Samsung crushes Apple and Huawei in global download speeds, new study finds

Samsung crushes Apple and Huawei in global download speeds, new study finds
OpenSignal is a mobile analytics company primarily known for its detailed examinations of global cellular networks, periodically pitting carriers and countries against one another to find out where you can get the highest speeds, lowest latency, and widest 4G LTE availability.

For the first time, a report compiled after conducting a mind-blowing 117 billion measurements on more than 23 million smartphones around the world between April 1 and June 30 is evaluating the general mobile network experience based on handset brands rather than countries or specific wireless service providers. In other words, OpenSignal is looking at the different speeds achieved by devices from the top three vendors, concluding one thing that might take many of you by surprise.

Samsung tops the chart in 14 out of 40 markets


That may not sound like a very crushing domination, but Samsung's 14 individual wins easily trump Apple's 7 crowns, while the other 19 countries have two or three companies tied in a "statistical dead heat" in first place. That leaves Huawei without a single outright trophy, which is pretty disappointing for a brand that grew so quickly and expanded so impressively in recent years across Asia and Europe.


Samsung's most notable (and perhaps surprising) victory comes from the US, where average speeds of Galaxy devices are apparently ahead of iPhones' capabilities by a significant 8.2 Mbps. That's not a theoretical gap, mind you, as the survey explores the real mobile network experience of actual users rather than the cold numbers listed on the spec sheets of these products. Of course, speed tests are not always representative of real-life web browsing or streaming use cases, but OpenSignal's complex methodology and large sample size make this report highly reliable.

The main takeaway here is that if you live in the US, Australia, Chile, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Spain, or Sweden, you're more likely to download stuff faster on a Samsung device than iPhones. Meanwhile, Apple has the edge in Brazil, Costa Rica, Kuwait, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates.

Most iPhones in circulation are categorized as "mid-tier" products


You probably wouldn't guess that by looking at the recommended price point of the iPhone XR, but the XS and XS Max are Apple's only handsets included in the high-tier division for the purposes of this analysis. That's because they fully support LTE Category 16 technology, unlike the XR, which packs a slightly humbler LTE Category 12 modem.

As OpenSignal points out, Apple has focused largely on upgrades and innovations in facial recognition, camera, battery life, and processing departments in recent years, paying far less attention to improvements in mobile network capabilities. Essentially, high-end Samsung and Huawei phones come with theoretically faster LTE components, which naturally translates into superior real-world experiences.


What's definitely worth highlighting is that country averages are based on speeds achieved by devices from all three tiers, which makes Samsung's advantage over Apple in places like the US that much more impressive. Looking only at high-tier handsets like the Galaxy S10, Note 9, S9, iPhone XS, XS Max, Huawei P30 Pro, and P20 Pro, Apple is 1.5 Mbps behind Samsung globally, closely followed by Huawei.

Interestingly, Samsung is ranked third overall in the mid-tier segment, behind both Apple and Huawei, the latter of which easily wins the low-tier battle, with an advantage of 2.4 Mbps over second-placed Samsung. Bottom line, if download speeds are the only thing you care about, you should probably buy a Huawei if you're on a tight budget, an iPhone XR if you can afford it, or a Galaxy flagship if money is no object. Then again, the Galaxy S10 is often more affordable than the iPhone XR, so Apple definitely needs to upgrade the cellular technology of the next LCD screen-sporting model.

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37 Comments

1. ShadowSnypa786

Posts: 554; Member since: Jan 06, 2017

You get what you pay for, the most complete phones on the planet followed by Huawei.

2. blingblingthing

Posts: 945; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

You always read about the A12 being a beast, but what about the RAM and modem? As usual, Apple product don't stack up when compared.

3. User123456789

Posts: 818; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Of course, better modem ... Even better if you have snapdragon version.

4. lyndon420

Posts: 6736; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

I'm guessing Qualcomm's modems out performed the rest...??

