Not Again: Samsung caught cheating at benchmarks with the Galaxy Note 3

BY Stefan Constantinescu

Published 1 Oct 2013


Several months ago, it was discovered that Samsung’s Exynos powered Galaxy S4 could detect what applications were being run on the device, and that when a handful of benchmark programs were detected, the phone programmed itself to run at full tilt as to achieve an inflated score. The whole internet, myself included, beat up the company for pulling such tomfoolery, and I’m sad to report that this behavior has continued with the newly launched Galaxy Note 3.

According to Ron Amadeo, former Android Police writer, now with Ars.Technica, discovered the Snapdragon 800 equipped Note 3 detects when you’re running the popular benchmark app “GeekBench” and sets the device’s clock frequency to the maximum 2.3 GHz. He discovered Samsung was doing this when he ran the application “StealthBench”, which is nothing more than GeekBench, but with the name of the application changed so that Samsung’s automatic overclocking doesn’t occur.

How much faster is the phone when it’s running at full speed? A good 20%, which is nothing to sneeze at. Should we throw eggs at Samsung? Absolutely, but part of me just wants to shrug my shoulders and say this doesn’t really matter. Most people who will buy the Note 3 have no idea what benchmarks are, much less care. They’ll buy the phone because of the camera, because of the stylus, or because it’s the most expensive phone Samsung sells.

Still, I can’t help but be angry. The Note 3 is stupid fast as is, why tarnish it like this?

Update: Oh and I just remembered that several days ago Samsung announced that they started a consortium dedicated to mobile benchmarking so that the industry can be fairer. The irony is thick.