android: Explanation: Why Android phones with similar chipsets show different benchmarks

Users can notice when buying a new smartphone Android Devices powered by the same processor often show different scores on benchmark applications. The benchmark of a phone is supposed to indicate the performance of the chipset and the overall score of the device. This is one of the main reasons for benchmark app to show different scores for Android phones with the same SoC. In the following, we will explain the main reasons for this difference to help users become more informed buyers. How useful benchmarks can be in inferring a phone’s real performance is also explained.
Benchmark comparison of two new Android smartphones with the same chipset
To make things easier, let’s compare the benchmarks of two recently released Android devices – SAMSUNG Galaxy S22 Ultra and OnePlus 10 Professional. Both smartphones are powered by the latest power Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 flagship processor. Samsung smartphone’s AnTuTu (v9) score is 968359, while OnePlus device scores 886248 in the same benchmark application. While, Geekbench (v5.1) Samsung’s score is 3657 and here OnePlus scores 3447.
Despite having the same processor, the scores of these three devices are significantly different. The scores are so disparate that the average person might assume that these smartphones are a generation apart.
Why are the scores so different?
Qualcomm doesn’t favor any brand because they design chips to work equally for all smartphone manufacturers. Each microprocessor used by semiconductor companies for testing gives different results on different smartphones. Furthermore, different phone models from the same phone manufacturer with the same chip will not show the same score. For example, the Galaxy S22 Ultra scores higher than the S22 and S22+. The same goes for the iPhone 13 series, where all models pack the same A15 Bionic chip.
The benchmark isn’t determined solely by the chipset, although it does most of the heavy lifting. A phone’s processor is like its brain, however, to use its full potential, it needs an equally capable organ. A chipset that offers high-level performance also needs the latest hardware to produce the desired results.
How does hardware affect a device?
The smartphone is packed with a number of components and sensors that enable the chipset to achieve its goals. These components include – the battery, the memory chip, the transceiver, the DAC and even the motherboard that connects everything among many others. The quality of these components determines how well the processor performs.
These components tend to produce a wide variety of performances as they are often designed specifically by smartphone manufacturers and are unique to each model. The chipset can only push as much as the components are built to handle, if it pushes further, the device starts to have various problems.
However, one of these common problems is overheating, it can be solved by two methods – built-in cooling system or software optimization. The integrated cooling system aims to cool the device to increase its sustained performance. Most phone manufacturers use liquid cooling while others add a physical jet engine and air ducts to the device to push hot air out. A manufacturer can also degrade handsets’ performance by optimizing software to keep them from overheating. In this case, the smartphone can detect when it is getting really hot and start making adjustments to reduce the workload on the chipset.
The improvement of hardware and software also defines the benchmark
The synchronization between hardware and software is also important for a device to generate good benchmarks. The processor is designed by Android chip maker Qualcomm and MediaTek uses a one size fits all approach, as they sell their products to a number of smartphone brands. In contrast, when a phone manufacturer designs its custom silicon, their sole aim is to make it work well with the software to take advantage of the chip’s full potential.
However, it’s important to note that phone model, age, and usage are all responsible for affecting device benchmarks. Users may get slightly different results each time they run consecutive tests on the same device.

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