Samsung Android 4.4 update reported to play fair with benchmark tests

March 5, 2014
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It may sound shocking or even unbelievable, but Samsung might finally be stopping its antics in cheating benchmarking software. This new and more proper behavior is tipped to arrive on devices that will be updated to Android 4.4.

Samsung entered the hall of shame when it was caught red-handed artificially boosting device performance when run with a benchmarking tool. This gave Samsung devices an apparent but fake edge over devices. In some cases, lying might have been overkill, since the smartphones performed as expected in real-world usage. Samsung practically denied the accusation, but the incident served to damaged the credibility and reliability of benchmarks. It also forced many of those whose businesses and services relied on benchmarking to rethink their strategies or install safeguards.

That issue has seemingly died down, though it seems it might be due for a revisit now that new devices have been announced, particularly the new Galaxy S5. It seems, however, that Samsung is done goofing around with such things and that the Android 4.4 update restores things to their rightful places. Though still unverified by the masses, the change was observed by Primate Labs, though some might have a bit of doubt with findings since the company develops the Geekbench benchmarking tool. The devices used to test this are the updated Galaxy S 4 and Galaxy Note 3. Comparing Android 4.3 and Android 4.4 versions showed that apps previously believed to have been cheated no longer behave differently when running under Android 4.4. Furthermore, the devices also managed to pass Geekbench's detection code that blocked "enhanced" scores from being uploaded.

Benchmarks are useful tools, but they are not, or should not be, the deciding factor in purchasing a device anyway. However, this news, if true, might bring back a bit of confidence in benchmarks, and will do a bit of good, even if little, for Samsung's image.

VIA: Ars Technica


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  • Zachary Morris

    They probably just found a new way to hide the fact that they are cheating.