Samsung Reveals Galaxy Note 9 S Pen Secrets, Opens It To Devs

Kelley Robertson
October 4, 2018

In the first lap, the iPhone XS Max took 1 minute 49 seconds, while the Galaxy Note 9 was significantly slower at 2 minutes and 11 seconds. While Apple has since been relying on Intel modems for the iPhone devices - the iPhone XS and XS Max comes equipped with the Intel XMM 7560 LTE modem - the Android flagships such as the Note 9 or Pixel 2 comes with Qualcomm LTE modems that has a history of being faster than its Intel counterparts.

In usual waist height and head height drop tests, both the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max survived without any problem.

The phones were tested on a hardware level by Cellular Insights as well as how good they performed in real-world LTE tests, which were conducted in the U.S. and Canada in the first week of September 24, 2018.

PCMag also looked at real-world speed data from Ookla Speedtest (disclosure: ExtremeTech's parent company Ziff Davis also owns Ookla).

For testing, Cellular Insights created a 20MHz channel of Band 4 with Rohde & Schwartz equipment that supports 4×4 MIMO configurations.


Between the three 4x4 MIMO phones, you can see that in good signal conditions, the Qualcomm-powered Galaxy Note 9 and Google Pixel 2 still do a bit better than the iPhone XS Max.

The performance of Intel's latest Intel modem is more important than usual because that's all Apple is using now.

The iPhone XS shows, on average, 6.6Mbps faster download speeds on all U.S. carriers than the iPhone X, according to Speedtest Intelligence. The iPhone X was also used as a reference, and the tests indicate that Apple's next-generation iPhones are superior than the last-generation models as far as cellular connectivity is concerned. It helps explain why the iPhone XS on AT&T and T-Mobile witnessed bigger improvements. Apple has improved performance and stability, even on older devices, with the iOS 12.

All that said, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 with its Qualcomm X20 modem still performs a little better than the iPhone XS in the USA and Canada.

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