Following Apple’s “Peek Performance” event, PCMag lead mobile and 5G analyst Sascha Segan explains the new iPhone SE‘s various 5G optimizations per carrier, and how the U.S. iPhone SE model has the best general network compatibility of the international models (which isn’t always the case).
Highlights from the article:
- The new iPhone SE is the first Verizon phone to have C-band 5G but not mmWave 5G. Verizon has shifted focus from mmWave to its new sub-6GHz C-band network, using the same “ultra wideband” branding but with much better range.
- Considering the lower demand for mmWave 5G and redesign that would be necessary to the iPhone 8 case that houses the SE’s components making Apple’s lowest-cost product more expensive, it makes sense that they left it out of this year’s model.
- For AT&T customers, sadly the iPhone SE will not work on AT&T’s upcoming 3.45GHz (“Andromeda”) 5G network, the carrier confirmed to PCMag. It will show a 5G or 5GE indicator sometimes, although those will generally signify 4G levels of performance.
- With Andromeda, AT&T could get a real performance advantage over Verizon in locations where the carriers aren’t yet allowed to use C-band. It would make AT&T’s faster “5G+” truly nationwide – though it hasn’t rolled out much C-band or any Andromeda spectrum yet.
- When it comes to international model configurations, the US iPhone SE model is the best bet for general network compatibility – minus a 4G band used exclusively in Japan. Foreign model SE’s will not work as well on the AT&T and T-Mobile networks in the US.