Doubt: Will I have a 4G connection if I buy an iPhone XS, XS Max or American XR?

As we have already informed, the iPhones XS, XS Max and XR sold in U.S are not the same as the models sold by Apple here in Brazil. While the models are the A1920 (XS), the A1921 (XS Max) and the A1984 (XR), here Apple sells the models A2097, A2101 and A2105 respectively. The only difference between them is that Brazilian models are supported band 28 (700MHz APT) on American models, band 28 goes out and 71 at (600MHz).

Here, as we know, in addition to band 28 (the newest one, which started to be used by telephone operators after the death of the analogue signal from TVs), we also have bands 3 (1,800MHz) and 7 (2,600MHz) . That is, if you intend to buy an iPhone XS, XS Max or American XR, you can use 4G in a good way connected to bands 3 and 7; Obviously, you will not be able to use 4G in band 28. But how do you know if it is available in your region, for example? How to know if, right now, if your iPhone is connected to the 4G network used at 700MHz?

The iPhones 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, SE, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus and X (models approved by Anatel) have support for all bands used here in Brazil (3, 7 and 28). So, you can use the device itself to find out what frequency it is connecting to the 4G network thanks to Field Test Mode present in it.

How to see the band / frequency to which your iPhone is connected

  1. Open the Phone app;
  2. In the "Keyboard" tab, enter * 3001 # 12345 # * and send "call";
  3. Comes LTE Serving Cell Info;
  4. If nothing appears, wait a few seconds / minutes.

IPhone Field Test Mode

Now see which band appears on the freq_band_ind line, as in the image above. There, you already know which band your iPhone is using. There is, however, another very interesting piece of information: LTE Neighbor Cell Meas.

IPhone Field Test Mode

From what the name indicates, in this option you can see which antennas are closest to you and which bands they use. Here, in my example, I am surrounded by two using band 3, that is, the frequency of 1,800 MHz apparently the most important and used in my region.

With this information, you can conclude if it is worthwhile or not to purchase an iPhone XS, XS Max or American XR that does not have support band 28. In my case here (at least at home), I would have no problem using a iPhone like that in all my tests my phone connected to band 3.

My current iPhone uses the 28 (700MHz) band, now what?

Assuming you have done this test and found that your current iPhone connects to band 28 many times. And now? Obviously, it would be better if the iPhone XS, XS Max or XR in question had support for this band. Still, when you buy an American model, it does not necessarily mean that you will no longer have access to 4G in your region. This device will simply pick up the signal from another antenna that uses bands 3 or 7.

These antennas may even have the weakest signal, they may be further away, this, really, we have no way of knowing / controlling. The fact that you are unlikely to lose access to the 4G signal due to the absence of band 28 you can “just” have a weaker or worse signal in some moments / locations.

American XS iPhones using 4G in Brazil

Michel and Rafael, for example, bought their iPhones XS and XS Max in the United States and are using the devices without any connectivity problem in Porto Alegre (RS) and Salvador (BA), respectively.

IPhone Field Test ModeTest performed by Michel.
IPhone Field Test ModeTest performed by Rafael.

Above, we can see the bands they are connected to and speed tests showing that things are going very well, thanks.


Take the above test at home, at work, at the gym, in other words, in the places you usually go. So, with this information in hand, you will make a decision about whether or not to buy the American model in a much more informed way. 😉

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