Nobody was hurt running this benchmark test

Benchmark results of Android devices — and how they are manipulated — are back in the news again. A lot of folks have fun running them, and a certain subset of people use them as one of the deciding factors of which phone is better. We're cool with that. You get to decide how to spend your own money, and we don't want it any other way. Just because we shy away from them mostly doesn't mean you should.

But recently, a brouhaha got started because Samsung was caught by the folks at Ars Technica cheating at some benchmarks with the Note 3. An old can of worms got reopened, and we now know that most Android manufacturers do the same. Credit where credit is due — Motorola and Nvidia, and of course Google, have abstained. You'll want to read the excellent break down by the folks at AnandTech about it, because this sort of thing is what they do best.

Phil had a little to say on it last night, and now it's your turn. After the break, or in the sidebar to the right, you'll find a poll. Take a second and answer it, then give your reasons in the comments. Play nice and be respectful please, and we can have good discussion.


Reader comments

This week's sidebar poll: Do you run benchmarks on your phone?


Don't really care if my phone benches higher than any other phone I just like to gauge improvements to my device like when I flash ROMs and kernels.

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Same. I don't don't run benchmark to show off or feel bad if my device isn't as fast as something new. But once a while I like to run it on a new Android version or rom to see if there is an improvement, but this is rare and not often, usually I can tell by how smooth the interface and loading is. I wouldn't mind a device that benchmark slightly slower, but have a better user experience and battery life, like the Oppo R819 seems to be.

Same here. I mainly use it as a reference tool between roms. But like you said if the end result is good that benchmark score is worthless.

+1 so pointless I have used devices that should on paper blow my Nexus 4 away, but the user experience had left a lot to be desired.
In the end they mean nothing.

User Experience is king (lag free, smooth and just works means more to me)

At last.... A sensible person. Benchmarks are for geeks and only a very rough guide as to how a device will perform in the real world.

I used to do a benchmark after flashing ROMs and kernels, just to see how much better it was than stock...

now I only do it when someone makes a thread wanting to see everyones scores...

I can make my Nexus 4 score almost 30k on Antutu. Is that cheating? The only valid point of benchmarks to me is what has been posted above. Knowing I have all the settings the same and trying new roms and kernels it can be a valid indicator.

More out of curiosity than anything else, while I realize it is meaningless somehow seeing my processor crunch numbers is interesting to me.


Can't vote as the poll graphic is there but no voting boxes?

So I will answer here - no I don't use benchmarks and don't have any desire to because by the time I have a phone and would have installed the benchmark app, it's too late and I'm not going to change it.

No, I don't benchmark my phone, but I do bench press it four times a week to stay in shape!

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I have much more important things to do on my phone than run benchmarks.

Like watching Kanye feud with Kimmel. :)

Lol, hell yea Kanye vs. Kimmel...Miley Cyrus twerk videos...& TMZ Justin Briber on YouTube lol

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ever since Jellybean, there's been zero performance issues or product lust. Android works swimmingly, even with Sense slathered on top of it

I do run benchmarks. I do not call what Samsung did as cheating at all. What it shows is what the phone can potentially do when all cores are working. If you want to get those cores all working and working much harder than what Samsung has done it is very simple, root the phone, flash a kernel that accepts over clocking, download an app like Set CPU and over clock that phone and you will see some real numbers, much higher and more impressive than what shows on the stock benchmark test. This phone will get so much great Developer support, the quality roms will be endless. These roms will cut the fat and keep the great S-Pen features alive and well. The benchmarks shown on this stock Note 3 are not even close to what they will be with it over-clocked and running a thinned down OS. This is not even close to cheating. I just ordered my Note 3, the most powerful SmartPhone made in the world. This is the fastest phone out of the box, nothing comes close to it. This is a dream phone that will get fantastic dev support and have unlimited after market accessories. You don't like the stock battery door, wait a week, there will be endless supplies of real leather, top quality leather doors available for this beast. The Note 3 has more HP than most home laptops, this is my kind of phone. Thank You Samsung.

Just because it has a quad core at 2.3Ghz does not mean it is anywhere close to the performance of a quad core laptop, or any fairly modern laptop for that matter.

