iPhone X Models with Qualcomm Modem Still Outpaces Those with Intel Modem


According to new report from Cellular Insights, iPhone X models equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon x16 LTE modem get consistently better cellular speeds than the versions with Intel’s XMM7480 modem.

Cellular Insights used professional equipment to simulate LTE performances in various situations. The testing was based on LTE Band 4 performance, which is used by every major carrier in Canada and the United States.

The tests started with a strong -85dBm LTE signal and gradually reduced the power level to simulate moving away from a cellular tower where signal is weaker. This was done until the modem completely lost connection. The results shows that with limited signal reduction, the iPhone X with an Intel modem started to experience lower LTE download speeds than the iPhone X with the Qualcomm modem.

The report notes that the difference between the two modems is most noticeable in very weak signal conditions. In these instances, the Qualcomm modem experienced 67 percent faster download speeds on average compared to the Intel modem.

Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models with Qualcomm modems also had faster LTE download speeds than their Intel counterparts last year. However, Cellular insights notes that the performance gap is narrower on iPhone X models. This signals an improvement in Intel’s modem, which is finally starting to be a worthy competitor of the industry-leading Qualcomm LTE modem.

If you are looking to distinguish both models, you will have to checkout the model number of the device. All iPhone X, 8 and 8 Plus devices using the Qualcomm modem have a model number of A1865, while the Intel counterparts have a model number of A1901.

[via PC Magazine]


  • My 1/2 cents

    like with the iPhone 7s, good luck on getting your hands on one when purchasing direct from Apple.

  • johnnygoodface

    I’ve got a MQAG2VC/A model. Which is a A1865 or a A1901? Couldn’t find a definitive answer on the web

  • _Eric

    Pretty sure all iPhone X models (and 7 and 8) sold in Canada would be the A1901, no? We no longer have cdma carriers here and from what I’m seeing the Qualcomm model is only available with cdma-antenna models.

  • johnnygoodface

    But then again, from this article, we can almost also say that under good/very good signal strenght the performances are alike, right?

  • Kevin D.

    The A1865 model for Australia, China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and CDMA carriers in the US (e.g. Sprint, Verizon) uses the Qualcomm MDM9655 Snapdragon X16 LTE modem, as does the A1902 Japan model. The A1901 model for Canada, Europe, Mexico, and GSM carriers in the US (e.g. AT&T, T-Mobile) uses the Intel XMM 7480 modem.

  • SOB

    I have the Intel chip. That bites.

  • raslucas

    Ya. Intel only in Canada. It’s really not a big deal.

  • bspence88

    Nice, I have the Qualcomm one. Glad to be a Verizon customer. Did you guys know that Verizon’s beyond unlimited plans work in Mexico and Canada?

  • Tim

    This isn’t my area of expertise, but am I wrong to surmise that the intel modem will eat up more of your data plan at lower signal strength due to higher packet loss?

  • My 1/2 cents

    it is for some who are in congested areas. I found the Intel radios don’t handoff nearly as quickly as Qualcomm resulting in poor Internet speeds and dropped calls.

  • My 1/2 cents

    Apple will no longer be using Qualcomm radios and currently theyve been reports that Apple is or will be throttling the Qualcomm devices.

  • My 1/2 cents

    Did you know that most Canadians can’t buy a Version plan?

  • My 1/2 cents

    no. it’ll drain your battery more though

  • bspence88

    Well that’s just simply not true. ANY Canadian can get a Verizon plan. It’s just extra work.

  • Zodiak

    How does one go about doing this?

  • I just got a A1865 to replace my A1901 and I confirm this. This is the first thing I noticed.
    I live and work in Downtown and ever since the iPhone 7 with the Intel modem, the phone had issues handing off in poor signal situations or would handoff to 3G instead of LTE and I would need to disable the radio and reenable it for the phone to connect to the LTE.