5. iloveapps

Posts: 855; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

But why do Samsung galaxies experiencing connection problem?

6. cmdacos

Posts: 4100; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Must be hotspotting off of iphones

8. Alcyone

Posts: 309; Member since: May 10, 2018

No issues on any of my 3 galaxies. Depends where you live and what tower tech is deployed. I don't live in the boonies and even when I'm in them, no issue.

9. VasiliS7

Posts: 200; Member since: Jan 10, 2017

because they have less SAR.

22. oldskool50

Posts: 1323; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

That's a lie. That's Apple problem and you know it. EVERY iPhone has had connection problems with Bluetooth, cellular and WIFI. Something you can easily google. The latest iPhone XS and XS Max, is using a modem that wasn't even ready for prime time, and it has had issues on every carrier in every country it's sold. Samsung has not had this issue. YOU ARE A LIAR. And I'm not saying no one with a Samsung has ever not had connection problems. I'm saying this has been a consistent problem with Apple. Again, I'm trying to understand, how you can point fingers at Samsung for a problem we know for a fact Apple has had and still to this day can't fix.

7. cmdacos

Posts: 4100; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Qualcomm, that is all...

10. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

My Note 9 crushes my Max, I know that. My Max has an Intel modem, my Note 9 has a Qualcomm...nuff said.

12. Leo_MC

Posts: 7203; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Ditch CDMA for a real network and your Max will perform just as well.

13. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

AT&T is GSM Mr. Rebuttal.

18. Leo_MC

Posts: 7203; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Than you were lying about having connectivity problems (or you keep using a faulty iPhone), dumb ass.

20. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Nahhh, like cmdacos said, you just got faceplamed fool.

23. Leo_MC

Posts: 7203; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I can't "get facepalmed"; that's called "hit in the face". BTW, don't you feel stupid when everybody else's Max performs perfect while yours gets crushed?

30. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Not only did you get facepalmed, you’re also mad bro. All Max’s get crushed by Notes, that’s obvious. Facepalmed again lmao.

32. Leo_MC

Posts: 7203; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

When I was little, I lived next to a family of mentally challenged people that only they were enjoying their stupid games; that's exactly what I see here with you and your minions that enjoy the same twisted logic. Dude, in order to GET facepalmed, someone else has to put his palm on my face and that's called "face hitting"!

37. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Yeah, you mad bro.

27. oldskool50

Posts: 1323; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

Based on the facts, the iPhone Xs and XS max all have Intel's faulty modem in them. You already know this because PA posted the article If you're having iPhone XS connectivity issues, there might be an easy ...https://bgr.com/2018/09/26/iphone-xs-max-issues-how-to-fix-wifi-cellular-reception/ Intel's LTE Modems in iPhone XS/XS Max Unable to Match Qualcomm ...https://www.iphoneincanada.ca/news/intel-modems-iphone-xs-slower-than-qualcomm/ iPhone XS and XS Max Users Are Reporting LTE Connectivity Problemshttps://www.inverse.com › Innovation › Apple Intel's LTE Modems in iPhone XS/XS Max Unable to Match Qualcomm ...https://www.iphoneincanada.ca/news/intel-modems-iphone-xs-slower-than-qualcomm/ iPhone XS MAX randomly loses service and reconnects - tmobile - Reddithttps://www.reddit.com/r/tmobile/.../iphone_xs_max_randomly_loses_service_and/ That's just some. Google search results - iPhone XS and XS Max modem issues About 4,930,000 results (0.62 seconds) So why is Dark lying according to you? EVERY iPhone latest model has a modem problem Apple cannot fix, because they knowing bought a modem from Intel, knowing it didn't work because they were tryign to screw over Qualcomm and they ended up screwing themselves. I know you saw the artilces on PA too because you commented on them. The modem issue can't be fixed bruh, because its a hardware issue. Intel told Apple the 4G modem has issues and was not ready and Apple used it anyways. PA posted that information here. And they wreen't gonna be ready with a 5G modem either. Which is why Apple was tryign to get a 5G modem via Samsung, but Samsung says they wouldn't be able to fill the order. In my own opinion, I simply believe Smasung could have done it, but chose to screw Apple because of what Apple has done to Samsung many times and Samsung basiclaly got some payback. Apple was forced to go crying and begging back to Qualcomm just like they've done with Samsung in the past. And of course none are gonna say no, because even though they both hate Apple, money is still money; and business is business and you always have to put business first.

31. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

He knows that, he’s just to stupid and stubborn to admit it. Apple used crappy modems, and they’re now happily going back to Qualcomm. Mr. Rebuttal just loves to baselessly rebut.

33. Leo_MC

Posts: 7203; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Because the problems were almost exclusively on CDMA networks; CDMA networks - like Sprint - ADMITTED their own fault for XS connectivity's problems; the same CDMA networks had connectivity problems with... Samsung phones (that used QC modems). And now there are billion of test that show than, on average, QC modems are not even 5% faster than Intel modems. That's gotta hurt your dumb logic. And to show you how stupid your line of thought is: "Samsung basiclaly got some payback" "business is business and you always have to put business first"

38. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

You mad bro?

14. cmdacos

Posts: 4100; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

:facepalm:

24. oldskool50

Posts: 1323; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

What? Did you not read the last article on PA, Verzion CDMA network is faster than every carrier in the USA. CDMA is actually more reliable than GSM. It also has better range too. This is a proven fact. But it does matter what version of CDMA you have. China uses an older version of CDMA, called CDMA2000, which is slower than what Verizon uses.https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/cdma-vs-gsm-differences-explained/ According to this article, GSM offers no real benefit over CDMA other than GSM phones can be unlocked to work on any GSM carrier while in the past CDMA phones will only work on their carriers. The benefit of CDMA is, they can have more users on their network before the network os bogged down with traffic. This is why even though VZW has more subscribers than ATT, on average Verizon has faster upload and downloads vs an US GSM carrier. You tend to argue the most lamest stuff and you continue to always be wrong. Go read the facts bruh. GSM is not better than CDMA. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, but the main strength of CDMA is it a more secure network over GSM and it retains better speeds even with more users. Now that most carriers are using VoLTE (Voice over LTE) which means you make calls over the data path and not the cellular path, you are simply arguing semantics. But as per usual you are wrong. I have a question for you, when you come here; do you actually read the articles? or do you just read the title and skip to the comment section. PA posted this article just literally 3 weeks ago -https://www.phonearena.com/news/Verizon-Best-Performing-Network-H1-2019-rootmetrics_id117511 In this article, it clearly states Verizon is better than every other network in the US. In fact Verizon has been consistently rated better than anyone in the US since they dropped their EVO network for 4G LTE. I'm trying to understand how you and so many others "act" like you can read, and show that you actually don't when you consistently make claims where on this site they have posted articles that total show you are completely and utterly wrong!!!!!!!!

34. Leo_MC

Posts: 7203; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

CDMA - as "great" as you say it is - will die in the next years. It's good that Verizon has 4G, because the 3G (it still has it, you know) is abysmal; it was great in the early 2000, but now it's more than 10 times slower than UMTS, plus it needs to have a special technology enabled to be able to transfer both voice and data. But you don't care about 3G, because you have 4G; well, T-Mobile kicks Verizon's ass in 4G anytime (and ATT in 5G). And let's not forget the "quality"of another CDMA US based network: Sprint. Leaving the US, it's hard to find another CDMA carrier so good luck roaming with your "cool" CDMA phone (no, even though they use the same frequencies and LTE, the 2 don't communicate with each other), which means VoLTE is useless without the LTE; I know, you have options, but they are based on GSM, not CDMA. What you have written is so stupid, it makes me lol so hard, I might need to take a 2nd s**t today.

