iPhone XS Max Signal Strength Compared to OnePlus 7 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S10

The Samsung Galaxy S10 and the new OnePlus 7 Pro are both flagship smartphones that are designed to compete with the iPhone XS Max, and to see how their LTE chips compare, PCMag teamed up with Cellular Insights to test the signal strength of the new devices.

Apple's ‌iPhone XS‌ Max is equipped with an XMM7560 modem chip from Intel, while the Galaxy S10 and the OnePlus 7 Pro are using Qualcomm's X24 modem, which theoretically offers better performance.

‌iPhone XS‌ Max in blue, OnePlus 7 Pro in orange, Samsung Galaxy S10 in gray, and LG V40 in yellow

The Intel XMM7560 modem in the ‌iPhone XS‌ Max supports supports 5-carrier aggregation but offers 1Gb/s maximum theoretical data transfer speeds, while the Qualcomm X24 in the Galaxy S10 has max theoretical speeds of 2Gb/s (it uses 7-carrier aggregation) and the OnePlus 7 Pro has max theoretical speeds of 1.2Gb/s (lower because it uses 5-carrier aggregation like the iPhone).

In testing on LTE band 4 with good signal, there wasn't a lot of difference in performance between the ‌iPhone XS‌ Max, the newer smartphones from Samsung and OnePlus, and the LG V40, which PCMag added in because it was 2018's best performing phone in terms of cellular speed.

All of the smartphones performed similarly, but the Samsung Galaxy S10 did see some of the slowest speeds, and at peak signal, the ‌iPhone XS‌ came in behind the OnePlus 7 Pro and the LG V40.

In a test with poorer LTE signal, the ‌iPhone XS‌ Max saw the slowest speeds and was outperformed by all of the Qualcomm chips. The ‌iPhone XS‌ Max was quite a bit slower than the Galaxy S10 and the OnePlus 7 Pro specifically.


Starting in 2020, Apple is no longer going to use Intel chips and is instead going to transition to Qualcomm's 5G chips. Intel has decided that it's exiting the 5G smartphone modem chip business leaving Apple no choice but to rely on Qualcomm technology and perhaps some chips from Samsung.

Apple and Qualcomm recently settled a vicious legal battle which had seen Apple refusing to use Qualcomm chips. Because of the dispute, Apple used Intel chips in the 2018 iPhones, and is expected to continue to use Intel chips for the 2019 iPhones.

Though the legal battle is over, Apple isn't likely to have time to swap over to Qualcomm modem chips for the 2019 iPhones, and Intel has confirmed that it's going to continue to supply 4G chips to meet its current obligations.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
12 months ago

Thats not so bad, so wondering why it feels so bad in realworld, iphone reception is really bad in low signal area

The test is cherry picking band 4 which isn't primary band for most carriers. They need to do a comprehensive multi-band test.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
12 months ago

The Intel XMM7560 modem in the iPhone XS Max supports supports 5-carrier aggregation but offers 1Gb/s maximum theoretical data transfer speeds, while the Qualcomm X24 in the Galaxy S10 has max theoretical speeds of 2Gb/s (it uses 7-carrier aggregation) and the OnePlus 7 Pro has max theoretical speeds of 1.2Gb/s (lower because it uses 5-carrier aggregation like the iPhone).

I don't even know why they bother mentioning max theoretical speeds. Like yeah, if nobody else is connected to the tower, and you're standing 10ft away from the tower, and the weather is perfect and the sun is down and general network congestion on the ISP and backbones are low, and if you're not holding it but have it mounted from a specific point using a tripod that has non-metal contact points then maybe. Meanwhile in the real world, you've hit the jackpot if you get close to 100Mbps on any given speed test, and typically can expect 30-60Mbps.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
12 months ago
That's not so bad, so wondering why it feels so bad in real-world, iPhone Max reception is really bad in low signal area
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
12 months ago
In reality, it’s actually worse. This is by far the worst iPhone I’ve ever owned (Max). I was going to upgrade early, but I guess I’ll wait until 2020.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
12 months ago
did they really need each chart with different colours? Couldn't they keep the same one for simplicity? :D :D :D
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
12 months ago
C'mon, PCMag, was it too hard to keep the colors consistent from one graph to the next?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Leaker Claims New 13-inch MacBook Pro Coming as Soon as Next Month

