updated 11:29 am EDT, Tue October 1, 2013
Phone artificially scores higher than competitors
Samsung has reportedly implemented software tricks to artificially inflate the benchmark scores for its Galaxy Note 3 smartphone. Ars Technica noticed that the Note 3 outperforms LG's G2 by a wide margin, despite both devices being powered by the same 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, suggesting the company is continuing the overclocking strategy first observed with the Galaxy S4.
Renaming a popular benchmarking app eliminated the performance disparity, confirming that the device operates in a special mode only when running popular benchmarking apps. The optimized mode appears to prevent any of the processor cores from dropping down to the typical low-power idle mode, though the 20 percent jump in overall benchmark scores points to deeper optimizations such as overclocking.
Samsung had defended its overclocking mode in the S4, claiming that the same mode is activated when the device runs the browser and some other core apps. With the Note 3, however, Ars only found benchmarking apps listed in the optimization code.
The company has been criticized for the practice, which has been interpreted as an inappropriate way to misrepresent device performance. Unless the optimizations are truly used for other apps, the inflated benchmark scores cannot be interpreted as a reflection of real-world performance compared to devices powered by the same Snapdragon SoC.
Samsung has yet to comment on allegations surrounding the Note 3 or any of the company's other new devices.