Just as different smartphones offer a variety of camera qualities or screen sizes, they also differ in the network communication features which enable faster download speeds and smoother video streaming. Opensignal, the mobile analytics company, has for the first time quantified the experience of users with different kinds of smartphones globally.
Analysing the three largest smartphone makers by shipment volume – Apple, Huawei and Samsung – the report highlights the degree to which high-end smartphone users experience a faster mobile connection than those users with mid-range or low-tier smartphone models.
Samsung users experienced faster download speeds than Apple and Huawei users in 35% of countries, across 40 countries analyzed.
Among the three largest smartphone makers, Apple users were faster in 17.5% of countries. And in the remaining 48%, none of the three were fastest although Huawei users were joint-fastest in seven countries.
In the U.S., Samsung users experienced download speeds 8.2 Mbps faster than iPhone users.
However, the country with the greatest advantage for Samsung users was Norway, where Samsung users were 12 Mbps faster than Huawei users, and 14 Mbps faster than Apple iPhone users.
Apple users had the biggest edge over Samsung and Huawei users in U.A.E. and Taiwan.
In those countries, the download speeds iPhone users experienced were 14.7 Mbps and 8 Mbps faster than Samsung users’ speeds.
All smartphones are not created equal; they vary in network capability as well as cameras and displays.
To analyze the differences, Opensignal split smartphone users into three groups — low, mid and high-tier — based on a smartphone’s mobile network capabilities. Because high-tier models include more network technologies, they are more sensitive to mobile network improvements and are, in effect, a leading indicator of what the mobile network experience will be in the future.
Smartphone type affects the multiplayer mobile gaming experience too.
High-tier smartphone users experienced latencies 18% — or 11.1 ms — faster than low- tier smartphone users, and 14% faster even than mid-tier smartphone users. Lower latencies help to speed gamers’ reaction times.
The high-tier smartphone download experience ranges from 70.4 Mbps in South Korea to 6.6 Mbps in Iraq, comparing all smartphone brands across 73 countries.
Users in Canada and Singapore ranked just behind South Korean users with speeds of 67.1 Mbps and 65.4 Mbps, in second and third place respectively.
Download speeds of high-tier smartphones were at least twice as fast as those of low-tier users in 25 countries.
Notably, in Thailand speeds measured on high- tier smartphones were 4.3 times as fast as those measured on low-tier smartphones; in Canada and the U.A.E, 2.9 times; and in Australia, Singapore and Switzerland, 2.6, 2.5 and 2.5 times respectively.
Each of the three largest smartphone brands’ users were the fastest of the three in one tier.
High-tier Samsung users experienced faster speeds than Apple and Huawei users with global download speeds of 26.6 Mbps, 25.1 Mbps and 24.4 Mbps respectively. However, among the mid-tier category, Apple users experienced the fastest speeds of the three largest smartphone brands, while Huawei users were fastest among low-tier users.
Read the full report here.