Yesterday, along with the first wave of Galaxy Note 3 reviews, it was revealed that Samsung once again had optimized their new smartphone for Android benchmarks. Through forcing the device's CPU to run at its maximum clock speed of 2.3 GHz in benchmarks, it scored 20% better than if the CPU was allowed to power gait cores like normal.
AnandTech dug deeper into the issue, testing a number of Android devices to see if OEMs other than Samsung were guilty of optimizing their smartphones for benchmarks. Asus, HTC and LG were caught boosting CPU speeds of their Qualcomm-based devices in a selection of benchmarks, while Samsung was the most aggressive. Out of the seven benchmarks checked, the Note 3 was optimized for six, while Samsung's Intel Atom-based Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 and the Exynos-based Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014) were also found guilty.
Motorola, alongside Google's Nexus devices and Nvidia's Shield, were found not to optimize the CPU for benchmarks. This isn't overly surprising, because the cheating code isn't part of vanilla Android or AOSP, which is essentially what is included on these devices.
The whole process of optimizing CPU clock speeds for running benchmarks is a phenomenal waste of engineering time and money, as in the end it has no real-world effect on performance. It's only making the devices look marginally better in reviews, and now that the media has exposed the trickery of OEMs, it's doubtful whether the effort is worth the negative attention.
Needless to say we'll be looking out for any benchmark cheaters in our upcoming smartphone reviews, making note of where benchmarks may be affected.
The Note 3 is part of Samsung's ever-expanding Galaxy line. It features a new soft textured leather-like plastic cover, a 5.7-inch SuperAMOLED 1080p display, a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 CPU for LTE models or a 1.9GHz Samsung Exynos Octacore for 3G variants, a 13MP rear-facing camera, a microSD expansion slot, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and a 3,200mAh battery.
The HTC One represents the firm’s latest attempt to regain lost ground in the smartphone market. It is made entirely of aluminum and boasts a large 4.7-inch full HD 1080p display with 468 PPI flanked by two speaker strips with integrated amplifiers. Inside is a 1.7-GHz, quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB or 64GB of internal storage.
The HTC One mini is the smaller and less expensive version of its flagship HTC One handset. The One mini features a 4.3-inches (720p) display, a 1.4 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, backed by Adreno 305 graphics, a single gigabyte of RAM and 16GB of non-expandable storage. The One mini supports 4G LTE and HSPA+ cellular networks, Wi-Fi, DLNA, Bluetooth and comes with Android 4.2.2 out of the box.
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