Is iPhone 13 5G?

The iPhone 13 line-up fully supports 5G networks, bringing faster speeds and lower latency when connecting to the new generation of cellular infrastructure. All four iPhone 13 models – the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max – are 5G enabled devices.

Is iPhone 13 5G?

5G Connectivity in iPhone 13

The entire iPhone 13 series contains modems capable of tapping into 5G networks utilizing both sub-6GHz and mmWave technology to provide the best blend of speed, latency and coverage.

Key advantages of 5G support in the iPhone 13 line-up:

  • Dramatically faster upload and download speeds
  • Lower latency for near instantaneous response times
  • Increased capacity across the cellular network
  • Downloading high-def shows and movies in seconds instead of minutes
  • Seamless streaming of 4K video and FaceTime in HD
  • Enhanced gaming experience on the go
  • New AR experiences and apps

To take advantage of these benefits, users need 5G coverage in their area from their wireless carrier, along with an appropriate 5G plan and settings enabled on the device. Not all areas currently have sufficient 5G rollout that allows the iPhone 13 models to showcase their full 5G potential.

Sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G

The iPhone 13 line-up supports both types of 5G networks:

  • Sub-6GHz 5G: Provides good coverage indoors and outdoors based on mid-band radio waves. Offers fast speeds though typically below 1 Gbps.
  • mmWave 5G: Transmits over higher frequency using short-range cell towers suited for dense urban areas. Peak theoretical speeds can exceed 1 Gbps.

Apple has customized 5G antennas and radio components for optimum performance across both network types. The iPhone 13 models automatically switch between 4G LTE and available 5G networks to balance speed, coverage and battery life.

5G Bands for US iPhone 13 Models

The US versions of iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max support the broadest selection of 5G band networks in a smartphone based on the modem chip and antennas inside.

Following are the supported 5G bands:

Sub-6GHz 5G: n1, n2, n3, n5, n7, n8, n12, n20, n25, n28, n29 ,n30, n38, n40, n41, n48, n66, n71, n77, n78

mmWave 5G: n260, n261

This wide range of band support allows the unlocked iPhone 13 models to work on all major wireless carriers in the US. To see if your carrier offers 5G in your location, check their official network coverage map.

Carriers and their iPhone 13 compatible 5G networks:

  • AT&T: Sub-6GHz and mmWave
  • Verizon: Sub-6GHz and mmWave
  • T-Mobile: Sub-6GHz and mmWave

When connected over 5G on supported networks, users will see the 5G badges on the status bar at the top of iPhone 13 screen. The appearance of the icon may vary slightly among carriers.

If unsure whether 5G has been activated on the line and in the region, check with your wireless carrier.

Enabling and Disabling 5G on iPhone 13

By default, all iPhone 13 models come with both 4G LTE and 5G activated, allowing them to take advantage of the fastest available network.

In cases when 5G speeds are not required such as for light browsing, disabling 5G conserves battery charge. It can be temporarily turned off via Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options > Voice & Data and setting to ‘4G’. This will prevent battery drain from struggling to lock to a 5G signal when only 4G LTE is available.

Re-enabling 5G is done by reversing this last step. Confirm with carrier they have an active 5G service plan before re-enabling.

When needed such as for streaming high resolution video, online gaming or augmented reality apps, switch back manually for the fastest connectivity.

5G Support Across iPhone 13 Models

All four new iPhone models support the same 5G technology specs and bands:

  • iPhone 13 mini
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max

There are no differences in the 5G experience between them. Choosing between them depends on other factors like screen size, battery life, camera lenses and base storage capacity.

Early adopters who care most about 5G capability may want to go for the higher-end Pro models to also have access to the best cameras, displays and batteries when using 5G away from Wi-Fi.

However, users focused purely on tapping into faster 5G in a compact form factor can opt for the iPhone 13 mini that shares the same 5G modem and antennas as the rest of the lineup.

Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. Is the iPhone 12 also 5G enabled?
    Yes, the entire iPhone 12 series introduced in late 2020 was Apple’s first 5G phone lineup. The iPhone 13 builds on those capabilities for better overall performance.

  2. Do all iPhone 13 models support the same 5G?
    Yes. Whether choosing the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro or Pro Max, they contain the same 5G modem, antenna modules and supported bands.

  3. Is Verizon’s mmWave version different?
    No. While Verizon does utilize mmWave technology for its Ultra Wideband network, all iPhone 13 US models including ones purchased from Verizon contain mmWave hardware. There are no differences in the variants sold by different carriers.

  4. Where can I get 5G service for iPhone 13?
    All national US carriers (Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile) plus various regional operators now offer 5G coverage in select areas depending on where new network hardware has been deployed. Confirm 5G availability in your location directly with your wireless service provider.

  5. How fast is iPhone 13 5G?
    Using the proper 5G plan from your carrier, individual download speeds can exceed 100 Mbps and up to 1 Gbps, while uploads average around 50 Mbps. Actual performance depends on signal strength which varies based on factors like obstacles, network traffic and distance from cell tower. 5G provides lower latency than 4G LTE.

