.
The 2019 iPhone XR might offer even better 4G performance than the original one.
Photo: Kristal Chan/Cult of Mac

The next version of the iPhone XR could offer significantly faster cellular connections than the current one, according to industry analysts. That’s because the new model is supposedly getting 4×4 MIMO — the iPhone XS series are currently the only Apple devices with this speedy tech.

iPhone XS cellular is twice as fast as iPhone XR

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Long-term iPhone XR demand could eventually lead to greater sales than the iPhone XS.
iPhone XS and XS Max offer much faster downloads than iPhoen XR.
Photo: Apple

The iPhone XR costs 25 percent less than the iPhone XS, but in many ways is just as good. However, there’s a notable exception: The pricier model offers a cellular data connection that’s nearly twice as fast.

That’s not too surprising. The additional cost of the iPhone XS series buys better networking equipment.

Galaxy Note 9’s speedy LTE barely beats iPhone XS

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Open the iPhone XS Max and you'll see just $443 worth of components.
A new Intel modem buried in the iPhone XS Max brings 4G LTE performance that rivals, but doesn't beat, its top competitor's.
Photo: TechInsights

Last year, Samsung’s smartphones offered significantly faster cellular-data speeds than Apple’s, but a new study shows that the iPhone XS LTE performance almost catches up with its rivals’.

Apple’s latest flagship handsets include some long-overdue technologies that give them noticeably quicker LTE connections.

Sprint admits its 4G LTE coverage is terrible

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act-now-to-avoid-sprints-10-unlimited-data-price-jump-image-cultofandroidcomwp-contentuploads201402sprint-sign-jpg
The Sprint 4G coverage area is far smaller than its rival's. Something the carrier itself admits.
Photo: Sprint

Any iPhone user who wants wide access to 4G LTE should avoid Sprint like the plague. The carrier reportedly produced a series of maps comparing its coverage area to those of its top three competitors, and Sprint loses by a wide margin in all of them.

But the company’s management hasn’t lost their minds. There’s a good reason why this wireless service provider is going out of its way to look terrible.

Verizon’s new data plan even more unlimited than its other unlimited plans

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For about $100 a month, you can use more than 2GB of 4G LTE data each day without worrying about throttling.
Photo: Verizon

Verizon just created a new top tier to its unlimited data plans. It was designed for “super users who want the most,” according to the carrier.

The Above Unlimited plan offers 75GB of unthrottled 4G LTE data, and 20GB of unthrottled hotspot data, for $95 a month.

2018 iPhone really needs a feature you’ve never heard of

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6.5- and 6.1-inch 2018 iPhone models
The 2018 iPhone offerings supposedly will include these 6.5- and 6.1-inch models. Hopefully, a behind-the-screens feature will make them faster.
Photo: OnLeaks

The 2018 iPhone models are rumored to have larger screens, better processors, and other enhancements. But there’s one feature that, even though we’ve heard nothing about it, we should strongly hope is in Apple’s next smartphones: 4×4 MIMO.

This is a cellular wireless data technology that gives the Samsung Galaxy S9 a substantial speed advantage over the iPhone X.

T-Mobile isn’t America’s ‘Best Unlimited Network’

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T-Mobile isn't America's Best Unlimited Network.
A regulatory arm of the Better Business Bureau told T-Mobile to stop claiming it's the ‘Best Unlimited Network.’
Photo: T-Mobile

T-Mobile uses the self-bestowed accolade ‘Best Unlimited Network’ in its ads. But now an advertising regulatory body told the carrier to knock it off.

To be clear, this recommendation by the National Advertising Division (NAD) isn’t binding. But it’s significant enough that T-Mobile is appealing the decision.

Verizon spinoff offers unlimited wireless service at $40 a month

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Visible offers discount Verizon service, and it's currently iPhone only.
Visible uses Verizon's network to offer discount service. It's currently iPhone only.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Verizon Wireless spun off a startup that offers unlimited data, voice, and messages for just $40 a month. The new company, dubbed Visible, is currently only offering this service for unlocked iPhones.

But there is a catch: all data connections are always throttled to 5Mbps, well below what Verizon’s network can provide.

T-Mobile and Verizon boast fastest 4G speeds

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Best 4G
T-Mobile and Verizon are battling it out to see which will offer the best 4G.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A quick and reliable LTE connection is a necessity for any iPhone. Verizon and T-Mobile offer the best 4G performance, with AT&T and Sprint not able to keep up.

All four of the national carriers’ networks show improvement over 2017, but some haven’t yet recovered from the deluge of usage that came when they began offering unlimited data plans several years ago.