Cellular Insights dissects iPhone 7 Plus modem performance

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.

Comments closed
    • blastdoor
    • 3 years ago

    Very disappointing that intel can’t compete with Qualcomm

    • uni-mitation
    • 3 years ago

    Long live the JACK!!!!!!!!

    Uni-mitation

    • sweatshopking
    • 3 years ago

    Apparently the 32gb is vastly slower in terms of storage than the higher geebees

      • DPete27
      • 3 years ago

      parallelism is wonderful isn’t it?

    • torquer
    • 3 years ago

    I’ve noticed no difference on my AT&T iPhone 7 Plus (with Intel modem) compared to my previous iPhone 6s in the normal areas I operate in. Reception at home is pretty poor – 1 or 2 bars, but I use wi-fi calling there and again no noticeable difference from my previous phone.

    Edit: I should have said originally, my statement is just my own experience. I don’t presume that it is the same for everyone or should be. YMMV

      • DancinJack
      • 3 years ago

      Yeah I think it’s mostly going to be the nerds that run speedtests all day that notice this stuff. I’m sure there are cases that will cause issue to everyday joe, but they’re few and far between. Apple already released a software update to mitigate this as much as they could.

      • tay
      • 3 years ago

      I am waiting for the SIM-free model with QComm modem to be in stock before I buy. As much as I trust intel, I would never buy a newish chip from anyone.

        • cygnus1
        • 3 years ago

        I wouldn’t exactly call Intel new to cellular modems or even LTE. They’ve been making them for a while. Plus, I think their current LTE chipsets are all fruit of the their 2011 acquisition of Infineon who was one of the earliest pioneers of LTE technology.

      • cygnus1
      • 3 years ago

      Exactly same here as well. Went from 6S Plus to 7 Plus with same performance before and after.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    Good grief. These $800 phones sure are falling all over the place these days.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 3 years ago

    wtf full-screen interstitial on Anandtech. That caught me by surprise.

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