Countless words have coalesced into reviews of Apple's iPhone 7 and 7 Plus smartphones, lauding their improved cameras, faster SoCs, and newfound ability to withstand a splash of water—all while lamenting the absence of the headphone jack. Something that's missing from most of those reports is test data regarding the capabilities of the handset's 4G modem. The RF performance analysts over at Cellular Insights have taken up the slack, and their findings are interesting.
For the first time in five years, Qualcomm isn't the sole supplier of the modems inside iPhones. In the United States, unlocked iPhone 7 or 7 Plus phones or those from Verizon and Sprint come with a Qualcomm modem, while the remainder of American customers get a smartphone with an Intel modem.
Cellular Insights' testing revealed that when conditions were good, both brands of modem inside the iPhone performed similarly. When conditions deteriorate, though, the Qualcomm-equipped phone's bandwidth is as much as 75% higher. The site also compared a few other high-end devices to iPhone 7 Plus phones with either type of modem. The results revealed that in poor conditions, the Apple units' 4G performance consistently lags behind the Samsung Galaxy 7 Edge and generally trails the LG G5 and Google Nexus 5X. The Intel-equipped variant of the iPhone 7 Plus again performed much worse than its near-twin brother.
The tests conducted by Cellular Insights are quite detailed. Those interested in the testing methods and the full results are encouraged to read the whole article here.