Skip to main content

iPhone 12 5G slower than 4G on Verizon, according to tests

Iphone 12 5g
Iphone 12 5g (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • A new report says 5G on the iPhone 12 using Verizon may actually be slower than 4G.
  • That's because Verizon's "nationwide 5G" uses DSS, reusing 4G channels and resulting in slower speeds.

A new report says that Verizon's "nationwide 5G" is actually slower than using 4G on iPhone 12 in many locations.

As reported by PCMag:

Verizon's "nationwide 5G" may be seriously slowing down your new iPhone, a problem that also affects other new 5G phones such as the Google Pixel 5 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. The fix? Turning off 5G if you can.

From the report:

In October, Verizon introduced "nationwide 5G" based on dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS), which reuses parts of 4G channels for 5G. Phones will automatically prefer a 5G network over a 4G one, so Verizon customers will see that coveted 5G icon pop up. But it's all for show. Our most recent tests, using an iPhone 12 Pro in New York City, show that DSS 5G is frequently slower than 4G, and rarely faster. These results are similar to what we saw in October in Chicago with a Pixel 5.

A Verizon spokesperson reportedly said that "for most customers" its nationwide 5G offered similar speeds to 4G, as DSS is a new technology it is continuing to modify" As PCMag testing notes, in New York City, 5G data speeds on the iPhone 12 Pro were slower than 4G. PCMag says that DSS is "seriously holding back both iPhones and Android phones".

The report recommends turning off 5G unless users have UWB coverage, the only kind that can offer famed speeds of 1GBps+ on new devices like the iPhone 12. Apple touted 5G as one of the defining new features of its iPhone 12 lineup back at its launch earlier this year.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.

3 Comments
  • I am glad I did not choose Verizon. I switched a long time ago.
  • Basically, all that Verizon's current "Nationwide 5G" does on your phone is light up the "5G" logo. They steal some bandwidth from their current LTE to make that logo light up and give you a little data service, that's all it does. Verizon does not own enough spectrum to enable faster data rates than their current LTE, plus the spectrum they are using for DSS 5G does not have the capability to give fast 5G data service over long distances. The only fast 5G service Verizon has is their UWB millimeter-wave and it is only available outdoors within completely unobstructed view of the transmitter, on about 12 blocks of a few urban area streets. Nothing can be between you and the transmitter, not a leaf, human being, fog, nothing. Basically, Verizon is in a world of hurt with 5G.
  • This happens to me. I tested it using Speedtest.net app when it first launched. I tested both LTE only and 5G only and LTE was significantly faster. So **** disappointed. I tweeted results to Verizon and they couldn’t really say much.