Samsung sent out a press release today boasting that the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9+ are the fastest smartphones on the market today with download speeds that are up to 42 percent faster than its closest competitors. It has based this claim on data compiled by Ookla, a well-regarded data speed analysis company.
The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ were up against the iPhone X, the Google Pixel 2 and the Galaxy S7 in this test, the two-generation old handset being added to the list to see how data performance on Samsung’s own handsets has improved since they start touting gigabit LTE chips. The Galaxy S8 was actually the first handset on the market last year with a gigabit LTE chip and T-Mobile demonstrated that it could achieve download speeds of over 900Mbps in laboratory conditions.
Galaxy S9 LTE speed
Ookla conducted this study by analyzing Speedtest Intelligence data from 4G LTE networks of major carriers in the United States from February-April 2018. It also compiled the weighted averages in the interest of greater accuracy. Right off the bat, there’s nothing wrong with the way this test was conducted. The tests have yielded legitimate results, revealing that the new flagships are up to 42 percent faster than the competition when comparing mean download speeds weighted averages on nationwide carriers’ 4G LTE network results.
The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ feature a Cat. 18 LTE modem that can hit network speeds of up to 1.2Gbps. The test also found that different devices can get different download speeds on the same carrier. This revealed that the Galaxy S9 LTE speeds are 37 percent faster than the iPhone X, 17 percent faster than the Google Pixel 2 and 38 percent faster than the Galaxy S7.
The claim itself is accurate but only in a speed test environment. It’s not indicative of real-world performance just like device benchmarks are not the best indicator of how a smartphone will perform in real-world conditions.
Granted that the LTE model in the Galaxy S9 is faster than the competition but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to experience that 37 percent difference when you put your Galaxy S9 up against an iPhone X for something other than merely measuring download speeds.
LTE speeds will vary considerably on both devices based on a variety of factors including but not limited to the carrier they’re on, the congestion on the network, the coverage in that particular area, the server speed from where data is being downloaded, the type of file being downloaded, etc.
So the Galaxy S9 LTE speeds are certainly 42 percent faster than the iPhone X on paper but you, the user, may not be able to feel the full extent of that lead in the real world. The actual experience will vary significantly but nevertheless, this is a good point to have in your arsenal when you’re comparing specs with an iPhone X owner.