Tuesday , 21 May 2019
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Qualcomm boasts superior 4G LTE performance over Intel-powered iPhones

Qualcomm boasts superior 4G LTE performance over Intel-powered iPhones

Last week, Samsung published an advertisement that mocked Apple's iPhone (again), this time showing an Apple Store employee dodging questions from a customer about how the Galaxy S9 has faster download speeds than an iPhone X. Now, Qualcomm is doing much of the same, but with less mocking and more actual facts.

Qualcomm's blog post shows data from Ookla, the firm behind Speedtest.net. The data compares 4G LTE speeds on AT&T and T-Mobile, between the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845's Snapdragon X20 modem, and Intel's XMM 7480 and 7360 modems that are found in "non-Android smartphones".

All of the data is user-generated, from consumers that have downloaded and used the Speedtest app.

You can see that even in the worst case results on AT&T, the 3.14Mbps download speed of the Snapdragon X20 modem was 11% faster than the 2.84Mbps speed of the Intel XMM 7480. On T-Mobile, the 6.64Mbps download speed on the X20 is 103% faster than the 3.27Mbps speed in the XMM 7480.

At this point, you're probably asking yourself why this test is showing results from AT&T and T-Mobile, and not Verizon and Sprint. That's because while iPhone 8 and X models on AT&T and T-Mobile use the Intel XMM 7480 model, the CDMA-enabled variants for Verizon and Sprint use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X16 modem, which was included in the Snapdragon 835 chipset.

To break that down, the Intel XMM 7480 supports download speeds of up to 600Mbps, the Snapdragon X16 supports up to 1Gbps, and the X20 supports up to 1.2Gbps. They all only support upload speeds of up to 150Mbps.

But you'll notice that the tested speeds don't go anywhere near those numbers. Indeed, while gigabit LTE is all the rage, there are very few regions that actually support it. And something like T-Mobile's 37.17Mbps is a lot more common.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon X20 is just a better modem. For example, it supports 5x carrier aggregation while Intel supports 4x. You can find the full specs for the Snapdragon X20 here, and for the Intel XMM 7480 here.

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