Qualcomm taps Ookla data to show Snapdragon superiority over Intel

speed test
More than a million user-initiated tests were conducted during the second quarter by users who downloaded the Speedtest app by Ookla on their smartphone. (Pixabay)

Qualcomm asked speed test firm Ookla to pull out some metrics comparing the performance of Android and non-Android smartphones to see how phones with Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 perform compared to phones with Intel XMM 7480 and 7360 modems. Sure enough, the phones with the Snapdragon 845 performed better than those powered by rival Intel.

The analysis was done in the second quarter, by which time there were sufficient numbers of devices to make a worthwhile comparison. Tests measured cellular performance, including download speeds, upload speeds and latency. The phones tested were using the AT&T and T-Mobile networks because they have both Qualcomm and Intel modems deployed on them.

The tests were performed by Ookla, not Qualcomm, and they involved more than 480,000 tests on T-Mobile’s network and more than 570,000 tests on AT&T’s network. So the tests were repeated many times over.

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The company previously hasn’t called out its competition like this, but it felt confident enough in its technology to do the analysis now, according to Sherif Hanna, director of 5G product marketing at Qualcomm.

On T-Mobile’s network, the Android phones with Snapdragon 845 had 53% faster download speeds than the phones with Intel products, he said. On AT&T’s network, the Snapdragon 845-powered phones had 20% faster typical upload speeds.

If it takes three times longer to upload an image to Instagram, for example, that’s not only a frustrating experience for the consumer, but it’s bad for the health of the network if one user is monopolizing the network three times longer than others, he noted.

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Operators often point to Ookla’s results when they’re talking about their own networks—so long as there’s something positive to say in its results.

Earlier this year, Ookla compared the performance of Android vs. Apple’s iOS around the world and reported that Android devices saw a faster mean download than those on iOS in 25 of the countries it surveyed. However, when iOS devices were deemed faster, they were a lot faster. There were 60 countries on Ookla’s list where the mean download speed on iOS was more than 10% higher than that on Android.

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