This is my type a person, passionate about the ♪ ♩ ♬(get it) lol, I can't wait to get mines, run my fingertips across the stitching, smell of the processor when it's fired up for the 1st time, the sound of the flap closing on the front & to hear the display screen lighting go on... The illumination of the clock & the tightness of the ear jack ← (nasty), that ever so slightly growl it gives as it boots..... DAMN I CANT WAIT, WHOOOOOOO *in my Rick flare voice* lmao

No but seriously I'm getting 1 too!

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I only benchmark to determine what I have vs what I'm going to get. It's interesting to see the benchmark on my particular phone then compare it with the model I am thinking about getting. So a 13k bench on one phone upgrading to a 28k bench on another phone gives me a idea what to expect if I upgrade.

Benchmark of 15 tabs in Chrome Beta with SwiftKey. If it handles smoothly, the device passes. Additionally, performance while running a work unit in BOINC.

Never did, and never will. Benchmarks disappointed me on the PC in the early 00s, I had enough of them and haven't bothered for over a decade. ;)

Benchmarks mean nothing when my GNex scored less than half of what my RAZR HD does. Yet everything ran better/faster/smoother on my GNex.

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Benchmarks have absolutely no worth whatsoever, they don't show anything for daily use at all, all it does is create angry fanboys claiming their device is 20 points faster meaning everyone else's phone is crap, bit like the console crowd right now, benchmarks make it about numbers and not about the device

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Benchmarks mean nothing. It's all about software optimization. Manufacturers are having to put these ridiculous specs in their devices just to try to compensate for the terrible skin overlays they use.

I'll take a moto x or nexus 4 in real world everyday use any day over an s4, note 2 and I haven't used the n3 but I'd guess it's more of the same.

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I voted yes, but usually when I first get a new phone, many times numbers don't mean everything. I don't constantly run benchmarks.

benchmarks are useless for me, maybe useful for some people who want to compare different GPU or CPU architecture.

I only use it to compare results between different ROMs/Kernels on my nexus 4.Im sure Aosp based roms don't cheat lol

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I used to back in the gingerbread days. I stopped after overclocking my Evo Shift and realizing it doesn't matter how high you clock a phone or how high a benchmark gets. It doesn't really help performance. You aren't going to take something like minor launcher stutter out of a phone by throwing more processing power at it. The hitches, stutters or slowdown we still see with Android, even Nexus devices running 4.3, are not going to be fixed with faster processors that get better benchmarks. We need better programmers to optimize the OS.

I don't care about benchmarks... I just care that my phone is powerful enough to do what I want to do and be smooth while doing it.

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No, but 2 years ago once out of curiosity. It was a number.

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Motorola Droid Bionic Has Been Stolen and has been recovered! Yey!

Never have, not on my Nexus S, Galaxy S, Gnex or on my Nexus 4. Don't see the point, as mentioned in previous comments, but just for the fun of it, I will, today see how my device performs. You bastards made me curious dammit!

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Benchmarks? Sorry I have a life.

I wonder how much precious energy has been wasted on folks running pointless benchmarks.

There should be an energy tax on them.

I don't understand benchmarks. Just a tech version of a dick measuring contest.

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I don't understand benchmarks. Just a tech version of a dick measuring contest.

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Does someone remembers the Windows Experience Index or has ever used it?

Point is made.

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The most important gauge for a smartphone for me these days is the battery life. Squeezing more than 12 hours with the way I use my phone makes me happy.

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My benchmarks are always over 9000!!!

But seriously, I think benchmarks stopped being truly useful with the release of the S4 processor. At that point there's no real point in extra power unless it somehow comes with vastly improved battery life.

I run benchmarks on my phone obsessively, sometimes thirty or forty times in a row, so that I may shake my angry fist heavenward, howling my impotent rage at an indifferent creator to protest the sad fact that my precious device, that has become a proxy for my own worth as a human, has become so quickly inadequate when compared to other devices. WHY!?!??

Good lord, no. It's depressingly slow as it is. I don't need to know how slow.

I do shake in vigorously now and then, and pretend it makes it run faster.

If the phone plays
Angry Birds,
Mass Effect Infiltrator and
Zombie Gunship
then I dont care about the benchmarks, chairmarks, stoolmarks...
or marks any other sitting device would make. :o)

I think I only benchmarked my Note2 twice. Once was really an app which told me the CPU & GPU types and clock rates to verify I'd received what I expected, and more recently installed a benchmark app to compare with a friend's Galaxy S4.

Neither app are still installed.

I haven't run a benchmark for over 2 years. It's a waste.

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