A good way to discern your smartphone’s performance metric is to put it through strenuous use. However, a better way to test its technical capabilities and compare it to other devices is by performing benchmark tests.
There are plenty of applications that can do this job for you. In this article, we go through some of the best apps you can use to benchmark your device.
What Are Benchmarks and Why You Should Benchmark Your Phone
Simply put, benchmarking means testing a device against industry standards to see where it stands among other similar products. A benchmark app’s job is to simulate what would happen if your smartphone is put through rigorous use to figure out the upper limits of its capacities.
These apps are designed to test both the hardware and software capabilities of your phone to see how fast it runs, how often the device crashes, CPU, GPU, RAM, etc.
Since all devices deteriorate over time, no benchmark will give the same results as it did on day one. Knowing this information can help you figure out the potency of your smartphone and how long you can continue using it before it becomes technically obsolete. Naturally, benchmarking is also a good way of knowing when it’s time to optimize your device so that you can get the most out of it.
In general, here are some reasons to benchmark your phone:
- To get a metric of your phone’s battery life: benchmarking your phone’s battery can help you determine if your device is running at peak efficiency. It allows you to ensure that your phone is getting the most out of its hardware.
- To test the accuracy of the manufacturer’s claims: due to stiff competition in the market, manufacturers sometimes make bizarre claims regarding their devices’ performance. Benchmarking apps are a good way to test these claims.
- To check your phone for problems: benchmarking can help uncover issues with your device and determine whether it is time to upgrade. For example, if you notice a steep decline in your phone’s responsiveness, it may indicate an issue with the processor.
- To test the overall performance: Smartphone users are always on the lookout for better performance. But how do you know if your phone has enough juice to cope with some of the more demanding apps out there. Test these metrics based on several real-world tests and synthetic benchmarks to get an idea of your device’s potential.
Are Benchmarking Apps Reliable?
As mentioned earlier, benchmarks are a great way of knowing the raw limits of your smartphone. However, you should always take these results with a grain of salt, as different apps have their unique standards when it comes to testing the potential of your device.
Moreover, these benchmarks are just recreational scenarios of heavy usage, and the numbers do not entirely predict or reflect how your device would perform in real-world situations. However, benchmarks can give you a rough estimate of your device’s capabilities and limitations, and it’s always better than going in blind and not knowing what to expect.
Top Benchmarking Tools for Your Phone
If you’re curious to know more about your phone’s performance, below is a list of some of the best benchmarking apps you can try for free.
3DMark (Android / iPhone) is a well-known benchmark tool that is available for both Android devices and iPhones. It is a great application for testing out your device’s performance, especially when it comes to processing graphics. Thus, it is a tool that will be favored mostly by mobile-gaming enthusiasts who may want to know the strength of their smartphone’s GPU.
3D mark offers two kinds of tests: namely, the fast benchmark and the extended stress test. The fast benchmark tests your phone’s performance under discrete but heavy loads, whereas the long stress test checks the extended graphics performance capabilities of the device. Other than that, there are a few more tests you can run on your device using 3DMark:
- 3DMark Wild Life Extreme: this test is perfect for newer devices with better graphics. It entails an extremely high graphic load, and most phones struggle to even get close to a 15fps mark. It is expected that your phone will generate a lot of heat while running this phone benchmark.
- Sling Shot/Sling Shot Extreme: this test is ideal for comparing the graphic performance between older iPhones or iPads. The results of this test gives you an in-depth analysis of the graphical competence of your phone.
2. Geekbench 5
The successor to Geekbench 4, this new and upgraded app comes with a plethora of tools and features to give a much more accurate readout of your smartphone’s capacities. First and foremost, the developers have removed support for 32-bit CPUs to allow Geekbench 5 (Android / iPhone) to run more vigorous tests and emphasize memory performance.
Apart from that, Geekbench 5 is also an ideal tool for measuring your processor’s single and multicore performance, graphics, and battery life. You can also run performance tests for a variety of new applications, such as augmented reality (AR) and machine learning, to see if your system is capable of handling them.
Another addition to this application is “Compute Benchmark.” It is designed to give you the benefit of identifying the graphic capabilities of your smartphone by using tools like OpenCL, CUDA, and Metal APIs.
GFXBench (Android / iPhone) is a cross-platform and multi-API 3D graphics test suite with more than 10 benchmark tests. It measures graphics performance (including frame rate), long-term performance stability (including stuttering), rendering resolution, and power efficiency – all with one handy application.
GFXBench also detects the API version supported by your device and runs the relevant high-level (Car Chase, Manhattan, T-Rex) or low-level tests (Tessellation, ALU 2, Texturing, Driver Overhead 2) to deliver adequate performance benchmarking.
Moreover, the user interface is also very intuitive, making it easy to select tests, access test results and more. However, what brings it down a notch is its 1GB storage requirement, which is a lot when it comes to benchmarking apps.
A common problem with most benchmarking applications is that they use custom algorithms to test your smartphone under heavy workloads. Often the scenarios are a bit too unrealistic, making it difficult to get a true metric of your device’s performance. PCMark (Android) gets rid of this issue by providing a workload that is most authentic to real-world applications and APIs.
Also separating PCMark from other benchmarking apps is that instead of considering the CPU, GPU, and RAM as separate components, this tool tests them in unison as a system. And if you look at actual scenarios, your smartphone never uses just one component, as it requires all of its hardware to work together. Thus, the PCMark test results are able to give highly accurate readings.
PCMark features the Work 3.0 test, which is used to test your smartphone for web browsing, video and photo editing, gaming, writing, data manipulation, and more. Apart from that, the hardware monitoring feature is another great inclusion, as it lets you test the hardware performance of your smartphone while handling real-world apps and workloads.
5. Disk Speed
As the name suggests, Disk Speed (Android) is a benchmark that primarily focuses on giving you benchmark results for storage disks. Aside from testing your smartphone storage, you can also use this application to measure the performance of your internal, external, and secondary storage devices as well.
The app can automatically detect your smartphone’s storage, saving you the effort of selecting a disk drive manually. From there, it’s very easy to select the type of test you want to run on your storage for quick and accurate results. The best part about this application is that it only takes 1.5 MB of space, making it perfect for people dealing with low-storage space issues.
Overall, the application is very simplistic to use and features a bare-minimum UI, making it easy to navigate through all the options. Of all the storage benchmarks apps available online, we found Disk Speed to be all that a person needs to analyze their smartphone’s storage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do different benchmark apps offer different scores?
Although all the benchmark applications are designed to give you a performance measurement of your smartphone, the result often varies by a lot, as different apps and websites may consider different devices as a standard for comparison. It is also the reason most benchmark scores are not highly accurate when it comes to real-world usage.
Can a single benchmark app test all the aspects of my smartphone?
A short answer would be NO, as different developers incorporate different methods and techniques of testing your device’s hardware. While one application may be better for testing your smartphone’s CPU, it may not necessarily be the best when it comes to memory, storage, or graphic processing capabilities.
How do I compare the benchmark score of my smartphone with other devices?
The final benchmark score of your smartphone will be given in terms of a number. You can compare this number with other similar devices by heading to the overall benchmark result page of the app you’re using. However, keep in mind that the score may be exclusive to that website/app only and may not stand true while using other benchmark apps. The apps in the list above that do the comparison with similar devices for you are:
- Geekbench 5
Image credit: Unsplash
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