Gain of chip antennas on Core and Photon

Looking at the BOM for the Core and the BOM for the Photon, I noticed that both of them use different chip antennas. Both are the same size, and both have 50Ω impedance. But the gain on both are somewhat different:

The Core uses a Johanson 2500AT44M0400E (Mouser #609-2500AT44M0400E). Peak gain is specified at 2.5dBi, average gain of -0.5dBi.
The Photon uses a Johanson 2450AT43B100E (Mouser #609-2450AT43B100E). Peak gain is specified at 1.3dBi; average gain of -0.5dBi.

Searching for the Asia part numbers, I turned up ANT8010LL04R2400A (Mouser #603-ANT8010LL04R2400). Peak gain specified at 5.36dBi.
I’m no RF engineer, but I can’t help wondering: Is a higher peak gain number better for sensitivity and transmit range?

Hi @WebDust21

There is no free lunch in antennas, so when you are adding gain (increased dBi), you are giving up on directionality or certain patterns in the antenna pattern. Even though the third antenna has a max gain of +5.46 dBi, it has a mean or average gain of -1.46 dBi, so it is not as good on average as the other antennas.

The core antenna appears to need a larger ground plane than the Photon antenna which is described as “With Ground Clearance Requirements Minimized”.

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