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New study confirms that one type of iPhone X is faster than the other

Published Dec 1st, 2017 6:11PM EST
iPhone X: Qualcomm vs. Intel
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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Unless you’re a smartphone power user, there’s a good chance that you didn’t know there’s more than one version of the iPhone X. As we explained in a post last month, Apple equips iPhones in the US with modems from both Intel and Qualcomm, and depending on which carrier you’re on, you might be stuck with one or the other.

You might be wondering whether or not that matters, and if so, to what degree. In an LTE speed test that we covered last month comparing the two versions of the iPhone X, the Intel modem won out, despite being beaten by Qualcomm on the iPhone 7 Plus. But a new test suggests that while the design has changed, the best modem hasn’t.

Citing new test results from Cellular Insights, PCMag reported on Friday that iPhone X models with Qualcomm modems “get consistently better LTE speeds than Intel’s on America’s most common LTE band.” Although there are technical three iPhone X models around the world, one is only made in Japan. So Cellular Insights tested the other two on LTE Band 4, which PCMag explains is the band used by every major US carrier except for Sprint.

Image source: PCMag

You can see the full results over at PCMag, but while the results show that Qualcomm is still in the lead, there is now “a considerably smaller difference between the two.” We already know that Apple has crippled certain features of the Qualcomm modem because the Intel modem doesn’t support them yet, so the overall performance of the Qualcomm modem may have been artificially limited by Apple as well, in order to curb the differences.

The good news is that no matter which iPhone X you own, you probably wouldn’t notice any difference between the two except for in dire circumstances. And considering how contentious things have become between Qualcomm and Apple in recent months, there’s a chance that the era of the Qualcomm iPhone will soon be over anyway.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.