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Samsung criticised over smartphone benchmarking rumours

Friday, August 2, 2013 - 14:10:04

Prior to the launch of any major smartphone, the existence of an unannounced device is often alluded to through benchmarking sites, which reveal that manufacturers and third parties have been putting handsets through their paces.

However, this week, Samsung became embroiled in a scandal which could put smartphone benchmarking under the spotlight like never before.

Benchmarking is a basic way of working out where phones sit in relation to one another when it comes to performance. While they may not have much of a bearing on real world performance, benchmarks can reveal whether or not it is worth opting for the latest, most powerful model or not, if you are a serious tech-head.

A report from AnandTech, suggests that the Samsung Galaxy S4 has been specifically designed to conquer benchmarking programs, with processor and graphics chip clock speeds automatically increased by the phone, when it detects that it is being tested.

The international version of the Galaxy S4 has an octa-core Exynos 5 processor built by Samsung itself, which should make it the most powerful smartphone in the world. But some experts are suggesting that the benchmarking results for this model have actually been exaggerated, as a result of the handset's design.

Samsung released a statement shortly after this story came to light, in which it basically admitted that it had made adjustments to ensure that the Galaxy S4 did well when put under the microscope in benchmarking tests. However, it also pointed out that the variable clock speeds were also used in normal use, so that the Galaxy S4 is as efficient as possible, while still having power in reserve.

This incident is unlikely to do much damage to Samsung's reputation, but should at least remind people to take benchmark results with a pinch of salt.




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