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Comparing Airtel Kenya’s X25 & X28 5G Wireless WiFi Routers – Which One Is Better?

It hard to imagine it was just a year ago or so that Airtel launched their 5G network and services in Kenya. At the time, Airtel Kenya did so with their X28 5G WiFi router which was being sold at Kes. 9,999.00 which was less than half the price of what Safaricom was charging for theirs at the time. Since then, Airtel’s 5G network in Kenya has grown by leaps and bounds and now has impressive national coverage and growing. 

Last month, Airtel also launched their unlimited 5G internet packages and at the same time introduced their 5G X25 WiFi router for only Kes. 2,999.00 which is actually less than a third of what the X28 was being sold for at launch. As of this writing, I do not know if Airtel Kenya is still selling the X28 at the old price, or at all, and if so if it is priced like the X25. It’s possible that the X28 may have been discontinued or is no longer sold in Kenya to avoid confusing their customers. 

Since I attended the Airtel 5G unlimited home internet bundles launch event last month and got my hands on the X25, I decided to do a side by side comparison with my year old X28 5G WiFi router to see how they stack up against each other and ultimately to help anyone decide which could suit their needs best if either could be of interest. So, here we go:

Performance & Speed. 

When it comes to performance, the X28 stands out for its higher chipset data rates, supporting up to 4Gbps download and 1Gbps upload on 5G, and 1.6Gbps download and 200Mbps upload on LTE or 4G. This makes it ideal for users requiring higher data throughput for activities like streaming, gaming, and heavy downloads. On the other hand, the X25 offers 2Gbps download and 1Gbps upload on 5G, and 600Mbps download and 100Mbps upload on LTE. While slightly lower than the X28, these speeds are still robust for most internet activities.

Memory & Storage.

The X28 comes with 8Gb of RAM and 8Gb of ROM, providing ample memory and storage for running multiple applications and handling large amounts of data. In contrast, the X25 has 4Gb of RAM and 2Gb of ROM, which is sufficient for everyday usage but may not be as efficient for more demanding tasks.

Frequency Bands. 

Both routers support a wide range of frequency bands for 5G and LTE / 4G, ensuring compatibility with various network environments. However, the specific bands supported differ slightly, making each model potentially better suited to different network conditions.

MIMO Technology — What Is MIMO? 

Both routers utilize MIMO technology for enhanced performance, with the X28 supporting MIMO 4×4 for both 5G and LTE, and the X25 supporting MIMO 4×4 for 5G and MIMO 2×2 for LTE. This means the X28 can offer better performance in LTE conditions compared to the X25.

MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) is a wireless technology that uses multiple transmitters and receivers to send and receive more data simultaneously. This improves data transfer speed and reduces latency, making it ideal for high-bandwidth applications like streaming and gaming.

Physical Dimensions. 

In terms of design, the X25 is taller (120mm x 120mm x 188mm) and might be more space-efficient due to its slim design. The X28, with a wider profile (190mm x 90mm x 90mm), may be more stable on flat surfaces.

Power Requirements.

The X28 requires a lower current (12V/1.5A) compared to the X25 (12V/2A), potentially leading to slightly lower power consumption.

Antenna Configuration.

The X28 features 12 internal antennas, while the X25 comes with 13 internal antennas. The additional antenna in the X25 may offer a slight edge in signal reception and distribution.

WiFi Capabilities. 

Both routers support dual-band WiFi (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) and WiFi 6 (802.11 ax), providing faster and more reliable wireless connections compared to older standards.

Additional Features. 

The X28 includes four Ethernet ports, making it suitable for extending network connections in home or small office environments. It also comes with a free Ethernet cable and a UPS/power bank for uninterrupted service during power outages. The X25 includes three Ethernet ports and also comes with a free Ethernet cable and a UPS/power bank.

Conclusion.

Choosing between the X25 and X28 5G WiFi routers depends on your specific needs:

  • The X28 is better suited for users needing higher speeds, more memory, better LTE performance, and more Ethernet ports.
  • The X25 is a solid option for users who need reliable performance with a slightly different set of frequency bands and a higher number of internal antennas for potentially better signal distribution.

Both routers provide strong capabilities for accessing 5G networks, ensuring fast and reliable internet connectivity. At the end of the day, even if the X28 is no longer being sold by Airtel in Kenya the X25 should work just fine for most people and it is considerably more affordable than what the X28 had been sold for during the past year or so. 

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