Qualcomm claims the Snapdragon 845 offers superior cellular performance than the Intel XMM modems found in iPhones
Qualcomm is claiming superior cellular performance of Android phones powered by the Snapdragon 845 over competing modems such as the Intel XMM 7480 and the XMM 7360 used in the iPhones. In a blog post published today, the mobile SoC major showed Speedtest.net results of user-initiated tests done on AT&T and T-Mobile networks in the US. The results showed that the X20 modem in the Snapdragon 845 performed up to 192% better than Intel's offerings even under worst connectivity.
The Speedtest results published by Ookla include download, upload, and latency on T-Mobile and AT&T networks. On an average, the Snapdragon 845-powered phones performed 64% better in downloads on AT&T and 68% better in downloads on T-Mobile compared to Intel XMM modem-based phones. The Intel XMM 7480 is found in the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X while the Intel XMM 7360 is found in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. It should be noted here that Apple uses both Qualcomm and Intel variants in its iPhones with North American iPhones usually sporting the Qualcomm modems. The Qualcomm X16 found in North American iPhones supports CDMA and is compatible with Cat.16 LTE while the Intel XMM 7480 found in international iPhones does not support CDMA and is only compatible with Cat.12 LTE. Thus, Apple actually throttles the performance of the Qualcomm X16 modem in the North American iPhones for parity with the international versions. Data from the Qualcomm X16 was not included in this comparison.
Nevertheless, Snapdragon 845-powered phones performed up to 141% faster than Intel XMM phones even with worst connectivity. Most Android phones powered by the Snapdragon 845 such as the Samsung Galaxy S9, Asus Zenfone 5Z, OnePlus 6, and LG G7 ThinQ are newer than Apple's current flagship, the iPhone X. In a statement to Bloomberg, Apple said,
With both LTE-Advanced speeds and Apple's custom-designed A11 Bionic, the smartest and most powerful chip ever in a smartphone, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X provide an incredibly fast wireless experience that can easily handle today's most demanding tasks. With up to 27 LTE bands, more than any other smartphone in the world, these iPhones also provide the best worldwide LTE coverage."
Hopefully, when new iPhones are introduced this year, the LTE speeds will match up to current Android flagship offerings. Once again, Apple will look to use the latest Intel XMM 7560 and Qualcomm X20 modems depending on region. Qualcomm does not share the coziest of relationships with Apple so this blog post could also be an indirect dig at the Cupertino giant. That said, Speedtest results are real-world results and not performed under test conditions so the data is a very important indicator of network and modem performance.