Verizon and Galaxy S9 score fastest vs T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint... and iPhone X download speeds

Gather around, carrier fanboys, the annual drive-by network shooting testing will determine who has the fastest download speeds, better coverage and reliability from the big four - Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. PCMag, whose parent company owns the makers of the Speedtest app, took advantage of that insider knowledge and equipped three sets of Galaxy S9 phones with tailored software, sending them in rentals down the East Coast, through the middle states, and the West Coast.

Why the Samsung handset? Well, you apparently need a phone like the Galaxy S9, or the G7, that supports the latest LTE category speeds, and all the new rural bands that T-Mobile and others are rolling out across the country. The testers ran a comparison with the iPhone X, which has a neutered modem inside, and found out it serves much slower download speeds on average.

The methodology tests upload and download speeds, as well as ping to independent servers every 90 seconds or so, in numerous mapped locations, for at least 15 minutes at a time, as well as rural/suburban routes along the way. All in all, 88,000 test runs were made, and the results averaged for each city and region, giving a complete picture of the US carrier network landscape.

We won't spoil your deep dive in the annual carrier bash in the regional slides below but will note that there has been a huge improvement to all in the span of just a year. Average download speeds are up by the whopping 10Mbps, peak ones went from 200Mbps to 300Mbps, and, overall, latency dropped significantly, too. A harbinger of things to come with 5G? You bet.

That being said, it's Verizon that got the top score, thanks to its fastest average upload and download speeds, good reliability, and very low network latency, followed by T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint. T-Mobile, in particular, is the success story here, as it won or tied in almost half of the categories, indicating that potential customers for the new carrier, after the eventual merger with Sprint, won't be disappointed. Speaking of Sprint, its abysmal uploads chopped a lot of points off, but the download area saw a huge improvement year-on-year, including fastest speeds in some cities.

source: PCMag

Related phones

Galaxy S9
  • Display 5.8" 1440 x 2960 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Octa-core, 2800 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(31h talk time)



1. Papa_Ji

Posts: 911; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

KING IS ALWAYS THE KING. Feeling sad for CrapX owners.

2. apple-rulz

Posts: 2198; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

You don’t even have an S9 so shut up.

8. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

I do, so what if I say it? I will say this tho, knowing that my smartphone is vastly superior to even the top of the line IPhone X, which is more expensive, is an awesome thing to see. It fills you with even more confidence that you made the right choice, instead of spending 1000$ on something that is already outdated when it comes to connectivity.

3. biggles

Posts: 269; Member since: Oct 15, 2009

Verizon still on top, but not by much considering the steep premium. T-Mobile looking better and better to this month-to-month Verizon customer.

4. tedkord

Posts: 17509; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

There not that much of a premium anymore.

6. BuffaloSouce unregistered

That's just download speeds... when it comes to having a signal to make calls and texts, T-Maybe it's still s**t

5. Rigmaster

Posts: 234; Member since: Jan 22, 2018

The speed difference isn't worth the price. What's it really mean - an extra fraction of a second in most day-to-day actions? The only reason to pay the premium is if it's the best choice in a specific location. Don't travel outside major metros too often - TMo is more than competitive.

7. BuffaloSouce unregistered

Don't travel outside of major metros to often? You're basically saying people don't need that freedom to travel and should remain in their bubble...maybe T-Mobile should extend their network so people CAN travel outside of the metro areas without worry

11. Omarc07

Posts: 588; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

I have Verizon and I never travel out of Los Angeles only time I do travel is when i go to México and Puerto Rico which Verizon roams on both. In Mexico Verizon is just like TMobile they both roam on telcel Mexico in PR , TMobile deff wins . Verizon on PR roams on claro PR . TMOBILE HAS native coverage there .

9. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

The fact that the 1000$ IPhone X is only on the same level as the Galaxy S7 is pretty pathetic. It's a 1000$ phone VS a smartphone from 2016, which didn't even cost 1000$ at release back then.

10. two_soggy_waffles

Posts: 58; Member since: Aug 10, 2017

eHehHHeeEehe tHeY weRE goNNa sAY sHOotiNG

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless