Anandtech Stories October 4, 2013

Beginning today, AT&T Moto X owners will be able to download the camera improvements that debuted a few weeks ago. According to AnandTech, this update greatly improves the quality of images taken with the Moto X camera.

There are some other improvements in this update from AT&T that focus on Touchless control accuracy, updates to Motorola Migrate and finding lost phones functionality.

  • Camera enhancements:
    • Enhanced camera auto-white balance performance and color accuracy.
    • Improved exposure when taking photos outside or backlit, and improved clarity in low light.
    • Faster touch-to-focus time and reduced unnecessary refocusing in low light or scenes with continuous motion.
  • Faster response and improved accuracy when using Touchless Control and easier set up and training of the “Ok Google Now” trigger.
  • Enhanced transfer of content from old phone to new phone using Motorola Migrate.
  • Fine-tuned feature that allows you to find phone when it is lost that sometimes prevented a lost phone from reporting its location.

More at AT&T. expand full story

Anandtech Stories October 2, 2013

When a story earlier this week discovered Samsung was artificially inflating benchmark scores for its new Galaxy Note 3, many were quick to point out it wasn’t the first time Samsung had been caught engaged in such a practice. The same issue was discovered by AnandTech for the Galaxy S4 back in July, and today the site has an extensive report showing that almost every Android smartphone manufacturer is shipping devices that do the same.

As pictured in the chart above, that includes the HTC One, HTC One mini, LG G2, Galaxy Tab 10.1, and many others. In fact, the only companies that appear to not be using the method is Apple and Motorola, as well as Google with its Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 devices:

We started piecing this data together back in July, and even had conversations with both silicon vendors and OEMs about getting it to stop. With the exception of Apple and Motorola, literally every single OEM we’ve worked with ships (or has shipped) at least one device that runs this silly CPU optimization. It’s possible that older Motorola devices might’ve done the same thing, but none of the newer devices we have on hand exhibited the behavior. It’s a systemic problem that seems to have surfaced over the last two years, and one that extends far beyond Samsung…  None of the Nexus do, which is understandable since the optimization isn’t a part of AOSP. This also helps explain why the Nexus 4 performed so slowly when we reviewed it – this mess was going on back then and Google didn’t partake.

As noted in the report, the gains that OEMs are experiencing from the inflated scores are probably not worth the press they’ve been receiving. AnandTech points out that most of the inflated scores provide under a 10% increase in GPU and CPU performance benchmarks: expand full story

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Anandtech Stories August 1, 2012

Benchmarks reveal ‘strong storage performance’ for 16GB Nexus 7

AnandTech ran the 16 GB Nexus 7 through the Android version of its standard SSD tests using Androbench, and the in-depth results indicate the Google-branded tablet boasts “strong storage performance.”

The performance highlights:

  • — Sequential read speed at 19.8 MB/s (slower than 8 GB model, 32 GB Motorola Xyboard 10.1, and 16 GB Samsung Galaxy Nexus).
  • — Sequential write speed at 10. 47 MB/s (faster than 8 GB model, 16 GB Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and 16 GB Asus Transformer Pad 300).
  • — Random read performance at 7. 79 MB/s (faster than 8 GB model, 16 GB Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and 16 GB Asus Transformer Pad 300).
  • — Random read performance at 0.46 MB/s (faster than 8 GB model, 16 GB Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and 16 GB Asus Transformer Pad 300).

AnandTech’s Anand Lal Shimpi said the difference in IO performance “isn’t significant enough to push you towards the $250 Nexus 7 if you don’t need the extra space,” but he told folks to consider the 16 GB model an “added benefit.”

Get the full report at AnandTech.

Anandtech Stories February 21, 2012

Anandtech put Qualcomm’s new dual-core Snapdragon S4 mobile chip (also known as the MSM8960) through its paces, and the numbers are just mind-blowing. The crux of the publication’s lengthy post is that there is much to look forward to with this chip. With the overall Vellamo score nearly double that of the Galaxy Nexus’s chip (a dual-core 1.2 GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4460 processor based on an ARM Cortex-A9 CPU with 1GB RAM and a PowerVR SGX540 GPU), Qualcomm’s offering is no slouch by any mean.

In a nutshell: the MSM8960 absolutely destroys every other phone/CPU on the market right now in every. single. benchmark.

The dual-core MSM8960 is clocked at 1.5GHz and it boasts the new 28 Krait architecture that supports one, two, or four CPUs. It will be interesting to see how Qualcomm’s chip stacks up against NVidia’s upcoming Tegra 3 silicon. For the time being, it is the fastest off all the other publicly released phone CPUs, making possible higher-performing smartphones in 2012.

Read past the fold for the benchmark results.

expand full story

Anandtech Stories January 19, 2012

AnandTech does its typical thorough job of reviewing the Galaxy Nexus and, as you can see above, there is an in-depth analysis of the mobile landscape.  The conclusion was not much different from ours, however.  Spoiler:

As far as Ice Cream Sandwich is concerned, it really is Android perfected. Everything is smoother, faster and nearly all of our issues with the OS have been addressed. ICS brings Android into 2012 and gives Google a great platform to begin to introduce new features going forward. Android is now very close to UI performance parity with iOS, which eliminates a major tradeoff you had to make in the past. If you were hoping for ICS to be iOS with a Google logo on it, you’ll be sorely disappointed. However if you’re a fan of Android and just wished it were smoother and more polished, Ice Cream Sandwich is what you’ve been waiting for.

expand full story

Anandtech Stories September 12, 2011

Anandtech has published some interesting findings based on their extensive Samsung Galaxy S II review. It’s the first smartphone to use the graphics processing unit based on the Mali-400 core from ARM Holdings, a fables chip maker from the UK. In fact, Samsung has engineered and manufactured its own system-on-a-chip solution for the handset.

They call it the Exynos 4210 and it combines a dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU core and the aforementioned Mali-400 GPU sporting four cores. The resulting performance, says Anandtech, is comparable to Texas Instruments OMAP 4 chip that incorporates Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR SGX540 GPU core. However, the quad-core 1.2GHz Exynos 4210 probably won’t hold a candle to iPhone 5, which will likely carry the same dual-core processor-GPU combo as the iPad 2’s 1GHz A5 chip:

Samsung implemented a 4-core version of the Mali-400 in the 4210 and its resulting performance is staggering as you can see above. Although it’s still not as fast as the PowerVR SGX 543MP2 found in the iPad 2, it’s anywhere from 1.7 – 4x faster than anything that’s shipping in a smartphone today.

Interestingly, and per the GL Benchmark seen in the above image, the Exynos 4210 is more than twice as fast compared to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 that runs Nvidia’s Tegra 2 chi. It’s also nearly four times speedier than iPhone 4’s 800 MHz A4 chip which has the PowerVT SGX535 GPU core. However, the 4210 falls short in the triangle throughput department.

The publication this this could be a big disadvantage over the iPad 2’s A5 processor that clocks nine times the graphics performance of the original iPad’s A4 chip. Triangle throughput is important in graphics-intensive games and will become key in “future games that may scale along that vector rather than simply increasing pixel shader complexity”. The video of Anandtech’s Samsung Galaxy S II review is right after the break.

Cross-posted on 9to5Mac.com.

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