By Alexandra Burlacu | Aug 01, 2013 04:41 AM EDT
Samsung denied all allegations that claimed it had rigged benchmarks to boost the scores of its Galaxy S4 flagship.
Faced with a slew of reports and criticism, Samsung issued a rather vague statement saying that it did not tweak the benchmark results of the Galaxy S4.
For those unfamiliar with the situation, a detailed AnandTech investigation showed that Samsung had optimized the firmware of the Exynos 5 octa version of the Galaxy S4 in order to inflate the scores in a series of benchmark apps.
More specifically, AnandTech found that the smartphone's GPU was blazing at 533MHz when running benchmarks such as AnTuTu, Quadrant and other, while the maximum GPU frequency that apps can normally achieve rests at 480MHz. The CPU was also rigged to run at overclocked performance when benchmarks were being run. Consequently, the Samsung Galaxy S4 benchmark scores were artificially boosted in fake situations.
AnandTech came up with both pertinent observations and fragments of code found in the Galaxy S4's firmware to support its claims. The code even included a function called "Benchmark Booster." Once the word got out, the tech world started buzzing and Samsung was forced to explain itself.
The company issued a brief statement on its Korean Samsung Tomorrow blog, denying allegations that it purposely used a specific tool to boost benchmark scores for the Galaxy S4.
According to that statement, all Galaxy S4 apps that run in full screen mode or with no status bar visible can achieve the maximum GPU speed, which is 533MHz. Those apps include the benchmarking tools, as well as the browser, camera and video player. What Samsung is really saying here is that several apps, not only benchmarks, run at 533MHz, which is the normal behavior.
On the other hand, both AnandTech and AndreiF, the modder who first told the site about the discrepancy, claim that no other app beside the benchmarks reach that 533MHz top speed.
Moreover, Samsung made no mention of that "Benchmark Booster" functionality found in the Galaxy S4's firmware. The company also failed to explain the whitelist of benchmarks that were ramped up to achieve top speeds.
In conclusion, Samsung denies allegations of artificially boosting scores in Galaxy S4 benchmarks, but its explanation is not very convincing. The real-life consequences of such tricks may not be substantial, but this "optimizing" practice surely raises some red flags, especially when it involves the undisputed Android leader.
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