Intel antenna vs Qualcomm antenna on AT&T

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by demodave, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. demodave macrumors regular

    demodave

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #1
    Hi all.

    I'm an AT&T user. (And I suffered for it horribly in Massachusetts recently. I live in Dallas, where AT&T kinda calls home. AT&T coverage in New England, especially rural, sucks.)

    I'd like to know if anyone has seen any data on the capability of the iPhone 7 Intel (3G/GSM-only) antenna vs the Qualcomm (3G/GSM and also CDMA capable) antenna with respect to service on AT&T.

    I asked at Apple Knox Street yesterday and got no help on that topic.

    I'm sure I'll get a performance upgrade vs my current iPhone 6, but I want a little help choosing between iPhone 7 (Plus) models.

    Thanks.
    demo
     
  2. airjay75 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    #2
    So far, we have no concrete evidence of any differences between the Qualcomm and Intel versions. You'll find lots of anecdotes one way or the other on this forum, but that really doesn't tell you anything. Depending on how you plan to buy your iPhone, it may be easier said than done to get the Qualcomm version, but there are people who've done it. Resale value of the Qualcomm version may be slightly better down the road, but who really knows for sure. If you have no plans to switch to a CDMA-based carrier (i.e., Sprint or Verizon), I would not personally worry about this at all.

    FWIW (in my view, nothing), I have the Intel iPhone 7 on AT&T that I upgraded from an iPhone 6s+ and I have experienced no meaningful performance differences.
     
  3. jdlorinser macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #3
    I also have AT&T and am curious about this myself. It would interesting to find out if signal or even bettery life is improved on either chip...
     
  4. BIG BOSS macrumors regular

    BIG BOSS

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    #4
    I have both and so far I can't really tell a difference between the two.
     
  5. Thor_1 macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 18, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    #5
    From reading the other discussion about it, seems like the issue with the chips last year. People are trying to find a reason to say their phone is better than the other.
     
  6. stulaw11 Suspended

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    #6
    Agreed, the same as the Samsung vs TSMC processor argument last year.

    There will be dozens of pages of people pretending to know and in the end die away as the difference will be too close for anyone to tell.

    Second, no carrier supports nowhere near 450mbps at that, let alone 600 the Intel chip supports, so speed is a nonstarter argument. Those are theoretical.

    Apple would not and could not sell a product that the chips used in half were too far different than the others. a few % is within tolerances.
     
  7. powerocool macrumors 6502

    powerocool

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    #7
    I have both intel and Qualcomm versions on AT&T network. There's no difference in LTE speed or battery life that I can tell.
     
  8. FoxD macrumors 6502

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    Apr 28, 2010
    #8
    QC here, wife Intel. I cannot tell any difference so far.
     
  9. cc999 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    #9
    I will add my experience here. i had the ATT model for a week then exchanged for the Verizon version. I always got the world version of the phone the past few years and this year I was determined to do the same. I can tell you the resale value is much better.

    With the above said, I am in sales and travel the NE USA and have seen a definite improvement in the Qualcomm Verizon version as far as signal strength and call quality. I also noticed better battery life probably due to the
    better signal strength. With the Intel ATT model I was getting dropped calls and some calls with so much interference
    I would have to call back. I have not experienced that once with the Qualcomm version. Also there is a point in
    my ride that I travel 3-4 times a week where the signal always dropped (including all previous phones), with the
    Qualcomm version the phone call does not drop. So for me the Qualcomm Verizon version on the ATT networks
    is much better.

    Another thing of note is that you should contact ATT and make sure the IMEI and SIM numbers are correct in their computers to reflect your phone. If not this could cause problems on any chip.

    CC
     
  10. airjay75 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    #10
    Both versions will work in the vast majority of countries in the world. CDMA technology is not prevalent outside the U.S. In fact, the Intel version is the one that will be sold in most countries: http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/. I think calling the Qualcomm version the "world" phone is a misnomer. They are both world phones, it's just that one is basically a world phone plus Sprint and Verizon.

    As to resale value, it was the case with previoss iPhone models where the CDMA+GSM versions fetched $50-$100 more than the GSM only versions, and if that matters a great deal to someone, by all means, they should opt for the Qualcomm version. But, there is no way of knowing whether that will be the case 1 to 2 years from now and if you are one of the many iPhone users now who use a trade-in program through Apple or their carrier, this may not matter at all.
     
  11. cc999 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    #11
    This explains the different models. The Verizon Version is indeed the world phone:

    https://www.techwalls.com/iphone-7-plus-model-differences/

    From the article:

    iPhone 7 Plus
    The 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus has 3 model numbers, A1661, A1784 and A1785.

    1. A1661: The iPhone 7 Plus A1661 is the most comprehensive model as it works on almost all GSM and CDMA carriers. The world phone is available at Sprint and Verizon in the US, as well as some other countries like Puerto Rico, Hong Kong and China. This is also the model you will receive when you buy the SIM-free unlocked version or when you buy the locked AT&T phone at BestBuy.

