iPhone 8 Shows Modest Improvements in Cellular Network Bandwidth Tests

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    With a number of iPhone 8 and 8 Plus devices now in the hands of users, Ookla's network benchmarking suite Speedtest.net has been able to gather data on how the latest iPhones are performing compared to previous-generation models and has shared details with PCMag.

    Based on data collected by Ookla, improvements appear to be around the 10 percent mark for most users, but users in Australia could expect up to nearly 25 percent faster speeds thanks to their network structure. Those users can expect up to the full 80 MHz carrier aggregation bandwidth in the phone due to Telestra's use of the appropriate bands.

    iPhone 8 download speeds compared to previous generations

    Beyond speed comparisons to previous-generation iPhones, PCMag also compares the iPhone 8's cellular architecture to competing phones, such as the Galaxy S8.
    The lack of 4x4 MIMO antennas is something we touched on at MacRumors on Tuesday. While the Qualcomm and Intel modems in the new iPhones are likely more power efficient, the cellular front-end and back-end supporting them are largely unchanged in structure from the iPhone 7 models.

    The article goes on to point out can that this can result in loss of coverage due to deficient receiver diversity compared to other phones, complete with a New York subway test.
    Users looking for an unlocked iPhone should probably still opt for the Verizon or Sprint model, featuring the Qualcomm modem. While it boasts higher peak speeds than the Intel modems in aggregated user data, it is not clear whether it is superior for coverage, which would require more in-depth testing.

    Finally, users looking ahead to the iPhone X should expect the same dichotomy of models and performance, given the iPhone X's tech specs page matches that of the iPhone 8 models in number of models and bands supported. The form factor will likely not have any impact on the antenna structures that will directly impact users in a meaningful way.

    Moving forward, adopting 4x4 MIMO antenna structure would be one of the biggest advancements Apple could make for future iPhones' speed and coverage robustness.

    Article Link: iPhone 8 Shows Modest Improvements in Cellular Network Bandwidth Tests
  2. macTW Suspended

    Oct 17, 2016
    It’s both impressive and disappointing.

    Until I remember the real world impact of the missing antennas is essentially nothing. Then it’s just impressive mobile phones reach these speeds.
  3. exodiusprime macrumors regular


    Jun 24, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    And yet isn't 4G LTE at LEAST 100Mbps for a limit? Companies keep pushing all these "Gs" with money vs actual speeds.
  4. 840quadra Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    Good to know the speed delta between Qualcomm and Intel still exists. While most users will never notice the difference, those of us that push the limits of our phones will want to take that into consideration when making unlocked phone purchases!
  5. swm macrumors regular

    May 29, 2013
    i don't really think that 4x4 mimo is the thing we need. i'd rather have continuous coverage with moderate speed than some theoretical blazing high speed - yet only achievable in lab environment. i see no stuff around that could not be enjoyed with just 10-20Mbps...
  6. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    I've already seen the difference. My job has me going to rural areas and my unlocked Qualcomm 8+ consistently outperforms my wife's Intel equipped ATT 8+ purchased through the NEXT plan. My phone usually has an extra bar or so and holds onto LTE, while my wife's phone drops into 4G mode and is much slower to regain LTE. When we're in the city the difference isn't as pronounced.
  7. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    Bollocks, the international model is still intel :(
  8. avanpelt macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    In other news, Intel still makes an inferior modem compared to Qualcomm.
  9. Oliveira46 macrumors member


    Sep 8, 2017
    THe incresed signal is nice, but the speeds are total overkill. Netflix or youtube 4k resolution takes less than 25mbs.

    On a desktop computer I would understand in some very specific situations that you would want more than 100-200mbs, but in a phone? 880mbs is a total overkill for the next 5 (if not 10) years at least.

