Gigabit Wi-Fi is starting to appear in mobile devices, so we got our hands on three smartphones and two laptops running the 802.11ac standard and put them to the test. Though you won't see anywhere near Gigabit speeds in real-world environments, our testing proves that 802.11ac can offer increased throughput over 802.11n.
We tested the 802.11ac wireless capabilities in three Android smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and Motorola Moto X. Plus, we tested a Dell XPS 15 laptop running Windows 8.1 and the MacBook Pro running Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks.
We ran throughput tests of each device at a distance of 25 feet from our access point with one wall in between. Our top performer was the MacBook Pro, which wasn't a surprise since it has three streams, whereas the other devices only have one or two streams. The MacBook Pro delivered a maximum throughput of 463Mbps and an average of 318Mbps.
The next best performer was the Dell XPS 15 laptop, averaging 219Mbps, which was the only 802.11ac two-stream device. All three of the smartphones were single-stream. The Galaxy Note 3 did the best at an average of 154Mbps, the Galaxy S4 was second at 105Mbps, and the Moto X placed last at only 48Mbps.