Study: Weak Signals Crush Intel iPhones




iPhone 7 units with Intel modems don't do nearly as well as their Qualcomm brethren in weak signal conditions.
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If you want the best iPhone 7, you need to get  the one with a Qualcomm modem.
According to a new study by Cellular Insights ,  the Qualcomm iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus units—that's the Verizon, Sprint and factory- unlocked models—have more than 30 percent  better performance in weak signal conditions  than the AT&T and T-Mobile models, which  have Intel modems.
Cellular Insights bought several iPhones at  retail, and hooked them up to a box that  simulates cellular networks to eliminate  variables. We don't have that expensive  equipment here. They tested the iPhones on  LTE band 4—which is used by AT&T, T-Mobile,  and Verizon—as well as band 12, which is used  by AT&T and T-Mobile.
Both models of iPhone work equally well in  strong signal conditions. We couldn't tell the  difference with good signal, Cellular Insights  couldn't, and you won't be able to, either. But  when the signal weakened to about -105dBm —think of that as one bar of signal—the testers saw a major difference. At -110dBm on Band 4,  the Qualcomm iPhone pushed 100Mbps while  the Intel iPhone only reached 60Mbps, the  report says.
"In all tests, the iPhone 7 Plus with the  Qualcomm modem had a significant  performance edge over the iPhone 7 Plus with  the Intel modem," the report says.
There are some other shenanigans going on,  too. Qualcomm's X12 modem supports a  coding scheme called 256 QAM, which further  speeds up LTE connections. That hasn't been  activated on the iPhone 7 , possibly to level the  playing field with the Intel modem, which  doesn't have the feature.

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