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Well it is LTE. Technically T-Mobile isnt lying to you. Mobile connection type does not depend on internet speeds in any way. You can have LTE with 1 mbps download, and you can have a 3G connection with download speeds as high as 21 mbps (hspa+). T-Mobile generally isn't that good with rural areas, and I get crappy service myself in my home in suburban California, but get great service outside and in most other buildings.
The speeds you are seeing, where upload is much faster than download, are typical of a very congested sector. With the Pixel XL and Pixel you have 3-way Carrier Aggregation and bands 2, 4, & 12, so in theory, you should be getting all T-Mobile's available capacity in that sector. Where were these readings made (inside, outside) Zip Code?
LTE is simply the wireless technology being used but the actual data speed you will receive varies greatly. It honestly looks like congestion but the best way to find out is to do a speedtest during off peak hours to compare speeds. You could also use a app like LTE discovery to see what band you are connecting to. Frequency makes a huge difference as well. Anywho I would call in to T-mobile and file a service complaint to let them know about the issue in your market specifically after collecting a bit more information before filing the ticket.