  6. What frequencies does iPhone 13 support?
    It supports common 5G bands from 600-6000 MHz including the mid-bands crucial for broad 5G rollouts by many providers. All US iPhone 13 models additionally support the ultra-fast mmWave (24 GHz – 40 GHz) spectrum used in dense locations.

  7. Why is my iPhone not always on 5G?
    The iPhone will intelligently switch between 4G LTE and available 5G based on signal strength and speed to balance performance and battery life. If you force it to use 5G exclusively, it will drain the battery rapidly searching for 5G signal.

  8. Can I disable 5G to extend battery life?
    Yes, when 5G speeds are not required such as for basic apps and web browsing, temporarily disabling 5G via settings and reverting to 4G LTE only can prolong charge during an active day. When needed again such as for high-def video streaming, re-enable 5G.

  9. Do all apps work with iPhone 13 5G?
    Yes. Apart from apps specifically designed only for Wi-Fi connectivity, the vast majority can leverage the faster speeds of 5G where coverage permits. Enhanced apps optimized for 5G may offer richer content.

  10. Can I upgrade to 5G without buying iPhone 13?
    No. The iPhone 13 series contains Apple’s second generation 5G modem chip. Older iPhone models cannot tap into 5G networks. For best 5G experience on iOS, upgrade to one of the latest iPhone 13 variants.

  11. Does 5G work outside the US with iPhone 13?
    Yes. However 5G deployment among foreign carriers varies. Only select countries in Europe and Asia currently have operational sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G networks that iPhone 13 can connect with. More widespread international rollouts to maximize iPhone 13 capabilities are underway.

  12. Why get 5G now if still spotty in my area?
    5G coverage is expanding rapidly across entire cities and rural locations. The iPhone 13 ensures you have a device that can immediately take advantage of improving 5G availability from carriers over its lifespan rather than needing another upgrade in 2-3 years when your region may finally get 5G.

  13. Is it bad for health to use iPhone 13 5G?
    There is no scientific evidence or research indicating negative health impacts specific to exposure from 5G networks or devices supporting them. Levels of energy absorption remain far below established safety limits just as with 3G and 4G devices.

  14. How do I know if I’m connected over 5G instead of 4G or LTE?
    When your iPhone 13 succeeds in establishing a 5G connection, you will see the 5G badge displayed prominently in the status bar at the top of the screen indicating the network type and signal strength. Speed test apps can confirm enhanced performance.

  15. Why use 5G when we have Wi-Fi 6?
    While emerging Wi-Fi 6 routers also offer very good speeds and latency when in range of the network, 5G provides high bandwidth mobile connectivity everywhere covered by cell towers without need for public or private Wi-Fi. This flexibility and convenience is key.

  16. Can I get 5G home internet service instead of cable?
    Yes. Some carriers are beginning to roll out fixed wireless home internet plans leveraging 5G that compete directly with cable providers while offering simplicity of installation. However, coverage is still limited. Verify serviceability of 5G directly with potential carrier.

  17. Will my iPhone 13 work across 5G networks worldwide?
    The iPhone 13 contains over 25 supported 5G bands including sub-6GHz and mmWave. This offers good cross-compatibility globally as required bands vary by country. However, additional regional iPhone 13 model variants may provide extra band support options for international travel use.

  18. How does iPhone 13 battery life compare on 5G versus 4G?
    Due to the increased power draw of using the more advanced modem chip, battery will drain faster on 5G compared to 4G LTE under similar usage. However, Apple has tuned the iPhone 13 models to still deliver excellent battery even over 5G, exceeding prior generation.

Key Takeaways on iPhone 13 and 5G

  • The entire iPhone 13 line-up fully supports new 5G cellular networks for dramatically increased speeds, lower latency and enhanced experiences
  • All US models can connect with both nationwide sub-6GHz 5G and high-band mmWave 5G networks deployed by major carriers
  • Support for over 25 bands ensures extensive compatibility with foreign 5G networks when traveling internationally
  • Consumers do not need to select a special variant for 5G connectivity
  • Using 5G does consume more battery versus 4G LTE so manage settings accordingly
  • If 5G coverage is still spotty in your region, future-proof now rather than needing another upgrade when networks improve over next 2-3 years
  • Take advantage of faster 5G for gaming, HD video streaming, new AR apps and more

Conclusion

With comprehensive sub-6GHz and mmWave support plus over 25 dedicated antennas and tuning by Apple specifically for 5G, the iPhone 13 line-up delivers the best 5G experience in an Apple device as of 2023.

All four models offer the same 5G capabilities. Given the yearly expansion in 5G networks globally, upgrading to iPhone 13 future-proofs for the continuation of improved broadband mobile performance as carriers enhance speed, latency and capacity through new infrastructure rollouts.

When used in conjunction with a 5G service plan from a wireless provider in areas with good coverage, users can tap into the fastest cellular connectivity iPhone offers for professional apps, high-resolution entertainment and content creation requiring maximum transmission bandwidth.

 

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