No matter how powerful and feature-rich a smartphone may be, everything it can do doesn't mean a whole lot if it can't do one basic thing, and that's pull down a good signal. Decent data coverage and speed is essential for almost everything that's done on a smartphone when it's outside the range of Wi-Fi, and good voice performance is still essential; after all, society hasn't moved past phone calls quite yet. This is why the Nordic Council of Ministers recently took a number of devices to a testing facility to see how they handled themselves, signal-wise. The list of devices was picked from some of the most popular smartphones and tablets in the Scandinavian region, and tests use spectrum and technologies common in those areas. This means that not everybody around the world will see these same results, but the tests are a great insight into what devices may be stronger performers than others in this area.
On the phone end of things, Apple's iPhone devices found themselves on the low end of the chart for almost all of the voice signal and call quality tests. Rival Samsung found themselves near the top, but were handily beaten in some individual tests by the likes of Microsoft's Lumia lineup and even a low-end HTC Desire device. Data service saw Cupertino doing a bit better, hitting the middle of the chart, but flagships from their Korean rival still got the best of them, with names like Sony and Nexus padding the space between. The Lumia 640 came out on top in the data signal test, barely edging out the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+.
A few tablets ended up being tested on data signal, as well. Here, the Sony Xperia Tablet Z4 did the best, while the iPad Mini fared the worst. The iPad Air 2 did, however, overcome Samsung's flagship Galaxy Tab S2 in both free space and two hand data signal tests. The tests all took place in a specially made and prepared testing space, so real world performance will be different and depend on a huge number of variables, such as device condition, carrier, location and other factors. These tests did make it pretty clear, however, that for Scandinavian consumers who care about voice and data signal, iOS devices aren't exactly ideal, though that may or may not be the case elsewhere. Head through the source link for the full testing report, or have a look at the attached images to see how your favorite device or manufacturer did.