Note 9 vs iPhone XS Max vs LG V40 vs OnePlus 6T best cellular reception tests produce surprise winners
Armed with professional carrier equipment by Rohde & Schwarz - the type of gear that RootMetrics uses in its USA drive-by tests that Verizon loves to cite - the lab coats from Cellular Insights put six of the most popular 2018 phones to the test.
As you can easily deduce from the graphs below, there are pretty negligible differences in reception rates and download speeds, with the cheaper OnePlus 6T diving the lowest in the chart when the signal is good, but bouncing back in weak signal scenarios. For some reason, Google's new Pixel 3 doesn't shine in download speeds when the signal is less than stellar.
The LG V40 takes the crown among phones with Snapdragon 845 chipsets and the respective Qualcomm X20 modem which can reach up to 1.2Gbps download speeds. Among Intel-inside phones like this year's iPhone crop, the XS Max did best, while the iPhone XR which sports an older (up to 600Mbps) modem from Intel, did worst.
Last but not least, each newer modem version manages to eke out better download speeds compared to its predecessors in the same network conditions, as exemplified by the last, Note 5 to Note 9, chart.