Smartphones today remind me of computers in the 90s. By that I mean every successive generation blows the previous generation out of the water. While it may be hard to believe, there was a time when buying a new computer every 12 months meant you’d get a substantially better machine. And likewise, look at what changed under the hood between the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy S4 in the span of a single year.
Now how exactly are you supposed to quantify speed improvement? Well that depends. Some people like using benchmark applications, of which a million different kinds exist. The thing about benchmarks, however, is that different tools stress different parts of a system. Calculating Pi to a million decimal places isn’t the same thing as trying to render 100 tennis balls bouncing around a screen. That’s why you’ll see phone A kick butt on benchmark X, but stumble on benchmark Y, whereas phone B is considered decidedly average on benchmark X, yet dominates the charts on benchmark Y.
This is why Samsung (along with Broadcom, Huawei, Oppo, and Spreadtrum) have announced MobileBench. They’re a group that’s dedicated to figuring out how to best benchmark the smartphones and tablets that we all love.
Should you take this seriously? If you’re one of those people who buys a phone based on an AnTuTu score, then sure, rock on, but you can’t tell me that you’ll buy one phone over another simply by where it sits on a bar chart.
If that’s your criteria for a good phone, you’re part of the problem.