Monday April 6, 2020 2:56 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Apple will announce a new 13-inch MacBook Pro in May with the codename J223, according to a rumor shared by YouTuber and leaker Jon Prosser. Note: it’s a refresh to the current 13” So the bigger 14” display upgrade is a big possibility— Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) April 4, 2020 Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said Apple plans to release new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models with scissor keyboards ...

iOS 14 Could Offer Home Screen Widgets, Wallpaper Customizations

Saturday April 4, 2020 3:30 pm PDT by Frank McShan
iOS 14 could offer home screen widgets and wallpaper customizations for the first time, according to 9to5Mac and Twitter user DongleBookPro. Apple is reportedly working to implement widgets that can be moved freely around like icons on the iPhone and iPad homescreen for the very first time. The feature is reportedly codenamed "Avocado" and no other details are available. It was also...

Top Stories: Apple Leaks iPhone SE and AirTags, Apple Buys Dark Sky, and More

Saturday April 4, 2020 6:00 am PDT by MacRumors Staff
With the calendar rolling over to April this week, we yet again saw several leaks and rumors, most notably including Apple itself leaking some references to a pair of long-rumored products: a new budget iPhone SE and AirTags item trackers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple also acquired popular weather app Dark Sky, while Amazon's Prime Video app now allows...

Apple Music Was Second Biggest Global Music Streaming Service in 2019

Friday April 3, 2020 5:38 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Global online music streaming subscriptions were up 32 percent year-over-year in 2019, hitting 358 million subscribers, according to new estimates shared today by Counterpoint Research. Spotify was the market leader with a 31 percent share of total revenue and a 35 percent share of total paid subscriptions, while Apple Music earned the second place slot with a 24 percent share of total...

More References to Apple's Upcoming Low-Cost iPhone Appear Online

Monday April 6, 2020 4:38 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Further references to Apple's upcoming low-cost iPhone have appeared online, one on a Chinese e-commerce website and another on Verizon's smartphone trade-in page. Spotted by tech blog MySmartPrice, Chinese retailer JD.com has published a placeholder for Apple's so-called "iPhone 9" that includes a teaser image of a veiled smartphone, but other than that it lacks any particularly revealing...

The New York Times, IFTTT, Medium, and Other Apps Adopt Sign in With Apple Ahead of June 30 Deadline

Sunday April 5, 2020 7:08 pm PDT by Frank McShan
Apps with sign-in functionality, including The New York Times, IFTTT, Medium, and more, have continued to adopt Apple's secure Sign in with Apple feature ahead of a deadline of June 30. The deadline for these apps to support the feature was recently extended from April 30. Sign in with Apple, first introduced in iOS 13, allows users to create accounts for apps and websites using an Apple ID. ...

Apple Offers Employees Deep Discounts on HomePod, Beats Headphones and More

Friday April 3, 2020 11:14 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple is offering employees significant discounts on products that include the HomePod and Beats headphones, according to details on the deals shared by MacGeneration and 9to5Mac. Apple is said to be clearing stock of Beats headphones and HomePods, providing them to employees through an internal deals program. The HomePod is available at a 50 percent discount, dropping the price to $149.50,...

New Low-Cost 'iPhone SE' Could Launch as Soon as Tomorrow

Thursday April 2, 2020 4:06 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple's new low-cost iPhone is set to launch as early as Friday, April 3, according to a new report from 9to5Mac that cites a tip from a "highly trusted reader." The site says that while it can't be certain about the launch date, "Apple could reveal and begin taking orders for the new iPhone as soon as tomorrow." The iPhone 8 Apple is said to be planning to call the new iPhone, which is...

EPIX Available for Free Through Apple TV Channels Until May 2, No Subscription Required

Saturday April 4, 2020 9:28 am PDT by Frank McShan
EPIX is currently offering free access to its catalog of movies and TV shows through the Apple TV Channels feature in the TV app, and many additional services are also offering extended free trials. Upon navigating to the Apple TV app, users will notice that EPIX is listed under the "My Channels" section. Rather than offering an extended trial where users must first sign up, EPIX is...

iPad Launched 10 Years Ago Today, App Developer Reflects on Getting Access to a Top-Secret Prototype

Friday April 3, 2020 10:53 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
On the 10th anniversary of the iPad launching in stores, Agile Partners co-founder Jack Ivers has shared an interesting story about how his company managed to get in Apple's good graces and ultimately gain access to prototype iPads. The story begins in 2008, when Agile Partners released GuitarToolkit as one of the first iPhone apps on the App Store. The app used the iPhone's microphone to...