It's not because Intel modems are superior to their Qualcomm counterparts but because of the legal battle between Apple and Qualcomm. LTE performance in last year's Intel-powered iPhone X was below the mark set by competing Android handsets with more advanced Qualcomm modems.
Intel's new XMM7560 modem is capable of communicating with networks run by all four major United States carriers.
The tests were conducted on 20MHz channel of Band 4. When it came to iPhone XS drop from a about 11-feet height, it had very minimal damage while the iPhone XS passed the test with flying colors and not a single damage. The signal was attenuated from a strong -85 dBm down to the point of zero performance.
We review products independently, but we may earn affiliate commissions from buying links on this page. The difference between the three phones gets slimmer as the cellular signals get weaker. This channel is used by major carriers in the U.S. as well as Canada including, AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, etc. Thanks to well-tuned 4×4 MIMO antennas on iPhone XS, speeds doubled in strong signal conditions -85dBm.
Samsung's upcoming midrangers may soon sport the wireless charging feature previously reserved for their more upscale siblings from the Galaxy S and Note lines. However, the Pixel 2 performance declined to just 10Mbps. However, this year's iPhone XS brings its LTE A-game. Both these devices lag behind the Note 9 and Pixel 2 that use Qualcomm modems.
One area where the iPhone XS and XS Max could do with improvement is on their overall toughness.
The results aren't really surprising, because 4×4 MIMO has been proven in other devices to show a significant real-world improvement in LTE speeds. New testing from Consumer Reports has found the opposite to be true. The iPhone XS showed an average of 6.6Mbps faster downloads on all USA carriers compared with the iPhone X. In Canada, that difference is a whopping 20.2Mbps. T-Mobile comes in at 6.6Mbps, Verizon at 5.7Mbps, and Sprint at 2.3Mbps.
All that said, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 with its Qualcomm X20 modem still performs a little better than the iPhone XS in the U.S. and Canada. Speedtest Intelligence shows a 9.9Mbps jump from the iPhone 7 in the United States, and a 31.6Mbps jump in Canada. Ookla collected the speed comparison data during the week of September 24.
Apple promised the iPhone XS Max was good for 90 minutes longer runtimes compared to the iPhone X. Apple's promise for the iPhone XS was 30 minutes longer battery life than last year's iPhone X. They speculate that the problem could be due to a bug in iOS 12 software.