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Ranked: The 10 fastest smartphones in the world, by data speed

Fastest Smartphones

When it comes to the perceived speed of a smartphone, there are many different factors at play. As we’ve seen time and time again when Apple’s dual-core iPhones with relatively low clockspeeds slaughter quad-core and octa-core Android phones in performance tests, numbers on a piece of paper never tell the whole story.  Software is a huge piece of the puzzle, as is display resolution and UI, and the speeds at which a smartphone can send and receive data also play a huge role in ensuring a smooth user experience.

Now, we have a definitive list of the 10 fastest smartphones in the world, ranked by both download and upload speeds.

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Researchers at Aalto University in Finland have tested real-world download and upload speeds for more than 4,500 smartphones on networks around the world, and ZDNet on Thursday published the results. Interestingly, on the download side, the fastest phone in the world is more than a year old.

With a peak download speed of 137.786Mbps, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 can download data faster than any other top smartphone on the planet, according to Aalto University’s tests. The fan favorite OnePlus One nipped at the Note 3’s heels with a top download speed of 137.419Mbps, and Apple’s new iPhone 6 was the third-fastest phone tested, with a peak download speed of 136.263Mbps.

Interestingly, the researchers’ upload speed tests paint a completely different story.

Of the top 3 smartphones on the download side, only one of them ranked in the top 10 in Aalto University’s upload speed tests, and it’s the Galaxy Note 3 in the No. 5 spot. Samsung also makes the two fastest smartphones in the world in terms of upload speeds, with the Galaxy S5 in the No. 1 spot at 47.311Mbps and the Galaxy S4 Advance in the No. 2 spot at 46.847Mbps.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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