1. indkal's Avatar
    I have the Lumia 950XL unlocked that I run on T-Mobile. On the other hand my wife has Lumia 640 with T-Mobile. I have noticed in many situations/spots that while 640 is getting good signals, the 950XL in the same spot is struggling to get the good signals. Is this normal with unlocked phones? Do provider branded phones get superior signals?

    Thanks.
    07-29-2016 08:04 PM
  2. shawnmos's Avatar
    There shouldn't be much difference. Try upgrading to the latest firmware. I seem to get better reception now.
    07-29-2016 09:51 PM
  3. zanda61's Avatar
    I was wondering this myself. I wanted the Lumia 950xl so badly that I switched from Verizon to ATT. with ATT my Lumia would barely get a signal inside most buildings and was not great in rural Areas. I also tried a tmobile prepaid sim and had the same issue, as well as even worse coverage. I still want to use my Lumia. It's such a nice phone. But I've had to return to Verizon due to the poor signal quality. I had the Att sim replaced, but that didn't help. If anyone has any bright ideas I would love to hear from you.
    07-29-2016 10:02 PM
  4. indkal's Avatar
    The phone seems to be current with updates. When I check if there are any updates in the settings, it responds that the device is up to date.
    07-29-2016 10:15 PM
  5. shawnmos's Avatar
    You may have to install redstone.
    07-29-2016 10:18 PM
  6. shawnmos's Avatar
    I was wondering this myself. I wanted the Lumia 950xl so badly that I switched from Verizon to ATT. with ATT my Lumia would barely get a signal inside most buildings and was not great in rural Areas. I also tried a tmobile prepaid sim and had the same issue, as well as even worse coverage. I still want to use my Lumia. It's such a nice phone. But I've had to return to Verizon due to the poor signal quality. I had the Att sim replaced, but that didn't help. If anyone has any bright ideas I would love to hear from you.
    Verizon generally has better signal inside of buildings due to the frequency they use. T-Mobile is rolling out Band 12 which should also be able to penetrate buildings but most cities won't roll out until the end of the year. I don't think AT&T will have anything similar. I definitely have a worse signal now with T-Mobile than I did with Verizon but the cost savings was worth it.

    If you must use Verizon your only option for a Windows 10 phone is the Lumia Icon. It's a very nice phone but the 950xl is nicer.
    07-29-2016 10:26 PM
  7. indkal's Avatar
    Is Redstone same as the anniversary update that is being rolled out on Aug 2?
    07-30-2016 10:21 AM
  8. Zulfigar's Avatar
    You may have to install redstone.
    Doesn't matter what OS you're running, you'll always get the latest firmware updates.

    Is Redstone same as the anniversary update that is being rolled out on Aug 2?
    Yes, Redstone is the code name, Anniversary Update is the given name.



    Back to the OP, it actually could be the phone itself. I don't have any phones to test my area, sadly, but generally speaking, unlocked and locked phones have the same hardware (besides having a single or dual sim, in the 950 XL's case). I might see what would happen if you got it replaced at a local Microsoft store.
    07-30-2016 10:46 AM
  9. PGrey's Avatar
    I had T-Mobile, briefly, before I realized it just wasn't going to work for our family, a lot of our winter travel routes (skiing and various other activities, use cell tethering going to-from a lot) were basically not covered. We went back to AT&T, which has good rural coverage in WA state (not excellent like Verizon, but good enough, mostly).
    When I had T-Mobile, my 950XL was insanely fast, in the Seattle Metro area, sometimes pulling in excess of 50 Mbps. With AT&T again, I'm usually luck to get something like 15/5, maybe 18-20/7-10, on a great day. Some places are better, but T-Mobile in-town was definitely a lot faster, on average, and this was back in the .218 days (I went back and checked, the whole month we were on them was mostly .218 Threshold). So you can have great speed experiences, on Threshold, and T-Mobile, with the right location. What is that they say "location, location, location..." ;-]

    YMMV, obviously. If you can't ever get decent speeds, I'd be wondering about the hardware too.
    The 950 single SIM has a cat6 radio, and the dual has a cat4, but in practical terms, it probably doesn't matter, since cat4 is limited to 150 vs the 300. I've yet to see much above 50, or really care about it, at this point. Maybe I'm accepting mediocrity, or maybe I'm just accepting, I don't know, most would consider me pretty demanding of hardware though.
    I really want WiFi calling/texting, more than anything, I want our darn providers to flip the bit in the US, as I often am at places on the weekend where I have awesome WiFi and zero cell...
    07-30-2016 01:40 PM
  10. sketchy9's Avatar
    Is the 640 T-Mobile branded? If it is, the difference is probably LTE band 12 being used for voice (aka VoLTE). Branded T-Mobile phones (and certain unlocked phones that they've certified) can use VoLTE, and band 12 has better building penetration. Unfortunately for us, the unlocked 950 and 950XL are not certified by T-Mobile for VoLTE and probably never will be. Data should work on band 12 though regardless.
    07-30-2016 03:40 PM
  11. PGrey's Avatar
    I tested this on my 950XL, when I had T-Mobile, explicitly.
    I turned off all but Band 12, and tested, and still got the very fast data rates, so at least my 950XL dual-SIM works great with it.

    VoLTE (and WiFi call/text) is a whole 'nother hairball, for all the US carriers...
    07-30-2016 03:53 PM

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