You are probably aware that iPhone 7 / 7 Plus smartphones are not built using the same components. Therefore, it’s easy to understand why a specific model will perform better. In this case, we are talking about the cellular performance.
In an earlier post, I mentioned that there are some variants of the iPhone 7. The model number will tell you which modem hardware you have on your new phone. If you have the iPhone 7 A1660 or 7 Plus A1661, it is equipped with Qualcomm MDM9645M modem. If you have the iPhone 7 A1778 or 7 Plus A1784, you have the Intel XMM7360 modem.
We’ve already known that the Qualcomm modem is more comprehensive because it will work on any carrier in the US including T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. The modem supports all the available networks like GSM/CDMA/WCDMA/TD-SCDMA/LTE. You can also easily use it overseas as it is sold as the unlocked sim-free version on Apple Store now. However, that’s not all the benefit of this modem.
A recent testing by Cellular Insights points out a significant difference between the Qualcomm and Intel modem. They conducted a test to compare the 4G LTE performance of the 2 modems on band 12 (10MHz), Band 4 (20MHz), and Band 7 (20MHz). And here are the results:
Surprisingly, the difference between the 2 modems is quite significant and I believe it could affect your buying decision as well. In all tests, the average performance delta is always more than 30% in favor of the Qualcomm modem. In the worst scenario, the data speed on Intel modem was 40Mbps slower.
Another notable discovery is that both of the new iPhone 7 have worse cellular performance than the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
Which iPhone 7/7 Plus did you purchase and are you satisfied with its signal reception? Let us know in a comment below.