How long does it take to transfer data between two phones?

Every time someone buys a new phone they are faced with the task of transferring data from their old phone to the new one.

Fortunately there are many different ways in which data can be transferred from one phone to another. In this post we have created a resource on file transferring methods and calculators that helps estimate how long the transfer will take.

The calculator makes it easy to estimate how long the file transfer takes and answer the all important question: Do I have time to make some coffee before this is done? ☕????


This first calculator provides the transfer time with the following inputs:

  • File size (usually specified in kilobyte, Megabyte or Gigabyte)
  • Transfer method or technology



The second calculator below is to be used if you know the connection speed. Enter

  • File size in either kB, MB or GB
  • Connection speed in either kbps, Mbps or Gbps

The tool will provide the transfer time.



File Transfer Methods


To use this method for either Apple or Android phones, the first step is to back up your old phone to the cloud. Then transfer this data to the new phone. Here are the instructions for iPhones. In this case the transfer speed is determined by how fast your internet connection is. In the calculator above, we’ve provided three options:

  • 10 Mbps
  • 100 Mbps
  • 1000 Mbps or 1 Gbps

USB Cable

Data can be transferred between two phones using a USB cable. Samsung has provided instructions here using their smart switch technology.

One important thing to keep in mind is that this method should only be used to transfer small amounts of data. The reason for this is – the phone cannot be charged while data is being transferred. For larger amounts of data transfer use one of the wireless methods on this page.

With an iPhone a lightning cable is required for this operation.

USB comes in two variants. The lower speed USB 2.0 version that provides a max throughput of 480 Mbps. In practice it is closer to 240 Mbps. A higher speed USB 3.0 version with an average practical speed of 3 Gbps.


Bluetooth provides peer-to-peer short range wireless connectivity and is an ideal technology for transferring data between phones. The closer the phones are placed, the more reliable the connection and the faster the transfer. Average Bluetooth speed is around 2 Megabit-per-second.


AirDrop is a proprietary wireless service in Apple iPhone. It can be used to transfer files among supported iOS devices by means of close-range wireless communication. The underlying protocol itself is Wi-Fi. The two phones are able to create an ad hoc network (without the need for internet access) to facilitate file transfer.

Apple Reference: How to use AirDrop on your iPhone or iPad

Nearby Share

Nearby Share is a service developed by Google that allows data to be transferred between devices via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It is available on Android phones.


[1] Comparison of Airdrop and Nearby Share speeds

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