Every iPhone X is not created equal, new study says

When its signal is weak, iPhone X models with Qualcomm hardware show faster speeds than models with Intel hardware, a new study found.

Dan Dziedzic Associate editor
Dan has been a professional writer for more than a decade and now specializes in routers and networking devices. Originally from Chicago, IL, Dan studied comedy writing at Second City and worked as a Chicago sports journalist for a number of years. With a background in physics, he spends his spare time learning about the intricacies of the universe.
Dan Dziedzic

  iPhone X models with Qualcomm modems showed faster speeds than ones with Intel modems, according to a new study.

James Martin/CNET

iPhone X models with Qualcomm hardware showed faster LTE speeds than models with Intel hardware, according to a PCMag exclusive based on lab testing by Cellular Insights.

The study compared performance on LTE Band 4, which is used by most US phone carriers, and showed that when signals were weak (less than -85 dBm), the Qualcomm modem consistently achieved faster speeds. Both models stopped working completely around the same signal strength (-129 dBm), but Qualcomm was faster throughout the testing.

Your iPhone X may vary, depending on which model you have, since both are sold in the US. This information comes shortly after Qualcomm's legal filing to try to ban sales of Intel-based iPhone X models in the US. Apple began using both Qualcomm and Intel modems beginning with the iPhone 7 and Cellular Insights found Qualcomm models performed better by about the same margin then as well. The iPhone 4, 5 and 6 all had Qualcomm modems.

Despite these positive results with Qualcomm hardware, Apple's relationship with the tech giant has been volatile lately after a slew of legal action against each other over patents. Their future together seems uncertain.

Qualcomm declined to comment and Intel did not immediately comment at the time this story was published.

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