    Cellular bands of this model:

    • FDD-LTE bands 1 (2100 MHz), 2 (1900 MHz), 3 (1800 MHz), 4 (AWS), 5 (850 MHz), 7 (2600 MHz), 8 (900 MHz), 12 (700 a MHz), 13 (700c MHz), 17 (700b MHz), 18 (800 MHz), 19 (800 MHz), 20 (800 DD), 25 (1900 MHz), 26 (800 MHz), 27 (800 SMR), 28 (700 APT MHz), 29 (700 de MHz), 30 (2300 WCS)
    • TD-LTE bands 38 (TD 2600 MHz), 39 (TD 1900 MHz), 40 (TD 2300 MHz), 41 (TD 2500 MHz)
    • TD-SCDMA 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
    • CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    • GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
    • UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)

    CC
     
  12. airjay75 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    #12
    Can you name one country where you won't be able to roam using the Intel phone but you will be able to roam using the the Qualcomm phone? I can't. There may be a country or two out there that only has CDMA only service, but I can't personally name one.
     
  13. cc999 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 15, 2008
    #13
  14. austriak macrumors regular

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    Jul 10, 2011
    #14
    This is completely not scientific but I feel like my cellular signal was stronger on my 6s than my at&t 7.
     
  15. airjay75 macrumors regular

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    Oct 1, 2014
    #15
  16. cc999 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 15, 2008
    #16
  17. airjay75 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    #17
    Yes, but what you don't seem to realize is that there are very few (if any) countries with a CDMA only network. Similar to the U.S, China has CDMA networks, but it also has LTE and 2G/3G GSM based networks. Again, can you name a single country that has only CDMA networks and where the Qualcomm model would be required to roam? I ask in all seriousness. I am simply not aware of such a country.
     
  18. demodave thread starter macrumors regular

    demodave

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #18
    The first paragraph quoted above is directly relevant and very helpful. Thanks for that.
    Don't really know what to make of the second paragraph, but I will try to educate myself further.

    Given all the bickering above, I would like to clarify (and I think agree with CC): AT&T coverage in New England was horrible in my direct, personal experience. I don't care about theory. I want my phone and my data to work for me wherever and whenever I am.

    Thanks.
    demo
     
  19. airjay75 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    #19
    Every carrier has good and bad areas. What matters most to me is that I have good service where I live, work, and spend the majority of my time. But, if you are unhappy with AT&T's service in any way, that would be one very good reason to opt for the Qualcomm version of the iPhone 7, as you will have definitely have more flexibility to change carriers in the U.S. The Intel version would really only leave you with T-mobile as a national carrier alternative, while the Qualcomm version will also work with Verizon or Sprint.
     
  20. cc999 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    #20
    Here is another way to look at it. If I said I have 2 iphone 7's to sell you at the SAME price. One
    can be used on GSM only and the other can be used on GSM and CDMA worldwide. What would
    you rather buy?

    Also throw in Qualcomm has been making modem chips for years, Intel no.
    And also by the way the GSM/CDMA version will get you 50-100 more when you are
    ready to sell.

    CC
     
  21. metsjetsfan macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    #21
    With the processor you could test and it was much clearer. Even apple admitted the small difference.

    With this its almost impossible as you need to test with multiple models in multiple environments.

    Add on top of that if you live in a certain region based on cell signal the better model could be one model while the other model could yield better results for someone else.
     
  22. joelp22 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2016
    #22
    I just posted this to another thread but just found this thread and maybe it's a more appropriate thread to post it to.

    I place a very high priority on reception / signal quality so I decided to run some tests on two identical 128gb iPhone 7's to see which is better in my environment (planning to return whichever one is worse). One Verizon / qualcomm model purchased from Apple store (model a1660), and another purchased from an ATT store with the intel modem (a1778). The phones are set up identically as new, and both have 10.0.2. Reset network settings on both phones and used the speed test app for LTE speed tests. All tests run on AT&T's network. I only kept tests where the speed test app connected to the same server/location. I also did a field test prior to each run. Averages below are based on 10 total runs.

    Bottom line is I found a significant difference - average downloads of 22 vs 13 mbps down and 3 vs 1 mbps upload speed (qualcomm was the winner). Also lots of variability for the intel modem during the tests, where the qualcomm modem was more steady through each speed test run. And did a bunch of simultaneous page loads of web pages (on LTE). There was little difference in page load speeds.....maybe a very slight advantage to qualcomm. Lastly, after running all these tests I compared battery life. I also set the phones next to each other and did a 2 hour call between them to see if a LTE call used more battery on one of the models. I was careful to make sure the phones were set and charged identically, and ran the same amount of tests / screen brightness on each phone. Battery life at the end of the tests was as follows: Qualcomm - 75% remaining. Intel - 61% remaining. I did not calibrate both batteries beforehand FWIW.

    Attached is a txt file with my test data. Hope this is useful to people. I fully realize this is just one data point with only two phones, and I understand there's a need for a more scientific and comprehensive test with many more phones and locations to know for sure. But I thought I'd share what I found in case anyone finds it useful since I rarely if ever contribute to these forums, but frequently get useful info from others' posts.
     

    Attached Files:

  23. Thor_1 macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 18, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    #23
    Thanks for sharing. I have noticed slightly better speeds in all areas on LTE, t mobile phone, with amazing battery.
     
  24. normanfox, Oct 10, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2016

    normanfox macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    #24
    there is a big thread over howardforums debating this same subject. at the end of that thread, most people conclude that there are no difference between Intel and Qualcomm.

    in fact Qualcomm has to support both CDMA and GSM which make its switching logic more complex and less efficient (battery) than Intel. we have many people reporting that Verizon version lost LTE signal or not able to switch to LTE.
     
  25. Thor_1 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    #25
    Link?
     

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