    There are pretty much no servers of public services that send anywere near those speeds
  10. Super80eas macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2017
    iPhone: 34.744133,-96.634895
    How do i tell if i have an intel or Qualcomm chip?
  11. iHack13 macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2009
    city of octoberfest
    long story short:

    In an apocalypse, if you need to call for help , evolution might sort out the iPhone users by 18 seconds while galaxy users are 18 seconds ahead.

    turning point :

    if the person whom you are calling has an iPhone and was in a dead zone , your galaxy won't help
  12. Shawn Parr macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2008
    Literally in the article you are posting about:

    4x4 MIMO also helps with keeping and regaining connectivity to the cellular network. Not just higher speeds.
  13. avanpelt macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    If you bought your phone direct from AT&T or T-Mobile or if you bought the phone from Apple or another retailer specifically for use with an AT&T or T-Mobile account, you almost certainly have an iPhone 7 or iPhone 8 with the Intel modem. If you bought the phone for use on a Verizon or Sprint account or if you bought the "SIM-free" iPhone 7 or 8 from Apple in the U.S., you should have a phone with the Qualcomm modem.
  14. Super80eas macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2017
    iPhone: 34.744133,-96.634895
    I got my phone on the Apple Upgrade Program, and yes its for ATT so probably Intel, though i thought all phones on the AUP were unlocked, since I am not doing a contract.
  15. Diode macrumors 68020


    Apr 15, 2004
    Washington DC
    Ahh wow didn't realize the 4x4 MIMO helped with recovering from dead zones. That's my biggest annoyance with riding the subway....
  16. thisisnotmyname macrumors 68000


    Oct 22, 2014
    known but velocity indeterminate
    uncontrolled data is uncontrolled. May as well start reporting Survey Monkey findings as well.
  17. Dekema2 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2012
    WNY or Utica
    Can you choose which one you get? Sounds similar to the chip lottery to me.
  18. Shawn Parr macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2008
    Unlocked vs. locked is not really what is the issue. Only the Qualcomm has CDMA capability, so if you are on Verizon or Sprint and have to fall back to 3G due to LTE coverage issues. So the US "unlocked" no carrier phones are that version as you might use them on those networks. If you buy the T-Mobile or AT&T phone they can still be unlocked, but since you specified a non-CDMA fallback carrier you get a non-CDMA capable phone.

    While the Qualcomm modems are still working better than the Intel, Apple wants to sell less of them due to their spat with Qualcomm. Thus whenever possible they sell the Intel versions.
  19. avtella macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2016
    Not only does the 4x4 MIMO help with regaining signal faster from dead zones and better reception overall, faster speeds mean the LTE modem can go into standby faster thereby saving battery life.
  20. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    Of course you can, ALL unlocked "sim-free" 8's have qualcomm as Intel modem doesn't support CDMA and is incompatible with Sprint/Verizon. All Sprint/Verizon phones have qualcomm, while all ATT/TMO specific models bought directly from them or Apple through NEXT or IUP are all Intel phones. If your iphone model supports CDMA, it's qualcomm.

    A possible loophole is Best Buy. Supposedly all their iphones they sell are CDMA capable as they only lock them to the carrier in the store to reduce their inventory.
  21. avanpelt macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    Buying a phone via the AUP to use with your AT&T account is not the same thing as buying a SIM-free phone from Apple, as far as I know. Yes, both phones are unlocked; but if you buy the SIM-free phone from Apple in the U.S., you are guaranteed to get a phone that works on every carrier that supports the iPhone in the U.S. That's only possible for phones that have Qualcomm modems in them.

    If you buy an iPhone 7 or 8 via AUP to use on AT&T, they're going to give you an unlocked phone with an Intel modem that works on AT&T, T-Mobile, and other non-CDMA networks as far as I know.
  22. TigerWoodsIV macrumors 6502a

    Apr 3, 2010
    Since I'm on AT&T, I don't really care because their speeds are garbage. One of these days, I really need to change networks.
  23. airjay75 macrumors regular

    Oct 1, 2014
    I’ve been using my Intel iPhone 7 on AT&T’s network for over a year. No complaints whatsoever. I think that issue was incredibly overblown last year and many people continue to make a mountain out of a molehill. Unless you want the option of switching to Sprint or Verizon, I really don’t think it makes a difference. Maybe I just don’t know what I’m missing by not having the Qualcomm model - whatever.
  24. avtella, Sep 28, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017

    avtella macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2016
    Probably a slightly better battery life on the QCA models especially in low signal areas, but not something day and night difference. I went for sim free last year, so my 7+ was QCA. If I were to buy a new phone I’d probably get the QCA version just because I’m OCD lol.
  25. WaruiKoohii macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2015
    If you read the rest of the article, you'll notice that the lack of 4x4 MIMO is likely the reason why the iPhone 8 falls short in coverage tests as well.

    MIMO isn't all about speeds, it's also about signal reliability and usability.

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