Galaxy S9 Smokes iPhone X on 4G Speed Tests

Based on our benchmark showdown, the A11 Bionic chip in the iPhone X outmuscles the Snapdragon 845 processor in the Galaxy S9 when it comes to sheer horsepower, but there’s a speed test that’s arguably the most important where Samsung’s flagship is way ahead of Apple’s.

Credit: Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

That would be 4G LTE performance, which determines everything from how fast web pages and apps download to how quickly you can share photos and videos.

Galaxy S9 vs iPhone X: 4G LTE Performance Compared

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Galaxy S9+ (T-Mobile)
iPhone X (T-Mobile)
Average Download Speed71.6 Mbps
48.8 Mbps
Average Upload Speed10.1 Mbps
7.7 Mbps
Video Download Time18.8 seconds
35.9 seconds
Photo Upload Time20.7 seconds
44.4 seconds

The Galaxy S9 is equipped with a Qualcomm X20 Category 18 downlink LTE modem that supports peak download speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps. The iPhone X we tested, which has a Qualcomm X16 modem, is a Category 16 downlink modem that supports up to 1 Gbps speeds.

For our testing, we used a T-Mobile SIM card and tested in the same location in New Jersey. We used the app to gauge throughput, which measures both download and upload rates.

The Galaxy S9+ averaged a very impressive 71.6 megabits per second over 5 runs, compared to 48.8 Mbps for the iPhone X. That’s a difference of 46 percent.

The upload speed delta between the two phones was not as dramatic. The Galaxy S9+ averaged 10.1 Mbps, versus 7.7 Mbps for the iPhone X.

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For a real-world test, I downloaded the same The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey movie trailer from Google Drive on both phone. The Galaxy S9+ took 18.8 seconds and the iPhone X 35.9 seconds.

Lastly, I uploaded three photos totaling 8.1 MB to Dropbox from both the Samsung and Apple phones. The Galaxy S9+ took 20.7 seconds, while the iPhone X took twice as long at 44.4 seconds.

Overall, the Galaxy S9+ is a 4G speed demon, so be sure to keep its faster LTE in mind before you decide between it and the iPhone X.

Credit: Tom's Guide

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.

  • oclprk8699
    I have to wonder how this even sort of matters in a day where most people have a somewhat limited data connection. No one is fully utilizing that connection regardless. Not to mention both of those speeds are likely faster than home internet in most of america. I'm not sure this means much of anything.
  • shawndugout13
    Long story short to simplify the article. One device on a certain chip performs better in real time use than the other. Considering there are many videos and data showing the same results on the Note 8 vs iphonex, this is old news to many of us
  • joao.rossa
    When the apple products gets bad review it doesnt mean anything....typical....
  • mig6220
    Last year's version beat the X, why wouldn't the newest version? That was even provedright here at Tom's Guide.,news-26128.html
    It's Samsung's gigabit lte compatibility. The radios improve download speeds even before 5g is really out. It'll even improve speeds of phones around it - even ones without gigabit radios.
  • Stallion
    I just ran the same test with iPhoneX on ATT in NJ and I got 84 Mbps down and 21 Mbps up. Its a silly test and it depends on so many factors. Rewrite this article after you've tested this on every carrier and compared the connection strength for each.