Editorials

Opensignal: Different Smartphones Can Affect One’s Mobile Network Experience

Samsung users generally have better download speeds compared to Apple and Huawei users

While there are many reports indicating that the quality of our internet connection depends on the services offered by telco providers, Opensignal’s latest report explores a different factor: this time focusing on the smartphones used by consumers.

In its report, Opensignal explains that not all smartphones are created equal—aside from camera and display performance, smartphones also differ with their network capabilities. These network capabilities can range from being able to support the over 40 different LTE bands available worldwide, support for features such as carrier aggregation (being able to connect to more than one radio band at once), to the use of tech like multiple simultaneous antennas (like 2×2 or 4×4 MiMO).

Comparing data speeds from the top 3 phone brands—Samsung, Apple, and Huawei—Samsung users generally experience better download speeds compared to Apple and Huawei users.

It is different in the Philippines, however: while the difference is very small, Apple users have a small edge in experiencing better speeds compared to Samsung and Huawei users.

Smartphone brands aside, those using flagship phones (ie. iPhone XS Max, Galaxy S10+, P30 Pro) experience better download speeds even in countries where internet performance is not stellar. In the Philippines, those using high-tier phones (phones with LTE Cat. 16 and above) experience more than double the download speeds compared to people using low-tier phones (phones with LTE Cat. 4 and below) and almost double compared to mid-tier phones (phones with LTE Cat. 5 to 15).

Aside from better download speeds, people using higher-tier phones also lower latencies when it comes to multiplayer games like PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends.

The key takeaway in Opensignal’s new report? In determining overall internet experience, there’s a need to factor in the devices consumers are using. In a country like the Philippines where most consumers would often buy a low-to-mid-tier smartphone, not everyone gets to enjoy the full internet experience provided by technology normally found in high-tier smartphones.

You can check out the full report here.

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