With Android 4.4 KitKat Update: Samsung's 'Benchmark Rigging' Comes To A Logical End

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Samsung Galaxy S5
Samsung Galaxy S5 REUTERS/Albert Gea

The last quarter of 2013 welcomed the news that Samsung smartphones were capable of supercharging or advancing benchmark scores to their advantage.

The company achieved this by increasing the CPU limits whenever the handset detects an active benchmarking application to advance the score. This Samsung act and other popular brands were primarily ascertained by the smartphone reviewers and testers.

According to Ars Technica, Samsung's Android 4.4 KitKat updates put an end to this malicious practice of boosting scores. 

"After applying the KitKat update none of the apps behave any differently from any other application," as quoted by Ars Technica.

"Most of the time, the CPU cores are running at lower frequencies, and individual cores are often turned off. While running the tests, the CPUs approach their maximum clock speeds but are allowed to fluctuate as they would under actual use rather than staying artificially inflated."

How is 'Benchmark Score' Calculated?

When a brand new phone or tablet arrives in the market, reviewers and testers get their hands on it. They let the device go through rigorous and aggressive testing. Along with the loaded personal applications, they install a set of benchmark applications like AnTuTu, quadrant standard, smartbench, Geekbench and others. Multiple tests of every benchmarking criterion are run, and the average score is used for the complete review.

As per Pocketnow: "The benchmarking score does not guarantee a similar real world performance. So the best approach is to find symmetry between the real life performance and the benchmark scores. Benchmark score cannot tell if a device is going to lag. Likewise, clock speeds and our word will never quantify the level of a device's performance compared to its counterparts. But considering the score together, will likely give a better picture of how a device will perform once it's in your hands."

Is Samsung Setting A New Standard?

When this practice was reported in October 2013, the reviewers and the testers alike expected a cover-up from the smartphone bigwigs, but Samsung hit the right spot by taking quick steps to settle for a minimal damage, with the recent Android KitKat 4.4 update. Will the rest of the smartphone manufactures follow suit?

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