Telstra's Blue Tick certifies that mobile handsets conform to a set of standards the carrier says ensures you get the best possible coverage on their network. And while many popular handsets offer that certification, one flagship handset doesn't. Apple's iPhone X is not listed among Telstra's Blue Tick certified handsets.
I was pretty surprised to discover that tidbit of information this morning while scrolling through my Twitter feed.
No worries - the iPhone 8 series received our Blue Tick for coverage, it was shown to have better signal gain than non-Blue Tick devices. The iPhone X didn't qualify for Blue Tick, so I expect that to be the reason for what you are seeing. More information on Blue Tick...1/2
— Telstra (@Telstra) August 2, 2018
While the Blue Tick program is mainly about the suitability of handset for use in rural areas, it shows that there can be measurable differences in network connectivity between different handsets. Of the eight iPhone handsets Telstra offers, just two have Blue Tick certification.
In contrast, all four handsets from Samsung's range have the Telstra Blue Tick.
The Google Pixel 2 doesn't have the Blue Tick either although, unsurprisingly, the Telstra Signature 2 made by LG has been endorsed.
Telstra's wireless testing lab uses an anechoic chamber to tightly control what signals reach a device in order to measure how well they will work in areas where mobile coverage is weak.
While I was away this week, one of my colleagues and I both had iPhone X handsets. Mine was able to connect over 4G and 3G while his was often one step behind, on 3G or EDGE. We had different types of protective cases which may have impacted the reception but that was enough on a marginal connection to make a difference.
While that was hardly a controlled experiment, it highlights the difference even quite small tweaks can make in reception. For now, it seems that if you're on Telstra's network and want the best connection experience with an iPhone, you need either an iPhone 8 or iPhone 6s.