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T-Mobile and Samsung are the champions of Ookla's newest 5G speed tests

T-Mobile and Samsung are the champions of Ookla's newest 5G speed tests
While you may have grown used to seeing each new US 5G market report differ greatly from the previous one in their overall findings and ranking of the best wireless service providers, Ookla's latest speed tests just so happen to yield similar conclusions to Opensignal last week.

The key difference between the two companies is that smartphone vendors and smartphone models are analyzed today in addition to mobile network operators (and fixed broadband providers), with some pretty interesting numbers and hierarchies put together at the end of the year's third quarter likely to stir controversy among the hardcore fans of certain brands.

T-Mobile is by far the nation's fastest carrier

Starting from the beginning, we obviously can't say we're shocked to see the "Un-carrier" handily beat Verizon and AT&T in yet another nationwide speed battle. Impressively enough, we're not just talking about 5G speeds... or 5G availability... or overall network consistency. 

Thanks to an industry-leading treasure trove of mid-band spectrum, as well as a bunch of other factors at play before and especially after its Sprint merger completion, T-Mobile simply has the best wireless network stateside, holding a comfortable advantage over the competition in combined 4G LTE/5G speed, consistency, 5G performance, and 5G availability.

Magenta is also tied and "statistically tied" with Big Red at the top of the overall latency and 5G consistency charts respectively, which leaves Ma Bell with a grand total of zero titles after not one but two different market reports looking at recent performance measurements carried out across the country.

Speaking of, it's definitely worth pointing out that T-Mobile managed to take home 22 individual state awards and 51 of Ookla's speed prizes handed out for the 100 most populous cities in the US during Q3 2021, far surpassing the competition's tallies.

When combining the median mobile download scores of the nation's top three wireless carriers, the District of Columbia was found to lead the regional speed hierarchy, followed by New Jersey and Delaware, while Pittsburgh and Tampa eclipsed all of the other large cities surveyed between July and September.

In case you're wondering, T-Mo's median 5G speeds jumped from 99.84 to no less than 135.17 Mbps in just three months, absolutely crushing Verizon's stagnant and AT&T's declining numbers. Now that's an industry supremacy unlikely to be challenged anytime soon.

Samsung beats Apple, but the iPhone 13 Pro trumps the Z Fold 3

While the Galaxy S21 Ultra edged out the iPhone 12 Pro Max in Ookla's Q2 2021 research, both the iPhone 13 Pro Max and iPhone 13 Pro are now well ahead of the Galaxy Z Fold 3, which makes it a little odd to see Samsung surpass its arch-rival in the overall smartphone manufacturers' contest.

Of course, the latter analysis considers more than the two OEMs' latest high-end devices, and although the iPhone 12 Pro Max and 12 Pro have somehow managed to exceed the Galaxy S21 Ultra in the last three months, we suspect the 4G LTE-only iPhone 11 lineup and second-gen iPhone SE might be holding Apple's total score back.

After all, Samsung's "most popular devices in the US" just so happen to share their 5G support, from the aforementioned Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 ranging all the way down to the mid-end Galaxy A32 and A42.

Curiously enough, OnePlus, which stunned both Samsung and Apple to win the Q2 2021 speed trophy, is not featured in Ookla's Q3 report at all, and the same goes for Google, which ranked behind LG in fifth place during the previous quarter. It will obviously be very interesting to see if Big G can challenge the top dogs from a download speed standpoint in Q4 after the impending release of the Tensor-powered Pixel 6 and 6 Pro.

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Apple iPhone 13 Pro specs
  • Display 6.1 inches 2532 x 1170 pixels 120Hz Refresh rate
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  • Hardware Apple A15 Bionic 6GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
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Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max specs
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  • Camera 12 MP (Triple camera) 12 MP front
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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 specs
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  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 12GB RAM
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  • Battery 4400 mAh
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