I know you have seen that a lot in phone reviews (Android Benchmark scores), and you have wondered what they mean and who they epp.
While this scores help some people in making intelligent guesses about the performance of a phone, to others, it only end up confusing their confusion.
Benchmarks are a mainstay of Android device reviews. They’re a convenient way to measure performance of a phone or tablet. You see them on iOS as well, though not as much. iPhones have never been about processors and scores the same way as Android.
However, what do they mean? When we say that a phone scored a certain level on a certain test, what does that actually imply? What do benchmarks measure, and why should we care about them? We took a look at a few of the most popular ones and put together a quick primer.
First of all, let us start by understanding what Androind benchmark is.
So what is a Benchmark?
At the most basic level, a benchmark is an app that measures how fast your phone can run something. It subjects the phone to a series of tests to find the upper limit of its capacities.
The idea is that if you subject the phone to enough stress, you can find its maximum performance. That performance can be given a numerical rating, with each number relative to other scores.
That’s the thing with benchmarks. There’s no absolute scale. Every benchmark rates apps by its own scale. You can’t compare two benchmark apps, just two devices running the same benchmark.
It is also important to note that the same benchmark app can give different benchmark scores for the same device under different conditions. For example, as a user pointed out here:
You can do a simple test and check the difference; install any of the benchmark app like AnTuTu plug your phone on charge and test it Note the results unplug same device and test difference will be from 500 to 1000 points again root your device test the performance overclock underclock then test the performance put the phone in cooler area (in refrigerator) and test it put the phone on a Hotter area and test NONE OF THE RESULT WILL BE SAME ON A SAME DEVICE
A typical example is the case of Infinix Zero 3.
when zero 3 was launched its official benchmark was 50K+ but when user tested it was below 40k and was a big disapointment for users mean while some user turn on the High Performance mode and run the test and get 58 + result even more than the official results.
What Do Benchmarks Measure?
Benchmarks can measure anything, though most focus on hardware performance and speed. For example, Quadrant and AnTuTu run a bunch of high-speed calculations past the processors to see how fast they can run it.
You can get a sense of how a phone performs in different modes from scoring different parts of the phone’s performance.
Most of the time, the phone runs from a single core. Even dual and quad-core devices can be making use only one core at a time for everyday tasks like navigating the OS and switching apps. A phone’s single-core performance usually correlates to how “snappy” it feels in most tasks.
RAM tests show how well your phone can hold up with multiple apps, or with apps that require lots of processing. If your phone does well on AnTuTu’s RAM test, it will probably multi task well.
You can guess how a phone can game by checking its multi-core and graphics benchmarks. Games get the chips fired up and running. Phones with big processors and a good GPU can handle high-end apps better than most.
Lastly, web benchmarks like Sunspider can measure a phone’s internet performance.
Why Should I Bother With Android Benchmark Scores?
Benchmarks are a good way to measure a phone’s raw abilities. They can show you some rough numbers of how a device might perform in most situations.
However, take them with a grain of salt. Benchmarks do not always reflect real-world performance. For example, the Galaxy S4 has excellent benchmark scores on the stock TouchWiz ROM, but when tried with the CyanogenMod 10.2 ROM, it felt much snappier in everyday use. Same phone, same chip, same Android version, but the ROM changed everything.
Benchmarks are helpful, but don’t take them as gospel.
Benchmarks are useful indicators. They can’t tell you everything about how a phone performs, but they can give you an impression and help you make intelligent guesses. Keep that in mind and choose wisely.