One of the most undervalued facts of 4G is that E in 4G LTE stands for evolution. Not all 4G devices are the same, though if you compare the network speed on these devices, you will find a surprising fact. Huawei phones are among the slowest available stateside compared to the other LTE enabled devices, with iPhones are underperforming despite of their huge price tag. Network performance depends heavily on the capabilities and and prioritization of the network, though older smartphones and budget-oriented models are less likely to feature Cat16, or gigabit-class, LTE.
According to the Opensignal's Mobile Network Experience report, published Monday OnePlus phones allows you to experience the fastest LTE speeds on US mobile networks among the gigabit-class smartphones. The average speed of OnePlus phones was 35.7 Mbps, while Samsung placed second at 33.9 Mbps, followed by LG in third, at 33.1 Mbps. Razer, Sony, and Google phones averaged around 31 Mbps, while Apple was in seventh at 25.4 Mbps, among models capable of LTE Cat16. Huawei was last, in eleventh, at 22.4 Mbps.
For mid-range smartphones - defined by Opensignal as LTE Cat5 (300 Mbps) to LTE Cat15 (750 Mbps)-the winner was HTC at 31.8 Mbps, with Google in second at 29.1 Mbps, and Samsung in third at 27.5 Mbps. Apple ranked twelfth, at 19.5 Mbps. Huawei followed at 18.5 Mbps. For low-tier smartphones-LTE Cat4 (150 Mbps) or lower-Apple was dead last in 15th, at 12.0 Mbps.
Apple's long-lived support for iPhone models is likely working against them in these statistics, as 2013's iPhone 5S-still supported in iOS 12-enables users to hold on to their phones for far longer than is practicable with Android. Using an iPhone 5S in 2019 is not likely to be the most pleasant experience, granted, though it should still be head and shoulders above using any of the Android phones on ZDNet's Top 10 smartphones of 2013. Huawei's underperformance isn't necessarily related to their hardware. It is most likely because these phones are not sold by any major US carrier so there is less incentive for vendors and US carriers to optimize their network to support Huawei smartphones.
Xiaomi owns one the cheapest 5G phone yet in the Redmi 10x series, starting just from $224 in China. But the company is already looking ahead for future projects in terms of connectivity technology. Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun told the news agency Xihuan News that they have already started to invest in the preliminary research on 6G technology. The executive didn't reveal much detail about the research plans, but probably, they'd be joining the likes of Huawei and Samsung in confirming work on 6G.
It looks like the Chinese company isn't stopping at mobile technologies, as Jun says Xiamoi is already started to conduct research on satellite internet and how they can integrate it in smartphones. Satellite internet is a key technology that can make internet accessible for people living in rural areas, where traditional mobile networks and fixed-line infrastructure failed to fulfill the desired range. Xiaomi offers several internet-based series in China, so increased internet penetration via satellite internet should ultimately benefit the company.
The executive also apparently stated that Xiamoi has cleared its 4G smartphones in China to make way for 5G technology. It is unclear that if this means Xiaomi is solely offering 5G phones in China, as the company just released the Redmi 10x 4G alongside the 5G series. And chipset manufacturers haven't revealed truly low-end 5G processors just yet, which means Xiaomi could likely still release 4G phones in the sub-$150 tier in China. Nevertheless, the firm's focus on 5G phones makes sense at home, as all the major networks in the country have switched to the new connectivity standard. But with the likes of India and several other markets yet to switch to 5G, 4G devices are still clearly important for the brand outside China.