The three biggest and most popular flagship smartphones in the market as of late are undeniable, the Samsung Galaxy S10, the new OnePlus 7 Pro and competing iPhone XS Max. To dwell further on the working of their LTE chips, PCMag and Cellular Insights worked together to examine the strength of the signals on these new hallmark devices.
While the Samsung Galaxy S10 and the OnePlus 7 are equipped with Qualcomm’s X24 modem, the Apple device is home to the XMM7560 modem chip designed by Intel. It is known, however, that the former is a much better option has it offers enhanced performance.
The Intel Modem in the iPhone XS Max can support what is known as 5-carrier aggregation, offering 1GB per second maximum transfer speeds, theoretically. The Qualcomm, on the Samsung device, has 2GB/s with 7-carrier aggregation and on the OnePlus 7 Pro, has 1.2GB/s- with aggregation as that of iPhone’s.
When tested on LTE band 4 with a good signal, there wasn’t a noticeable difference in between these three devices. This case was similar when compared to the older LG V40, one of the best performing phones when it came to cellular speeds, in 2018. Although they had similar performances, the Samsung device happened to finish last, unfortunately, with the iPhone coming second to OnePlus during peak speeds.
When the situation was reversed with poorer LTE signals, the iPhone had the slowest speed, falling behind both Qualcomm processors. But what is good news is that from 2020, Apple will no longer depend on Intel chips, progressing forward with the faster Qualcomm variants. This is mainly because of Intel leaving the 5G smartphone modem chip business, but Apple’s transition is sure to be beneficial.
The reason behind the use of Intel chips was a major dispute Apple had faced with Qualcomm, resorting to using the Intel chips in both 2018 and 2019. Even though the dispute has been resolved, they will only use Qualcomm in 2020 as Intel will continue to meet its obligations this year.