The iPhone 12 lineup can handle any 4G or 5G band presently utilized in the US or Canada. It is likewise the only US phone so far that’s been approved to use band n77, the “C-Band” for 5G which will be auctioned for new protection starting in 2021.
The squared-off side leaves space for 5G millimeter-wave antenna modules. (Google’s latest Pixel phones also note band n77 in their spec sheets, but FCC files do not show it as having actually been authorized for United States usage. While Google may get that changed, it’s most likely that they’ll just include it in their next round of phones.)
AT&T, specifically, uses functions in its network which won’t be supported by Qualcomm’s X55 modems no matter what; they need the business’s X60 modems, expected in 2021. So there is a strong opportunity that on AT&T, the iPhone 13 will have far exceptional performance to the 12.
So all I can actually state right now is that the new phones’ with 5G support matters on T-Mobile, it does not at all on AT&T, and it does on Verizon only if you’re super-lucky. If you get the iPhone 12, you will likely see a 5G icon the majority of the time, and the majority of the time, that icon will suggest absolutely nothing in terms of efficiency.
In reality, if you aren’t on T-Mobile or in a Verizon UWB 5G neighborhood, I ‘d advice you to shut off 5G in your settings to conserve power. You’ll get a 5G icon, however that doesn’t mean any genuine distinction in performance. I evaluated the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro versus a Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and iPhone 11 on the Verizon and T-Mobile networks.
Verizon’s “across the country 5G” got an average of 84. 6Mbps down in areas where my iPhone 11 on LTE got 93. 7Mbps down and the Galaxy Note on LTE got 117Mbps down. This jibes with our tests of the Google Pixel 5, where we got lower speeds on Verizon’s “across the country 5G” than on 4G.
T-Mobile is the exception. If you remain in a location with T-Mobile’s mid-band 5G system, which is promptly expanding around the country, you will see an immediate improvement in performance. My iPhone 12 balanced 266Mbps down on T-Mobile 5G, comparable to the Galaxy Note’s 261Mbps down. The most striking differences came when I toggled T-Mobile 5G on and off in an area that didn’t have fantastic 4G speeds.
At that point, the iPhone 11 without 4×4 MIMO got 2. 8Mbps down, the iPhone 12 Pro in LTE mode with 4×4 MIMO got 48Mbps down, and the iPhone 12 with mid-band 5G got 261Mbps down. Verizon’s ultra-wideband, brief variety 5G system is the fastest of all but has extremely minimal protection.