Opensignal has published findings regarding which smartphone maker has the best download speeds and the findings are incredibly interesting.

The research firm opted to look at the three largest brands internationally based on shipment volume. That means that the three brands being compared are Apple, Samsung and Huawei.

“Instead of relying on the technology claims of smartphone makers, component suppliers or mobile operators, Opensignal has for the first time quantified the experience of users with different kinds of smartphones in 73 countries globally. This analysis highlights the degree to which high-end smartphone users experience a faster mobile connection than those users with mid-range or low-tier smartphone model,” wrote vice president of analysis at Opensignal, Ian Fogg.

Overall Samsung users experience the fastest download speeds in 35 percent of 40 countries that Opensignal looked at. Apple users were on faster in 17.5 percent of countries while Huawei was fastest in none though it did tie for first with Apple in 17.5 percent of countries.

In countries such as Australia, Samsung users experience download speeds of 8Mbps faster than the next fastest smartphone. In Norway that average climbs to 12Mbps.

But looking at handsets from each brand as a whole doesn’t tell us the entire story.

Opensignal categorised each model of smartphone from a brand according to its LTE capabilities.

High-tier devices support LTE Category 16 and above, mid-tier device support LTE Category 5 – 15 and low-tier devices support LTE Category 4 and below.

Examples of a device from each tier follows below:

  • High-tier: iPhone Xs, Huawei P30, Samsung Galaxy S10
  • Mid-tier: iPhone XR, Samsung A80, Huawei Y6
  • Low-tier: iPhone 6, Samsung A2 Core, Huawei Nova 2

Generally speaking, the more expensive a smartphone the more tech it has crammed into it. In developed countries where mobile broadband is plentiful and fast, these devices are able to shine but in South Africa for example, aging infrastructure might be a hurdled for high-tier smartphones.

Looking at which brand is best in the aforementioned tiers, Samsung’s edge begins to fade.

As regards mid-tier devices, Opensignal notes an average download speed of 14.4Mbps for Samsung, 16.3Mbps for Huawei and 16.5Mbps for Apple.

As for low-tier, Samsung only manages an average of 9.7Mbps while Apple boasts 8.9Mbps and Huawei takes the cake with 12.1Mbps.

So a low-tier smartphone is the best value for money then? Not exactly.

Opensignal found that even if a country’s mobile broadband isn’t the fastest in the world, the overall speed experienced in high-tier devices is far faster than that of mid and low-tier devices.

Looking at South Africa, high-tier devices average download speeds of 27.2Mbps while mid-tier devices only clock in at 18.3Mbps and low-tier at 13Mbps.

High-tier devices then are twice as fast as their low-tier counterparts but there is a significant price difference to consider as well.

The best device maker in terms of raw download speed then is Samsung with Apple and Huawei vying for second place. That having been said, Huawei is a better option when looking at pricing. While fears that users would lose access to Google services did cause confusion and fear in the market that situation appears to have been resolved, for now.

To sum up, if you have a lot of money to spend and download speeds matter to you, get a Samsung, if you’re looking to save money and enjoy fast download speeds, get a Huawei.

For everything else, there’s Apple.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]