25. oldskool50

Posts: 1323; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

https://www.phonearena.com/news/Verizon-Best-Performing-Network-H1-2019-rootmetrics_id117511 Quote: A mobile network performance subsidiary of IHS, one of the largest research firms globally, RootMetrics has given us a sneak peek of its verdict on Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint's speed and reliability report for the first half of the year that will be out later this summer, and so far it's a win for Verizon, 12th time in a row. Here's Verizon's summary of the key findings in the RootMetrics test report: Nationally, Verizon’s network reliability RootScore was 96.4%, tops in the industry We swept all 6 categories tested during the first half of 2018, now have won RootMetrics' overall network performance for 12 consecutive time "Verizon continues state-level dominance, earning far more awards than any other carrier," according to the report. Verizon won or shared 263 State RootScore Awards out of a possible 300. This is the second straight test period Verizon has earned 263 State RootScore Awards, more than twice as many as the number 2 performer (AT&T), 7 times more than the third ranked carrier (T-Mobile) and includes 23 more outright awards than in the second half of 2018 In its metro area report measuring performance across 125 of the most populated cities around the country, Verizon earned 672 RootScore awards, the most by any carrier since testing by RootMetrics began Verizon was unbeaten for overall performance in 120 of the 125 markets tested, or 96% of the time, higher than results in the second half of 2018 T-Mobile slipped to last place in reliability nationally and at the state level Verizon’s network performed best in 45 of 50 states...T-Mobile and Sprint did not have the best performance in any states MAYBE YOU SHOULD FOLLOW YOUR ADVICE. GET ON A REAL NETWORK. In fact Verizon has been rated consistently better after they dropped their EVO network and moving to 4G LTE. I just don't understand how you come here everyday and "act' liek you read these articles, and then post a comment that is totally contrary to the facts. Can you even read? Because if you can, you can simply Google the facts and he facts show Verizon with it's CDMA network has been the most reliable and fastest network in the US, since dropping there EVO network and upgrading to 4G LTE. This has basically been a fact since the release of the iPhone 4, which is the first iPhone Verizon started to sell. You are completely clueless bruh. You are not a tech fan. You are simply here to troll. I can count how many times you have every made a factual statement. You are tech clueless bruh. Why are you even here?! Yes I am putting you on blast because you consistently show you have no idea what you are talking about. EVER! You all all the other Apple fanatics who don't read any facts and are only here to stir up confusing an flame-wars.

26. oldskool50

Posts: 1323; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

"A mobile network performance subsidiary of IHS, one of the largest research firms globally, RootMetrics has given us a sneak peek of its verdict on Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint's speed and reliability report for the first half of the year that will be out later this summer, and so far it's a win for Verizon, 12th time in a row." 12TH TIME IN A ROW. That means its been the fastest most reliable network since 2007. Maybe you should be switching networks. But before you do, I suggest you actually read article and stop reading titles and skipping to the comment section. Because when you speak of things you obviously have no idea what you are talking about, it makes you look stupid...then you get labelled a troll because you never speak facts. You have from time to time surprised me and said things I can 100% agree with, but they are as rare as shooting stars. Stop trolling dude. trolling is stupid. It's completely pointless.

11. Leo_MC

Posts: 7203; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

As far as I can see, I was right all along: there's hardly any difference between Intel and Qualcomm modems except where the carriers have deployed CDMA networks (CDMA being a technology that belongs to Qualcomm). If we eliminate the spikes (which are always irrelevant in statistics), there's hardly any difference between the 2, maybe 1-2-4 Mbps for Samsung; calculating an average on average, we're talking about a ~5% average (and that's a certainty, because of the higher numbers for Samsung). So, I get on average 200 Mbps with my XR; a S phone would get me 210 Mbps; do you think that I care?

15. cmdacos

Posts: 4100; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Which UK carriers are CDMA to cause the gap in that region?

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