Hi, I wanted to buy a couple of XBees radios, and I saw that it is possible to buy it with an integrated antenna, a connector for an external antenna or with a wire antenna. I see what the connector version is for, but I don't know what is the difference between the two other versions. If anyone knows what the difference is it would be nice to help me. :)
The "pcb" or "chip" antenna has by far the worst performance (range and sensitivity), but there is nothing sticking up or out of the module if form factor is important. I mostly use the wire antenna for the low-power modules. The external connector options (RP-SMA or U.FL) allow attachment of an antenna of your choice and should give the best performance. If I were using the high-power modules, I'd almost certainly go with an external antenna connector, the other options make less sense to me then, but I suppose it all depends on the application.
I also find that the 1/4 wave whip antennas work fine for most of my projects. If you need long range, more than a couple of hundred feet, go to the modules with connector to use an external dipole. I prefer the RP-SMA connectors, as they are more robust than u.FL, and compatible antennas are probably easier to find.
Ok thanks a lot. :)