LTE speed tests show the iPhone XS dominates the iPhone X

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As a refresher the S Pen for the Galaxy Note 9 uses Bluetooth Low-Energy so the stylus can be used as a remote control for presentations and operating the camera.

Apple ditched Qualcomm LTE modems in favor of Intel's next-gen XMM7560 modems for this year's iPhone XS and XS Max.

In usual waist height and head height drop tests, both the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max survived without any problem. However, in a lab comparison of hardware capabilities, PC Magazine had Cellular Insights measure the iPhone XS and competing devices using advanced Rohde & Schwarz measurement equipment, and then factored in real-world results from Ookla's Speedtest database for the week of September 24, 2018.

Speed test specialist Ookla conducted real-world tests to assess the cellular speed of the iPhone XS. The hardware tests were done using the Rohde & Schwarz measurement equipment.

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As for the tests itself, Cellular Insights revealed those have been done based on the 20MHz channel of Band 4.

Overall, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max performed almost on par with the Galaxy Note 9 and Pixel 2. When it comes to very weak signals or levels below -120dBm, iPhone XS is comparable to the Qualcomm phones, though a lot better than the original iPhone X.

The performance of Intel's latest Intel modem is more important than usual because that's all Apple is using now. The iPhone XS showed an average of 6.6Mbps faster downloads on all U.S. carriers compared with the iPhone X. In Canada, that difference is a whopping 20.2Mbps. The Google Pixel 3 is coming out soon, but it isn't out yet, and we didn't have a Qualcomm-powered model of the iPhone X running iOS 12 to compare.

Here in the US, AT&T shows the biggest improvement from the X to the XS, with speeds jumping 8Mbps. This should not be surprising since the Note 9 comes with twice the amount of RAM as the iPhone XS Max here: 8GB vs 4GB. Anyone upgrading from the iPhone 7 would see an even larger 9.9Mbps increase in the USA and 31.6Mbps jump in Canada. While last year's iPhone X lagged behind competitors largely due to a lack of 4x4 MIMO antennas, this year's models incorporate the new antenna technology, which PC Magazine notes should "put them closer to par with other leading flagships".

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