iPhone X Review: Call Quality
Author:Soomal
Source:eng.soomal.com

Rate:00.00/0

The first full-vision, first AMOLED display, and the first TrueDepth camera, make iPhone X the hottest smartphone till now. However, as a phone, calls are the fundamental function. How about iPhone X's call and noise reduction performance?

The processor and the baseband are the same in both iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus, so they should be equally in network performance theoretically. It can be learned from iFixit that both iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X adopts Qualcomm X16 LTE baseband. The A1864 sold in China mainland supports most wireless network, of course, single standby as usual, besides, iPhone 8 Plus also supports Bluetooth 5.0 and 802.11AC MIMO fast Wi-Fi network.

Apple provides more options for users, such as noise cancellation switch. IPhones can choose the cellular mode in calls, if both ends are not on VoLTE, 2G or 3G will not affect 4G LTE call quality, stay to guarantee stabilization. As usual, we place this cell phone indoor with normal signal, and set the call voice volume to maximum, then call 10010 [GSM], which is China Unicom customer service hotline, and 10086 [VoLTE], which is China Mobile customer service hotline. Then use professional sound card and microphone for recording and analysis.

Earpiece Speaker Test

As usual, we place this cell phone indoor with normal signal, and set the call voice volume to maximum, then call 10010 [GSM], which is China Unicom customer service hotline, and 10086 [VoLTE], which is China Mobile customer service hotline. And we use WeChat, the most popular tool in china, as VoIP. Then use professional sound card and microphone for recording and analysis.

Testing Item iPhone X Huawei Mate 10 Galaxy Note 8 iPhone 8 Plus vivo X20 OPPO R11
Output Level of Earpiece,dB -8.36 -8.86/-9.13 -9.4/-9.23 -8.8 -10.1 -9.51

The earpiece output of iPhone X is just as excellent as iPhone 8 Plus with full voice, and a little bit higher level.

Loud Speaker Test

Speaker test was undertaken indoors with ambient noise level at 40dB or less, we turn up the ringtone volume to its maximum, and then use a sound level meter to measure sound level at the distance of one meter from the phone.

Testing Item iPhone X Huawei Mate 10 Galaxy Note 8 iPhone 8 Plus vivo X20 OPPO R11
Face Up,dB 78.5 79.6 76.0 78.4 78.8 75.5
Face Down,dB 78.6 79.7 77.1 78.2 80.1 75.8
In Camera Bag,dB 72.2 73.2 72.5 72.6 72.8 69.4

Stereo loud speakers helps iPhone X in rings and playing music. Its volume and sounds are nearly the same with iPhone 8 Plus, wins Galaxy Note 8 in dynamic a little, while Huawei Mate 10 is loud enough but dryer and harder.

Noise Reduction Test

We place this phone indoors with ambient noise level at 32db or less, in the middle of the room, we use a human-like structure "handholding" the phone to send voice signal, and put surround speakers in a certain distance playing 5 kinds of simulating ambient noise at 6db SNR. Then we standardize the recording from this end, and run a specific program comparing this recording with raw speech recording and noise-speech mixed recording to get noise reduction level, SNR improvement and SNRI-to-NPLR difference quantitative result.

Testing Item[Hand Holding] Noisy Crowd Background Music Pink Noise Roadside Voice
Total Noise Level Reduction,dB[Higher is Better] 41.7 39.8 47.7 45.8 43.7
SNR Improvement,dB[Higher is Better] 34.2 33.2 37.4 34.9 32.7
SNRI-to-NPLR difference,dB[-4 to 3] -3.7 -3.5 -5.7 -5.7 -1.4
Testing Item[VoLTE] Noisy Crowd Background Music Pink Noise Roadside Voice
Total Noise Level Reduction,dB[Higher is Better] 41.0 38.1 45.6 47.0 40.9
SNR Improvement,dB[Higher is Better] 34.7 32.1 37.8 38.1 27.8
SNRI-to-NPLR difference,dB[-4 to 3] -2.1 -0.2 -3.3 -3.2 -0.2
Testing Item[GSM Hand-Holding] Noisy Crowd Background Music Pink Noise Roadside Voice
Total Noise Level Reduction,dB[Higher is Better] 15.5 16.8 26.8 31.5 21.3
SNR Improvement,dB[Higher is Better] 7.9 10.7 13.3 15.2 11.3
SNRI-to-NPLR difference,dB[-4 to 3] -4.3 -0.8 -6.7 -5.9 0.2
  • Total Noise Level Reduction, TNLR: Total Noise Level Reduction illustrates the reduction of ambient noise level. The average level is above 5dB. Theoretically, higher TNLR would be better, but an over high result may be caused by severe attenuation of voice signal, or interruption caused by poor phone signal or noise reduction algorithm flaw.
    Signal-to-Noise Ratio Improvement, SNRI: capability of an NS method to enhance the speech component of a noisy speech signal from an additive background noise. SNR improves after noise reduction by comparing noise-reduced and raw voice signal. Generally, the improvement is over 4dB.
    SNRI-to-NPLR difference, DSN: the signal level difference between raw and noise-reduced. Noise reduction process would attenuate voice signal level, cell phones would gain signal to ensure the call quality. Theoretically, it would be best that signal level remain the same before and after noise reduction. A standard signal level peak is -2.5dB. If the signal was gained too high, overflow would happen, and that means frequent crackle, too low, voice signal strength would not be enough, and that means the sound would be too low, and the other end would not hear clearly.
    The result is just a test reference under similiar circumstances or conditions, third-party websites or official technical data cannot be used for comparison.

iPhone X seems over-reduced noise in 2G network, as it filters most noise in different circumstances, even like voice or music ambient noise could be well filtered. However, sometimes voice information may be filtered, too. During VoLTE or VoIP, noise reduction performance does not change significantly, but thanks to the higher sampling rate, ambient noises are filtered better. In hand-free mode, iPhone X also performs better in 4G new work. So, whether or not your service provider has 4G or not, we suggest switch to 3G or 4G to get a better call quality.

Except the little problem in 2G network, iPhone X has nearly the same performance in calls and noise reduction with iPhone 8 Plus. Also the stability is also better than all the iPhones ever. But, considering this high price, iPhone X should be better.

Please Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Soomal.com