Not all iPhone 7s are born equally, according to new tests, which appear to show the cheapest, 32GB versions are significantly slower than the more expensive 128 or 256GB versions and that some have much poorer 4G reception.
Testing by both GSMArena and Unbox Therapy found that the speed of the storage within the 32GB iPhone 7 is significantly slower than that in the more expensive 128GB iPhone 7. Reading data from the storage of the 32GB version of the iPhone 7 was 200Mbps slower than the 12GB version, 656Mbps and 856Mbps respectively. The difference in read speed over 600Mbps is unlikely to be noticeable in day-to-day usage.
However, writing to the storage – saving data including photos, videos, music, apps or any other type of file – was found to be significantly slower on the 32GB iPhone. The 128GB iPhone 7 wrote to memory at 341Mbps, but the 32GB iPhone 7 was over eight times slower at just 42Mbps.
GSMArena found similar results in its testing of the iPhone 7, with a 32GB iPhone 7 Plus reaching write speeds of only 39.6Mbps compared with a 128GB iPhone 7 writing at speeds of 308Mbps.
Meanwhile, testing of different versions of the iPhone 7 Plus have also apparently revealed discrepancies in their cellular performances. According to New York-based Cellular Insights, which conducted tests using networking equipment, the iPhone 7 Plus smartphones with model numbers A1778 and A1784, including those available in the UK and Europe, performed noticeably poorer than those with model numbers A1660 and A1661, including those available in the US.
A1778 and A1784 iPhone 7 Plus smartphones have an Intel modem chip that connects them to the 4G network, while the A1660 and A1661 models use a modem supplied by Qualcomm, a common supplier of modems and processors to many Android smartphones, including the new Google Pixel.
Milan Milanović from Cellular Insights said: “In all tests, the iPhone 7 Plus with the Qualcomm modem had a significant performance edge over the iPhone 7 Plus with the Intel modem. We are not sure what was the main reason behind Apple’s decision to source two different modem suppliers for the newest iPhone.”The Intel iPhone 7 Plus models showed at least 30% worse network performance, and in some cases as poor as 75% worse, than the Qualcomm iPhone 7 Plus models. This performance gap means that the Intel iPhone 7 Plus models will have poorer 4G reception than the Qualcomm versions and slower download and upload speeds.
In Cellular Insights further testing, it showed that the Intel iPhone 7 Plus models had worse reception than the iPhone 6S in the majority of signal conditions.
Most of the time users blame mobile phone operators when the signal drops out on their smartphone or data speeds are slow, but the testing indicates that depending on smartphone model, it might not always be the fault of the network provider.