Internet - Vastly different speeds iphone12 vs Galaxy S6


KVD21 gateway, iphone 12, Galaxy Tab S6 lite

Using Ookla Speedtest I'm getting download speeds on iphone of 135, 143, 136, 128, 149 while at same time I'm getting Galaxy speeds of 34, 23, 34, 36, 30.  Upload speeds just slightly higher with iphone.  

Why is there such a big difference?  Which speed should I use to determine if I should keep T-mobile internet?  Have the Galaxy tablet, two 4K Vizio TVs, two iphones being used at same time.


Best answer by iTinkeralot 14 May 2022, 04:07

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4 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Looking at the speeds reported and the specs of the Galaxy Tab S6 I would say it is due to the fact that the tablet only has LTE and NOT 5G. The speeds with the iPhone, depending upon the radio could be due to 5G NR vs LTE. It just appears that the iPhone you have is 5G capable.

You can put your iPhone into Field Test Mode by dialing *3001#12345#* and you can see the cellular metrics and details about the cellular signals it receives.

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

The iPhone 12 with 5G would account for the big difference with the testing. I can only assume you ran your test with the Galaxy Tab with an LTE connection. The information from the iPhone 12 in Field Test Mode are helpful to identify how strong the cellular signals are, the quality of the signals, and the SNR and should also provide the PCI physical cell identifier that helps to locate the tower. With and the PCI values for the LTE and 5G you can probably locate the tower.

Userlevel 3
Badge +1

Well, if you want to know how well the T-mobile Home Internet is performing you need to make sure both devices are using wifi for data, iTinkerlot is assuming because of the speed differential that you must be using the cellular signal for the data. Although you shouldn’t have to, you can turn off mobile or cellular data temporarily to make sure you’re testing the wifi only. 

So, assuming that both devices are connected to the KVD21 for wifi, what might be causing the discrepancy? First, I think Ookla/Speedtest suggests using their app vs their website for more accurate results. Although I doubt that would cause such a difference. Second, double check that your testing using the same server on both devices. Different servers will produce potentially vastly different speeds. Speedtest looks for the “optimal server” (closest) when you start it up, but with the T-Mobile Home Internet’s usage of shared IP addresses, Speedtest may think your hundreds of miles away from where you actually are and although it should probably pick the same server for both devices it might not. You can click on “Change Server” to match up the two devices if they're different.

If you’re Vizio TVs have a built in web browser, you could try doing a speed test on them as well to see what you get.

Other than that, I’ve got nothing. Best of luck.

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

True I was considering the possibility that the Galaxy Tab S6 might have been using LTE because it is an option for that device and it is only LTE at best. If a test was conducted by disabling the cellular on the Galaxy Tab and it was connected to the T-Mobile WIFI then it might or might not get more similar results. The optimal servers seems to be quite different for various devices and hardware and drivers etc… can for sure impact results. Sometimes it seems a test right after another can also provide quite different results. It is interesting to use multiple tools for speed testing. Testing to see an average and at different times of the day/night can help better profile the operation of the solution.

I still feel it is best to know the cellular metrics so expectations are possible. The LED bars are generic and just don’t provide sufficient information. It all takes a bit of time to pick it apart.

“Which speed should I use to determine if I should keep T-mobile internet?”

I would not decide upon just upon speed as that is going to fluctuate depending upon the time of day or night. Of course if the decision was upon speed then those from the iPhone of course would win hands down. If you record the metrics and can see the signal strength, quality, and signal to noise ratio are all good to excellent in character that is a good sign. You just need to determine if the service meets your needs. If you are not satisfied with the level of service or dealing with the cellular is more than you want to deal with then it is personal preference. I find it hard to beat the T-Mobile solution when the signal is stable and the download and upload speeds are improved over prior solutions for less money. No hidden fees, no contract and being able to walk away is not a bad thing. Just things to think about and consider. I hope some of the observations and suggestions help. 

Below is a chart that explains the cellular metrics.