Thursday, September 27, 2018

iPhone XR trades 4x4 MIMO for greater antenna gain and higher EIRP

iPhone XR (model A1984, FCC ID BCG-E3220A) made a somewhat surprising early appearance in the FCC OET database this morning, since the phone will not be available yet for another month.  Typically, iOS devices have their authorization filings posted right before the devices go up for sale to the public.

Upon examining the certified lab tested RF data and crunching some numbers, what is immediately apparent is that the iPhone XR has -- as expected -- dropped the 4x4 MIMO antenna design from the iPhone XS and XS Max in favor of a standard 2x2 MIMO antenna.  This tradeoff of fewer antennas and MIMO channels, though, ostensibly has allowed for greater antenna gain and, concomitantly, higher radiated output power compared to those same metrics on the iPhone XS and XS Max.

Further analysis may be forthcoming, but for now, the graphs of the iPhone XR EIRP and antenna gain largely can speak for themselves.

For graphs and analysis of iPhone XS and XS Max lab tested figures, see my previous articles (1, 2, 3).

Source: FCC OET


  1. I am thinking may be it is not only 4x4.

    The iPhone X also has problems as compared to iPhone 8. I am think if these has to do with its Stainless Steel casing, which ALL X / Xs series are using.

  2. So, I'm struggling to intrepret the data. It appears to me that the XR would have substantially better functionality than XS in low signal areas using 600 and 700 mhz ( bands 12, 17, 71)?

    Any thoughts on how the XR might compare to the iphone 8+ or Samsung S9 in regards to functionality? I am primarily referring to the ability to make and recieve calls in very low signal areas with some rudimentary web browsing.

    1. This is not an answer to anyone’s question just simply trying ask ask a question to this subject. I’ve been looking into this iPhone XR for a couple weeks. I’ve heard different things about the reception (lte). How is it now on 11/20/2018?

  3. Could you please explain how to read the graphs?
    Is closer or above to 200mW better?

    1. My articles really are not intended for the general public and typical cellphone users, but rather for those who already have reasonable understanding of cellular RF communications. So, I may not always provide basic explanations of my analyses and graphs. That said, yes, uplink maximum EIRP closer to or greater than 200 mW generally is better.


  4. I purchased the iPhone XR and have been very pleased with the performance in a very rural area. I was able to make calls and maintain an lte connection when several other phones could not even make a call.

    Thanks for making the information more accessible.