Ever since the iPhone 7 was launched over a year ago I often get asked “Which iPhone is faster, the one with the Intel modem or Qualcomm modem?”

With the launch of the iPhone 8 I was asked this question again and then many more times with the release of the iPhone X a little over 1 week ago. I decided to look into it and find out. With 10 days of speed test taken on the iPhone X I gathered the info needed. Tho an admittedly small number of speed tests have been taken with the iPhone X compared to other iPhone models, this due mostly to limited supply of iPhone X devices. Purely in terms of Download & Upload speed I think I can answer the question.

All data used was from speed tests taken only with the SpeedSmart iOS app on iPhone X devices, with LTE connections in the US between November 3rd and November 12th.


Below is the raw numbers from the chart above with each networks average ping added.

Qualcomm Modem (Network, Download Mbps, Upload Mbps, Ping ms)

  • AT&T — 27.46 Mbps — 9.32 Mbps — 38.50 ms
  • T-Mobile — 26.54 Mbps — 8.01 Mbps — 50.05 ms
  • Sprint — 20.28 Mbps — 4.06 Mbps — 57.76 ms
  • Verizon — 35.18 Mbps — 11.01 Mbps — 53.66 ms

Intel Modem (Network, Download Mbps, Upload Mbps, Ping ms)
  • AT&T — 30.13 Mbps — 9.64 Mbps — 41.84 ms
  • T-Mobile — 33.34 Mbps — 11.73 Mbps — 54.23 ms

So which one is faster?

When it comes to just speed, neither. Neither modem is really faster than the other in the iPhone X and that’s a good thing. While the Qualcomm modem iPhone X on Verizon has the highest avg. Download speed of all 4 networks, the Intel modem T-Mobile iPhone X is not far behind and has a higher avg. Upload speed. Getting an average across both device modems and excluding Sprint because of its slower the network the difference is rather minimal 31.73 Mbps Intel and 29.72 Mbps Qualcomm.

The more interesting point is that the Intel modem iPhone X for both AT&T and T-Mobile performs significantly better. Granted there is a 5:1 test gap between the Intel and Qualcomm iPhone X but a greater than 10% performance gap between for AT&T and 15% for T-Mobile.

We can say that when it comes to just purely speed that there is no reason if your on AT&T or T-Mobile to try to get a Qualcomm modem iPhone X. If anything the Intel modem version might be better for both those networks.

We are going to revisit this in a couple months and see if these numbers change or the trend stays the same as we get more speed tests using both iPhone X models.

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