iPhone 12 5G/LTE vs 11 Pro LTE – Real World Comparison [Video]
Video uploaded by Max Tech on November 9, 2020
Let us Not Get Ahead of Ourselves or Is the 5G on the Latest iPhones Too Good to Be True for Now?
This may sound like a tricky or even mock question: do you really need the 5G on your brand new iPhone 12? After all, it’s one of this phone’s main attractions, as it is with any latest and highest-spec models from any major market player…
But, as they say, herein lies the rub. Because that is the thing with smartphones (as well as with the majority of connected devices per se): even once you have paid for it, and even if it’s the most expensive one of the line – in our case, the iPhone line, now including 12 Mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max and just your general 12th model – it’s still not the end to your expenses. There’s also a not so little matter of a tariff, which affects, putting it mildly, a lot of things, from the amount of data you’ll get per a period of time to the number of activated options, for example. Do you see where we’re getting at?
Yes, precisely. Having a 5G-equipped device and living in an area covered by the 5G signal is still not enough for getting a good, steady, reliable connection of that level. You also need to fork out more money. No, it’s not like if you will prefer to stick to the plan you have chosen initially your 5G connection will disappear on your own (otherwise the makers would expose themselves to some hard questions about getting back on their promise). It will still be there… technically speaking. Which means, you might soon wish that it weren’t. Because it will be there, well, intermittently, periodically giving way to LTE (at most inopportune times, of course) and consequently interfering with your text-sending, software updating and what have you. (All that while still assiduously eating away at the phone’s battery like the 5G does, as opposed to LTE, mind you. Now granted, this particular downside is mitigated by the Smart Data enhancement that Apple has mercifully added to iPhone 12’s platform: thanks to it, your device only goes into the 5G mode when it does something really data-heavy, like online footage-streaming or gameplaying. But not getting your battery’s worth “just” at these times is still quite a bummer, isn’t it?)
So, for your 5G connectivity to become a real one and not by name only, there is no way around upgrading your phone plan, and not exactly by a pittance, either. In fact, the way things stand right now, we would say, it’s not an entirely viable purchase. The 4G is not quite so much slower than its new successor that there should be any need to add such a substantial amount to the cost of a product that is expensive enough as it is (fine as it might be). It easily covers – no pun intended – most of our wireless needs anyway. And it surely is – at the very least – no less reliable for the time being.
All of which makes the aforeasked question not quite so superfluous, and the answer to it much less obvious. Or, rather, it is quite obvious, but not in the expected way. In other words, for anyone without money to burn or ambition beyond reason, the said answer is, actually, no. You don’t need a working 5G on your new iPhone. Not as of now. Not at this cost.
Which in turn brings about another – and just as relevant – question: how do you get rid of this yet-unneeded service, then? Lest we forget, it’s there by default. So what is the way to change this default to your familiar, trusty and, more to the point, uninterrupted 4G until things look up?
Well, it’s quite easily done, truth be told. Just head to our common port of call for such things, that being the Settings application, find the Cellular section there, choose Cellular Data Options and then go for Voice & Data. There, you’ll see the LTE option, which is exactly what you need. And from there it’s literally touch and go. (Just in case: don’t worry about this being an irreversible step because it’s not. And no, you won’t have a professional help to reverse it once the 5G becomes more feasible. Retracing the same Settings route and switching from the LTE to 5G Auto is all you will need once this happy day comes around. Moreover, you even can reject the above-mentioned Smart Data feature by tapping 5G On instead of “Auto” to make your phone stay on 5G constantly).
And finally, a word of warning. With all due respect to Apple, as you could already have noticed from the above, they do occasionally tend to do things on stealth. And in this case, too, they sort of forearmed their 12th iPhones against the eventuality that the customers will react to this 5G-with-strings with “thanks but no thanks”. Meaning, there is a good chance that even after you perform the aforementioned operation your phone might continue with switching back to 5G whenever you use certain applications or services. So, to prevent that, it would be wise, before you leave the Cellular Data Options section, to also check the Data Mode tab there and read the descriptions of all available modes, including the one your device is set to, lest you get something like “Allow more data on 5G”. Thankfully, at least those descriptions are straightforward enough that you’ll easily find the option you prefer.