A series of LTE speed tests performed by the folks over at PC Mag has revealed that the iPhone 8 is the fastest iPhone ever, although it still lacks the 4×4 MIMO antennas needed to achieve the speeds seen on some gigabit LTE Android phones. The results show that the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus support 600Mbps speeds on US and Canadian networks, just like the Essential Phone PH-1 does.
Currently, Apple is selling three versions of the iPhone 8 globally. One has a Qualcomm X16 modem, which is sold as the unlocked US unit, or with Sprint, Verizon, and Australian carriers. The second one has an Intel XMM7480 modem, which is sold by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Canadian carriers, while a third version is being sold exclusively in Japanese. The tests show that the Qualcomm chip based iPhones are consistently slightly faster than the Intel ones.
The lack of 4×4 MIMO is probably why the iPhone still falls short of the Galaxy S8 when it comes to recovering from dead zones, a notorious iPhone problem. We took an iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8 on the New York City subway, where they dropped in and out of T-Mobile coverage. The Galaxy S8 recovered faster in 8 out of 11 tests, and where it did, it was an average of 16 seconds faster than the iPhone at regaining LTE signal; when the iPhone won, it did so by 5 seconds on average.
The phone only supports 60MHz of aggregation on bands that matter to Americans and Canadians. While Canada has 75MHz, 4x carrier aggregation up and running with Bell and Telus, the phone doesn’t support the 2/4/7/7 setup that they use, limiting the iPhone’s speed on those carriers. In Canada, it’s a 600Mbps phone, or LTE category 12.
Users coming from a more recent iPhone however won’t see a dramatic coverage improvement with the iPhone 8. For a detailed report on the Fastest Mobile Networks, click here.