Apple iPhone 12 leak reveals Samsung Galaxy Note 20-smoking secret weapon

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 looks set to be outgunned by the Apple iPhone 12 in this key area

Apple new iPhone 12 Samsung Galaxy Note 20
(Image credit: Jonas Daehnert)

It looks like the Apple iPhone 12 series is going to absolutely smoke the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 in terms of 5G performance. Well, that's if this latest leak is to be believed.

That's because the iPhone 12 has been reported to come rocking the brand new Qualcomm X60 5G modem, while the Galaxy Note 20 is slated to be coming with just the older Qualcomm X55 5G modem.

Think that the difference sounds small between the two 5G modems? Well, if so, think again. Released back in February this year the Snapdragon X60 5G modem is not only based on a 5nm manufacturing process, so it is smaller and thinner than the X55, but it is also more power efficient and can aggregate both mmWave and sub-6Ghz networks.

In layman's terms, this aggregation of 5G networks means that users with this modem installed in their phone get the best of both worlds, being able to access both 5G network bands concurrently to optimise data speeds and signal strength. Yep, that's a game-changer.

In comparison to the X60, the X55 cannot connect to both mmWave and sub-6Ghz networks at the same time, and is built on the larger and less power-efficient 7nm manufacturing process.

The result is that if the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 does pack the X55 5G modem, its 5G performance will almost certainly be worse than that of the Apple iPhone 12.

Now, the one thing that is unclear right now is exactly which model of the Apple iPhone 12 is going to come with the Snapdragon X60. Will the X60 be limited to the Pro and Pro Max iPhone 12 phones? Or can we really expect all four devices to pack this next-gen 5G modem?

Only time will tell, however here at T3 we expect the Pro phones to be able to run both mmWave and sub-6GHz, while the two sizes of iPhone 12 to be able to tap into just sub-6GHz. We're thinking there will be two tiers of 5G network potency.

One thing is for sure, though, if the iPhone 12 Pro comes with the Snapdragon X60 installed, then iPhone users are going to have their socks well and truly blown off in terms of data speeds and low latency. After all, this won't be just Apple's first ever 5G  phone range, but one that - for the more premium models - comes with state-of-the-art 5G connectivity.

Let's hope the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 range has a trick up its sleeve, as otherwise it could be in for a world of hurt in terms of sales.

Robert Jones

Rob has been writing about computing, gaming, mobile, home entertainment technology, toys (specifically Lego and board games), smart home and more for over 15 years. As the editor of PC Gamer, and former Deputy Editor for, you can find Rob's work in magazines, bookazines and online, as well as on podcasts and videos, too. Outside of his work Rob is passionate about motorbikes, skiing/snowboarding and team sports, with football and cricket his two favourites.