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iPhone XS Max Weak 5GHz WIFI Reception

I used to have full bars at my bed with iPhone X, now the Max only has 2. And it has trouble reconnect to the WIFI after airplane mode is turned on with WIFI turned on.

iPhone Xs Max, iOS 12, 64GB

Posted on Sep 22, 2018 9:53 AM

744 replies

Sep 28, 2018 6:19 PM in response to henryhuang24

For more empirical Wifi Data you can download the Airport Utility app (no need to actually have an Apple Airport), and follow the following instructions from to run the scanner utility from your XS and other iOS devices at the same location to get comparative data.
The Wi-Fi scanner in AirPort Utility
Apple’s AirPort Utility includes a Wi-Fi scanner that logs the client’s view of the network. Administrators can use it to validate the client’s view of the network at a specific location.
For accurate results, use the Wi-Fi scanner on a dedicated device that’s the same model as the iOS client.
On your iOS device, go to Settings > AirPort Utility to turn on the Wi-Fi scanner.
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Next, open Airport Utility and tap Wi-Fi Scan.
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By default, Wi-Fi Scanner runs continuously. Use the slider to set a scan duration of up to 60 seconds.
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To start the scan, tap Scan. AirPort Utility lists all the SSIDs that it finds. This includes hidden networks, which appear as "Network name unavailable."
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The AirPort Utility scans all available bands at four-second intervals. Enterprise networks that have multiple access points are grouped by BSSID. The scanner shows information about:

  • SSID
  • Last RSSI
  • Channel
  • Last Time Found

To view a trace log of the scan results for an SSID and BSSID, tap the SSID:
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The trace log shows the date and time of the scan, along with the channel and RSSI.
After the scan completes, you can share the results. Just tap the share icon (User uploaded file), then choose one of these options:

  • AirDrop
  • Message
  • Mail
  • Copy

AirPort Utility sends the results as a comma-separated list:
SSID, BSS, RSSI, Channel, time
"ACES", "18:64:72User uploaded file3:E9:40", "-57", "11", "12:02:03 PM"
"Cuba", "F8:1EUser uploaded fileF:F9:56:BC", "-53", "149", "12:02:03 PM"
"ACES", "18:64:72User uploaded file3:E9:50", "-63", "149", "12:02:03 PM"
"Cuba", "F8:1EUser uploaded fileF:F9:56:BB", "-69", "11", "12:02:03 PM"
"ACES", "18:64:72User uploaded file3:E9:40", "-67", "11", "12:02:07 PM"
The first line is a column header that shows the SSID, BSS, RSSI, Channel, and date fields. To analyze or chart the results, import the list into a spreadsheet or other tool.

Sep 23, 2018 8:37 PM in response to panchososa694

Thanks but I'm familiar enough with networking to troubleshoot beyond that. I've tried all sorts of router options, but it's pretty clear there's some issue with the Xs because in the exact same conditions using the exact same router settings, the iPhone8 gets on average double the speed no matter where I'm at. It sounds like I'm not alone.

Doing some more testing, I found that I can actually force a speed drop of 2x to 3x in the Xs if I put my hand behind the phone. I had my phone propped up in one place and soon as I put my hand behind it the speed dropped about 2x. Take my hand away away, it goes back up. I was able to do this repeatedly and consistently. So it's more evidence that this is some sort of antenna/interference issue with the Xs. Antenna-gate repeat?

Also, fyi, that page has a section about enabling 802.11 n/ac on 2.4ghz and as far as I know, ac is only 5ghz...

Sep 24, 2018 5:53 AM in response to henryhuang24

Wow i'm having the exact same problem. I hope they will fix this soon. I can't even browse on my phone because I have low wifi signal and low patience. I have an ipad and ipod and macbook right next to me and I am sitting right next to my router, yet my iphone xs max does not have full wifi strength and is super slow. Usually, I have all 4 service bars in my house and now i have 1-2. I still haven't seen three bars since I've had the phone. This is frustrating and this phone cost way too much to have these issues.

Sep 24, 2018 8:45 AM in response to henryhuang24

Same here, I have had an iPhone X before upgrading the Xs Max this past week and I have had significant degradation in both WiFi and Data speeds over T-Mobile. I can't figure out if its hardware related or the fact that there may be iOS software issues that hopefully Apple can fix.

I have dropped reception/signal now in places where I had no issues on the iPhone X.

