Around eight weeks ago, there was a miniature smartphone scandal of sorts when it materialised that Samsung – and others – were cheating in benchmarks, altering device profiles temporarily in order to ensure maximum scores.
There are two schools of thought (it’s fine; it’s cheating), but Futuremark for one isn’t happy, and has gone as far as delisting several Samsung and HTC devices found to be in violation of its terms.
Scroll to the bottom of Futuremark’s benchmark performance table and you’ll find six shamed devices occupying positions 612-617.
They are the HTC One, HTC One mini, and two pairs of Samsung devices, namely the Exynos 5 Octa and MSM8974 versions of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition.
Futuremark’s regulations state: “A platform must run the benchmark without modification as if it were any other application. The platform must not alter, replace or override any parameters or parts of the test, nor modify the usual functioning of the platform based on the detection of the benchmark.”
To be fair to Samsung and HTC, an investigation by Anandtech determined that “every single OEM” shipped “at least one device” with the cheaty optimisation, the only exceptions being Apple, Motorola and Nexus devices.
Benchmarks are largely the domain of the super-nerd, but manufacturers are clearly aware that they’re often cited in reviews and what not.
Still, if benchmark scores alone are enough to sway your buying decision, you be crazy. Top smartphone in Futuremark’s table? The Samsung Galaxy Round.