The 5G being the big deal of the iPhone 12, and Apple having taken its time compared to other manufacturers, one would have expected that the new range of smartphones is at least at the level of the competition at the level 5G download speed. But according to the data collected by Opensignal, which publishes the network measurement app of the same name, this is not really the case.
It is even frankly disappointing for the iPhone 12, of which no model appears in the top 25 smartphones in terms of average 5G cellular download speed in the United States. Samsung takes a big part of the cake, its terminals (including the S21 range) occupying 60% of this ranking.
Surprise: three foldable devices are making their way (Motorola’s Razr, Galaxy Z Flip and Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold2). Rather a good omen for manufacturers and operators: despite their innovative design, they have no problem hooking up to a 5G network. Future foldable models should therefore not encounter any problem at this level. We also note that Google’s Pixel 5 is present. But no iPhone 12 …
The good news for the iPhone 12 and its users is the significant increase (x2.3) in the download speed between 4G and 5G on Apple smartphones. You will tell me, luckily it goes faster in 5G. But the gain is all the more important since since the iPhone XS, the manufacturer’s devices only integrate cellular chips from Intel, less efficient than their equivalents at Qualcomm.
Obviously, everything has changed with the iPhone 12 which works with a Qualcomm 5G modem, the X55, as part of a partnership that will continue (more or less) until 2023. But then, since all manufacturers use Qualcomm chips, how to explain the difference between the iPhone 12 and the competition?
Ian Fogg, who oversaw the study, explains that Samsung and others have greater expertise in antenna placement and design. The Galaxy S21 was the third generation of 5G smartphones at Samsung, while the iPhone 12 is, of course, the first generation at Apple.
Apple’s “disadvantage” in this area can also be seen in the average 4G and 5G download speeds for its smartphones, which are systematically lower than on devices from LG, Samsung, Google or OnePlus. On the other hand, and as was expected, the iPhone 12 also displays higher averages than previous generations of iPhone. Sometimes little: the iPhone 11 Pro Max, yet 4G, is not so far from the iPhone 12 …
Opensignal also gives a good reason to wait for future iPads which will be 5G compatible (they will necessarily be, eh m’sieur Apple): we must expect a serious gain in the speed of downloading on the 5G network.
Downloading on the iPhone 12 Pro is on average 36% faster than on the iPad Pro, which is logical (they are content with 4G). CQFD: with the integration of a 5G chip in future tablets, users will therefore automatically benefit from better cellular download performance, as long as there is a compatible network nearby.