Every phone needs to make calls and connect to the internet. To do this, it needs a cellular or smartphone modem for connection to a network. These smartphone modems are usually embedded in the SoC. LTE and 5G modems on smartphones are a very common sight today.

Some SoC manufacturers manufacture their own LTE and 5G modems for smartphones while others use generic modems or buy from those who make them. The following companies make their modems. They are:

  • Qualcomm
  • MediaTek
  • Samsung
  • Kirin

For this post, we will only be discussing 4G LTE and 5G modems for smartphones.


Qualcomm Snapdragon

Phones that come with Snapdragon SoCs use Qualcomm’s X-series modem. The X-series modems are embedded into the SoC. All of Qualcomm’s X-series are fully 2G and 3G backward compatible with pre-existing networks.

LTE modems

Qualcomm has a good number of 4G modems.

  • The X5 is a cat. 4 modem used for SD616, SD415, SD412 and SD212.
  • The X6 is also a cat.4 modem found in SD430, SD429 and SD439.
  • Next up, we have the X8. This is a cat. 6 modem used on older midrange SoCs like SD617, SD650 and SD652.
  • X9 is a cat. 12 modem that provides connectivity for SD625, SD626, SD435, SD427, SD450 and SD653.
  • X10 is a cat. 9 modem used for old SoCs like SD810 and SD808.
  • X12 is a cat. 13 modem used for current mid-rangers like SD660, SD630, SD636, SD670, SD665, and SD675 and old SoCs like SD820/821.
  • X15 is a cat. 15 modem used for the 700 series 4G SoCs like SD710, SD720G, SD730, SD730G, etc.
  • X16 is a cat. 16 modem used for the SD835.
  • X20 is a cat. 18 modem used for the SD845.
  • X24 is a cat. 20 modem used for last year’s flagship SD855 and SD855+.

5G modem

All Qualcomm’s 5G modems are fully Sub-6GHz and mmWave compatible although mmWave could be disabled in certain SoCs for marketing purposes. Qualcomms 5G SoCs are X50, X51 (SD690), X52 (SD765, SD765G and SD768), X55 (SD865), X60, X65 and X70



5000Mediatek claims to have the world’s fastest 5G SoC for smartphones. This modem is called the Helio M70. Besides this 5G modem, MediaTek doesn’t have any other modem and uses generic modems for their 4G LTE-compatible SoCs.


Samsung is the owner of the Exynos brands and has the following line-up.

LTE modems

Exynos 303: This is a LTE cat. 6 modem that is found on the Exynos 5430 and Exynos 5433 which are used on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, and Samsung Galaxy Alpha.

Exynos 333: is a Cat. 10 modem used on the Exynos 7420 used on the Samsung Galaxy S6, Galaxy Note 5, and the Galaxy A8 (2016).

5G modems

Exynos 5100: Sub-6Ghz, mmWave used on the Exynos 9820 and Exynos 9825

Exynos 5123: Sub-6Ghz mmWave used in the Exynos 990.


The following are Kirin SoCs
Balong 700
Balong 710: Cat. 4
Balong 720: Cat. 6
Balong 750: Cat 12 and 13
Balong 765: Cat. 19
Balong 5G01: Sub-6 GHz and mmWave
Balong 5000: Sub-6 GHz and mmWave 2, 3, 4G

This brings us to the end of this post, I hope you learned something don’t hesitate to hit me up in the comment section. Till my next post, please take care of yourself.

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