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Phone Vendors Called Out For Cheating in Benchmarks

by Todd Haselton | October 2, 2013October 2, 2013 2:30 pm PDT

Samsung Galaxy Note 3-Front

Over the summer Anandtech noticed that Samsung seemed to be gaming the Galaxy S4 to perform better in benchmarks. To put it simply, it looked like the phone was able to tell when it was running a specific benchmark, and would up its clock speed to maximum so that the end result was always good. It also recently happened with the Galaxy Note 3. It isn’t just Samsung, though.

Anandtech did some deeper digging and reported a list of smartphones vendors that are doing the exact same thing with some tests. There are plenty of flagship devices that are innocent, though there are also a bunch that seem to “cheat” in at least one test. The HTC One, Asus Padfone Infinity, HTC One mini, LG G2, Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 and Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014) also had skewed scores in at least one benchmark test. NVIDIA’s Shield, Motorola’s latest devices and the Nexus 4/Nexus 7 were innocent. The problem with this of course, is that benchmark comparisons could look off, even if another device is just as, or more, powerful than a competitor. Anandtech is working to fix that by at least calling out the companies and proving what it has found.

“We started piecing this data together back in July, and even had conversations with both silicon vendors and OEMs about getting it to stop,” Anandtech said. “With the exception of Apple and Motorola, literally every single OEM we’ve worked with ships (or has shipped) at least one device that runs this silly CPU optimization.”

Obviously OEMs want their devices to look better on paper, but we have to agree this needs to stop. An every day consumer might not care, but an enthusiast who really wants the fastest device may ultimately end up getting slightly tricked by these tactics. Check out Anandtech’s detailed report in the source link for more information.

Anandtech

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

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