Few will deny that the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 7 looks like the real deal in terms of hardware and features and a true contender for the title of the most popular flagship of the year. In fact, this phablet is so packed with stuff that Samsung has too many features on its hands to list. As it turns out, this is the first commercial smartphone that supports 4×4 Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MIMO) technology. In layman's terms, this means that the device utilizes four antennas in order to maintain a connection with cellular towers in its vicinity which should have a positive impact on both stability and performance of the phone's cellular connection.
In practice, this means that Samsung Galaxy Note 7 should have a much more stable cellular connection than its competitors given how its method of connecting to towers allows for backup channels which can be used when main antennas can't maintain a proper connection. Not only that but more antennas basically means better download speeds, especially if the Galaxy Note 7 is in the vicinity of cellular towers that are also equipped with four antennas. On paper, the 4×4 MIMO technology is also more efficient than other current consumer solutions, so Note 7 users should theoretically even experience longer battery life in comparison to owners of smartphones with comparable screen size and battery capacity. Granted, that last advantage is not a given and will greatly depend on your general user habits.
This rather big discovery was made in a T-Mobile store despite the fact that this carrier's network still only uses two network layers. However, seeing how T-Mobile maps the two layers to four tower antennas with 4×4 MIMO support, the Galaxy Note 7 can still utilize most of the benefits of this technology. It's worth noting that both the Galaxy Note 7 and the cell towers it's connecting to must fully utilize four network channels in order for the phone to realize its full potential. Unfortunately, only the versions equipped with Qualcomm's X12 LTE modem feature 4×4 MIMO support. Given how the X12 is exclusive to the Snapdragon 820 system-on-chip, those that end up getting an Exynos-powered Galaxy Note 7 won't be able to benefit from this technology.