Samsung released Galaxy Note 9 in the new color

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The iPhone XS and XS Max are almost identical handsets with similar performances. They pitted the iPhone XS Max against the Galaxy Note 9 (Qualcomm X20 modem) and Google Pixel 2 (Qualcomm X16 modem). As per a PC Mag report, the iPhone XS with its Intel XMM7560 performed nearly as well but not as good as Samsung Galaxy Note 9, which uses Qualcomm X20 modem. The 7560 is Intel's first modem to support all four United States wireless carriers, letting Apple drop Qualcomm, the world's dominant high-end modem supplier. Unlike other speed tests, the Phone Buff style is conducted using a specialized machine to ensure there's no margin of error. For real-world results, we used the week of September 24, 2018 from Ookla's massive crowdsourced Speedtest Intelligence database.

Apple and Qualcomm are at loggerheads over patented LTE technologies. LTE performance in last year's Intel-powered iPhone X was below the mark set by competing Android handsets with more advanced Qualcomm modems.

iPhone XS and XS Max fared noticeably better than the iPhone X in LTE speed tests though that still isn't enough given that the Note 9 with Qualcomm modems emerging faster.

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

The test results again exhibit interesting results in that while the Note 9 and Pixel 2 have an outright edge over the iPhone duo, the difference in speeds seem to get narrower as signal strength tends to get weaker. Apple was the last major manufacturer to adopt 4x4 MIMO, and it was desperately needed.

Samsung's upcoming midrangers may soon sport the wireless charging feature previously reserved for their more upscale siblings from the Galaxy S and Note lines.

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One area where the iPhone XS and XS Max could do with improvement is on their overall toughness.

The report has suggested that Apple's most notable improvements in iPhone XS / XS Max come in the form of improved battery life, which Consumer Reports claims "more than made good" on the Cupertino-based company's marketing claims relating to improvements over last year's iPhone X.

According to PCMag's testing, the new modem in the iPhone XS does dominate the old iPhone X. However, it still slightly short of the competition from Qualcomm.

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This testing would have been impossible without key equipment from Rohde & Schwarz, the global leader in test and measurement of mobile devices and networks. That's thanks to the addition of 4×4 MIMO.