Back in July, we reported that Samsung was boosting benchmark scores on its Galaxy S4. Scores of over 10% higher than similarly equipped phones brought the attention of AnandTech, who ran tests and confirmed that the Samsung Galaxy S4, when it detects certain popular benchmark programs, runs a code that forces its quad-core chip to run on all cores at maximum frequency, even when in idle.
Samsung, through their Korean website, said: “[We] did not use a specific tool on purpose to achieve higher benchmark scores”, and “under normal conditions, the Galaxy S4 operates up to 533MHz at its best performance.”
This is a slightly comical statement, as AnandTech found code in the Galaxy S4 marked “Benchmark Booster”.
Fast forward to the release of the Galaxy Note 3, and you would have thought that Samsung have learnt their lesson. Ah, no. The crew over at ars technica ran the Note 3 through its gamut of benchmarks, and guess what? The Note 3 scores over 20% better than the similarly equipped LG G2, with both running the 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 System on Chip (SoC).
To get a “real world” score for the Note 3, ars technica devised a cunning yet simple plan: rename some benchmarks so that Samsung’s Benchmark Booster can’t detect it, and thus doesn’t inflate the score by running at full throttle throughout the entire test.
Below we have the results, with Geekbench 3 and StealthBench 3 being identical except for the name. Geekbench 3 shows that all of the 4 cores of the CPU running at the maximum 2.3GHz, even though it is in idle. Stealthbench 3 (renamed so that Benchmark Booster doesn’t identify it and sees it as a normal app), runs correctly when in idle, with only one core operating at 300MHz to conserve power:
Here is Geekbench 3 Multicore, showing that the “normal” Note 3 is just about equal to the LG G2, with the Benchmark Boosted Note 3 romping home for a stunning win:
Really Samsung? Do you think that people determine that one phone is better than another just because of an artificially inflated score in a just as artificial benchmark? High scores do not improve the users experience with a phone. What makes it is how fluidly the operating system performs, how intuitive it is, how the phone feels in the hand and other indefinable factors.
What do think of Samsung’s shenanigans? Is there a point to them in real life use of the phone? Let us know in the comments!