The Google Pixel XL is among the most popular Android smartphones since its release, with consumers thronging to get their hands on the exclusive Really Blue option.
The bigger sibling of the Google Pixel is available from major U.S. carriers, as well as on the Google Store. However, it has been debated widely whether the Google Pixel XL performs the same way across all the carriers.
To find a conclusive answer, a research was conducted by Cellular Insights to determine which particular network operator worked the best with the Google Pixel Xl. The research has thrown up an interesting finding - the Verizon version of the Google Pixel XL works better than the T-Mobile variant.
How Is Verizon's Pixel XL Better Than The T-Mobile Variant?
The researchers carried out field tests to determine the LTE connectivity offered by the different carriers. They specifically tested out the feature known as 3x Carrier Aggregation (3xCA). This feature is a key component of the LTE capability, which would allow the device to reach download speeds of around 600 Mbps which is supported by the Google Pixel XL.
To determine if both T-Mobile and Verizon provided the 3xCA feature, which they claimed they did, the researchers had to visit the cell sites of both the carriers.
When the team tested the 3xCA's availability at the sites of the carriers, they found something surprising. While Verizon provided 3xCA or Cat.9 connectivity, the T-Mobile variant was only able to get 2xCA or Cat.6 connectivity.
To confirm their theory, the team left the sites and tried to test the connectivity again. However, they found the same results.
"And just like during our field tests, when 310 260 (T-Mobile) test SIM is inserted into the Pixel XL and attached to a cell, the device reveals its LTE capability as Category 6, limited to 2xCA only," revealed the researchers.
The Verizon variant though continued to show support for Cat.9 or 3xCA LTE capability.
Reasons Behind This Occurrence
The researchers claim that it is possibly not T-Mobile which is at fault here. They believe that Google itself does not allow the 3xCA support to any other carrier other than Verizon.
They stated that it cannot be an accident that T-Mobile, which was one of the first companies to launch the 3xCA support, would not be able to support the feature in the Google Pixel XL. The researchers have instead concluded that Google has limited the feature to just one carrier.
While, for now it seems as though Google Pixel XL users with T-Mobile will not be able to use the higher Cat.9 connectivity, there is still hope that Google may release an update which would unlock the feature in the near term.
Photo: Maurizio Pesce | Flickr