Sep 24, 2018 7:38 PM in response to henryhuang24

Having similar issues with WIFI, speed cut in half from my router when doing speed test. Iphone XS Max loses internet connection via my router. In fact if I go into particular apps, twitter or Instagram it loses connection and goes to LTE mode but I'm still connected to my router. I have other devices that have a solid connection to my router without any issues so it's not the router.. I've rebooted etc, still having issues with my Iphone and keeping it connected to my network. A bug without a doubt Apple needs to take action. Phone reception is not the best, carrier settings updates but still half bar status, which is garbage for the amount we spent on this phone.

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Sep 26, 2018 11:02 AM in response to dino_russ

Did a WiFI test on my AirPort Extreme setup with Xs. All the connections in house work and never fail and I am on 5ghz.One in my office is right next to the router FYI.

But look how weak the outside connection is very poor worse than ever. This is one area of weakness of the Xs for me with WifI rest are same/similar to X and earlier iPhones.

I also find the weak cell signal of my area (why I use Wifi with all my iPhones at home) is also reduced a bit and it does not work well with data intensive apps (voice/text works ok)

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Sep 27, 2018 7:21 AM in response to Neurobit

Neurobit wrote:


I have been working with Apple since yesterday. I am now seeing (on the WiFi side), same issue with iPad Pro and iPad Air 2 running iOS 12. When connecting to SSID that auto selects frequency, download speeds are pretty awful (upload unaffected). Once we select dedicated 5GHz SSID, speeds reach ISP max.

Not seeing LTE issues anymore (I did a couple of days ago). Wondering if AT&T made a change.

Just performed a test and with WiFi off, I connect to AT&T via Speedtest with 133Mbps down / 11.3Mbps up, so no issues on that end.

I'll update the thread once I know more. They have all my logs.



Indoors at my house I agree I get similar speeds on my ipad with iOS 12 as I do with my iPhohne Xs. I get better cell speeds in strong to moderate areas of town (I am in weak cell area however so I used Wifi a lot with all my iphones and in house ok). Outside my house the story is different Wifi used to be weaker but still worked ok, I ran your test just now with my iPad Pro on 12.0 and Xs on 12.0 and here are results in image — major difference!

First one is iPad Pro, rest of images from Xs

User uploaded file

Notice the Xs starts at half speed of iPad Pro (spot one) and drops quickly to half of that about 28-48 MBS and then drops all way to 0 and I loose connection with the 5ghz (never happened with X and earlier iphones)

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And then I get this message on my Xs: showing total failure of connection at that band on my Xs. Now this is only issue for me with wifi outside. Inside it is as good as my iPad Pro on 12.0 Something on outside of house is blocking something in new antennas of Xs that receive the Wifi signals, but inside no problem with walls just usual distance differences. I wonder if a lot of issues have to be for where folks are with their Xs and Xs Max and what is between them and the Wifi. From initial investigation I am suspecting that my aluminum siding blocks the Wifi band in some way that my X and earlier iphones and IPad pro do not have problems with. It is minor for me because I can just move to other side of house near my office and outside it is ok on Xs

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Sep 29, 2018 2:32 PM in response to henryhuang24

My router allows to see connected devices and signal strength and bandwidth... my 7 plus same place than the XS-max in a Rom 20 meter from my router and I got same strength but more than 10 time lower bandwidth!!!! With newer phone. In same room as the router I got better results with newer phone xs max but User uploaded file... ***... :(

Oct 1, 2018 6:23 AM in response to henryhuang24

I was experimenting with my 5ghz vs 2.4ghz. And as i saw some comments about how i am holding with my hand or my body is between me and my router. So i am about as far as i can get in house. I get 1-2 bars of 5ghz WiFi. I noticed that if i block the new band at lower left of the phone strength dropped to one bar. If i move so my hand doesn’t block that lower bar then it immediately goes to 2 bars of WiFi

First image hand not blocking the new antenna band on lower left

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Second below holding with hand in my usual way but clearly blocking the antenna band

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Oct 1, 2018 8:56 PM in response to lobsterghost1

I am extremely happy with the response I have received and I know Apple is putting forth some great effort here. The concern some people are having relates to the 14 day return window that will be closing soon if they purchased on launch day. If it is a hardware or software issue that would be nice to know so that those decisions whether to return can be made.

I am curious, though, how you know you are not experiencing the WiFi issues for sure? In my case I know because I can directly compare my XS to my X and previous iPhones in the house which get max throughput from my ISP and maintain their WiFi connections. I can also see on my router that my XS is almost always connected to 2.4 GHz, whereas my other devices stay connected to 5 GHz band. And as an example, even when I am connected to 5 GHz I sometimes have weird connection issues such as no throughput User uploaded file

iPhone XS Max Weak 5GHz WIFI Reception

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