Every other time you read a review I have penned here, you won’t miss the part where I talk about that particular device’s performance. Most times, if not all the times, my assessment of a device’s particular performance is more subjective than objective.
This is because there are so many factors that go into how we use our devices and, unless you work in a technology lab setting (or, like I like saying, live in a vacuum), all those factors influence, to a great extent, the much we can squeeze out of a device. Even then, the results will always stick to a defined curve dictated by both the hardware capabilities as well as the optimizations made to make sure the software plays nicely with the hardware.
For instance, however much the Snapdragon 845 may be behind Huawei’s new Kirin 980, smartphone users can expect some of the best performance that can be had on any mobile device in this day and age when using devices with either chipset, the mind-boggling difference in the raw numbers notwithstanding.
While that is so, there are still those among us who prefer their numbers raw. These are the sort that turn to several applications to benchmark their devices and the under-the-hood hardware components like the SoC (system-on-a-chip i.e. the central processor, the graphics processor as well as other components). When it comes to such, there are fewer apps that are synonymous with smartphone benchmarking than AnTuTu, the China-based software benchmarking tool.
Every now and then (monthly), AnTuTu releases a list of devices that have been run through its tool by users around the world as well as the manufacturers themselves and how they stack up against each other performance-wise. Last month, this is how that list looked like:
As you can notice, the list is an interesting mix that’s dominated by 2018 smartphones, mostly from China-based makers. It is interesting that the “flagship killer” Pocophone F1 outranks Samsung’s 2018 flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S9+ and is within cross-hairs of its heavyweight for the second half of the year, the Galaxy Note 9.
It is not surprising that Huawei devices, which pride themselves in packing chipsets from the company’s subsidiary, HiSilicon, are missing from the list. Not only do they pack a chipset that is a year old (it’s just been refreshed for the next generation of Huawei mobile devices), the latest premium Huawei smartphones have been found cheating i.e. boosting performance when they detect that a benchmark process has been initiated. You know how in school you would pretend to be studying hard when the teacher came around yet you were either half-asleep, hallucinating or engaged in deep chatter that had nothing to do with schoolwork? Something like that. Still, the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro manage to make it to the AnTuTu top 50. As does my favourite smartphone for much of this year, the Nokia 7 Plus.