Galaxy Note 7 is the first commercial smartphone to support 4×4 MIMO
Samsung talked about the Galaxy Note 7’s major features at its event but there are always some features that are only discovered later. One such discovery has now been made for the Galaxy Note 7 as well, it turns out that Samsung’s new flagship is actually the first commercial handset to support 4×4 MIMO. Users should expect faster and more reliable network connections in theory as well as overall improvements in network efficiency.
4×4 MIMO or Multiple Input Multiple Output uses 4 antennas to maintain a connection with cellular towers. Not only does it enable the handset to receive data at faster speeds but it also provides fallback channels when the other antennas can’t hold their connections properly. This should result in improved battery efficiency as well, at least in theory, but in a real world scenario, the benefits may vary. This Galaxy Note 7 handset displaying 4×4 MIMO support was discovered in a T-Mobile store even though the carrier’s network only uses 2 network layers but maps them to 4 antennas in towers that have support for 4×4 MIMO. For this to properly work, both the handset and the cell towers have to fully use 4 network channels.
Support for 4×4 MIMO is limited to handsets that feature Qualcomm’s X12 LTE modem which is found in the Snapdragon 820 which means this feature is missing from the Exynos-powered variant of the Galaxy Note 7.