New 5G speed tests pit Apple's iPhone 13 against Samsung's Galaxy S21 series (and more)

1comment
New 5G speed tests pit Apple's iPhone 13 against Samsung's Galaxy S21 series (and more)
You've seen the likes of RootMetrics, Opensignal, and Ookla compare and contrast the top wireless service providers stateside from both a 4G LTE and 5G network perspective countless times in the past, which makes it far more interesting to check out the latest comprehensive report published by the latter mobile intelligence firm.

This focuses on the devices most likely to deliver the highest download speeds right now across markets as diverse as Australia, Bahrain, Canada, China, France, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and of course, United States rather than the fastest carriers in those respective countries or around the world.

Nine countries, one winner


Unsurprisingly, the 5G-enabled phones assessed by Ookla during Q3 2021 managed to absolutely crush their 4G LTE-only counterparts and forerunners in every single major region, although the numbers and differences greatly varied from nation to nation.

What remained relatively steady pretty much across the board was a significant speed advantage for Apple's hot new iPhone 13 over the most popular Android handsets with 5G support. We're talking, for instance, about a gap of more than 25 Mbps in median download speeds registered in the US between this fall's 6.1-inch Apple A15 Bionic powerhouse and the early 2021-released Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G.


The S21 Ultra happened to lead the Android speed chart in Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, the UAE, and the UK as well in addition to the US, and in all the regions where the iPhone 13 was released early enough to make a Q3 impact, Apple's flagship handily defeated its arch-rival by margins of anywhere between 42 and 200 (!!!) Mbps.


Perhaps more worryingly for Samsung, last year's iPhone 12 edged out the Galaxy S21 Ultra in South Africa while coming dangerously close to doing the same in Bahrain and South Korea too, where the iPhone 13 was not available in large enough numbers by the end of September to be measured by Ookla.

Somewhat bizarrely, the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max were left out of this research paper entirely, and judging by the differences between the "regular" Galaxy S21 and the Ultra variant, Apple's speed scores could have probably been even higher on those ultra-high-end Pro models.

Apple and Samsung are not unbeatable


Interestingly, Samsung's hero devices were surpassed by the Xiaomi Mi 11 5G in France, and in fairly predictable fashion, Huawei and Sony topped the Android ranks of their respective homelands of China and Japan.

The Huawei Mate 40 Pro 5G even pulled off the remarkable feat of beating Apple's iPhone 13 (by a whisker) in the world's largest smartphone market, while the Sony Xperia 1 II 5G virtually matched the iOS-powered speed champion.


All in all, it sure looks like the iPhone 13 (series) is the safest Christmas bet out there for mobile speed junkies, although the real-life results you'll be able to squeeze from, well, any handset will obviously differ from country to country, operator to operator, city to city, and even street to street.


Meanwhile, it has to be said that the US 5G download figures on the whole are just as unimpressive as always, considerably falling short of what users in Australia, Bahrain, Canada, China, France, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom can experience on a daily basis on both the newest iPhones and best-selling Android devices. 

That's right, the US can only rival South Africa in terms of median download speeds today, and even that contest seems pretty evenly matched.

Recommended Stories

Loading Comments...
FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless