PT-Logo
Forgot your password?
BenchmarkXPRT Blog banner

Category: Android M

MobileXPRT 3 is here!

We’re excited to announce that MobileXPRT 3 is now available to the public! MobileXPRT 3 is the latest version of our popular tool for evaluating the performance of Android devices. The BenchmarkXPRT Development Community has been using a community preview for several weeks, but now anyone can run the tool and publish their results.

Compatible with systems running Android 5.0 and above, MobileXPRT 3 includes the same performance workloads as MobileXPRT 2015 (Apply Photo Effects, Create Photo Collages, Create Slideshow, Encrypt Personal Content, and Detect Faces to Organize Photos), plus a new optical character recognition-based workload called Scan Receipts for Spreadsheet.

MobileXPRT 3 is available at MobileXPRT.com and on the Google Play Store. Alternatively, you can download the app using either of the links below:



After trying out MobileXPRT 3, please submit your scores here and send any comments to BenchmarkXPRTsupport@principledtechnologies.com. To see test results from a variety of systems, go to MobileXPRT.com and click View Results, where you’ll find scores from a variety of Android devices. We look forward to seeing your results!

Justin

BatteryXPRT’s future

A few weeks ago, we discussed the future of HDXPRT. This week, we’re focusing on the current state of BatteryXPRT 2014 for Android, and how the benchmark may evolve in 2017.

BatteryXPRT continues to provide users with reliable evaluations of their Android device’s performance and battery life under real-world conditions. Originally designed to be compatible with Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) and above, the benchmark continues to work well on subsequent versions of Android, up to and including Android 6.0 (Marshmallow).

Since Android 7 (Nougat) began to roll out on select devices in the past few months, our internal testing has shown that we’ll need to adjust the BatteryXPRT source code to maintain compatibility with devices running Android 7 and above. We developed the existing source when Eclipse was the officially supported SDK environment, and now we need to bring the code in line with the current Android Studio SDK.

Practically speaking, BatteryXPRT does run on Nougat, and to the best of our knowledge, battery life results are still accurate and reliable. However, the test will not produce a performance score. As more Nougat devices are released in the coming months, it’s possible that other aspects of the benchmark may encounter issues. If this happens during your testing, we encourage you to let us know.

Because MobileXPRT 2015 and BatteryXPRT 2014 performance workloads are so closely related, the next obvious question is whether MobileXPRT 2015 runs on Nougat devices. As of now, MobileXPRT 2015 does run successfully and reliably on Android 7, and this is because the most recent build of MobileXPRT 2015 was compiled using a newer SDK.

We think the best course of action for MobileXPRT 2015 and BatteryXPRT will be to eventually combine them into a single, easy-to-use Android benchmark for performance and battery life. We’ll talk more about that plan in the coming months, and we look forward to hearing your input. Until that transition is successful, we’ll continue to support both BatteryXPRT and MobileXPRT 2015.

As always, we welcome your feedback on these developments, as well as any ideas you may have for future XPRTs.

Justin

Sleep studies

Last week, we discussed the increasing complexity of power options in Android 6.0. Features such as Doze and App Standby have changed the way that the operating system manages app activity, and the wide array of UI skins used by many vendors ensures that the steps needed for pre-test configuration differ considerably from device to device.

Managing Android’s Doze feature is critical to getting a good BatteryXPRT score. To show how involved this process can be, we thought it might be helpful to present the steps for one device. Below my sig are the configuration steps we used for the Huawei Mate 8, which we recently featured in the XPRT Weekly Tech Spotlight. For other phones we’ve tested, the steps have been quite different. We’re working on distilling our experience for our tips and tricks document, and the updated version of the document will be available soon. If you have any useful tips, please let us know.

Justin

Whitelist BatteryXPRT (there are two ways to do this)
1) Access Battery manager from Settings/Advanced settings or from the Phone Manager app on the home screen.
2) Select Protected apps.
3) Use the toggles beside BatteryXPRT and BatteryXPRT Tests to allow them to keep running after the screen turns off.

Configure sleep settings
1) Open Settings from the home screen.
2) Select Display.
3) Select Sleep.
4) Select Never. This may reset to a default setting on its own. In our case, it reset to 10 minutes.

Configure screen lock settings
1) Open Settings from the home screen.
2) Select Advanced settings.
3) Select Security.
4) Scroll to the bottom of the list and use the toggle to turn off Screen lock. This keeps the device screen from locking after standby periods during the test.

Staying awake

Android developers continue to respond to user demands for longer battery life. Android 6 brought a number of enhancements to improve battery life, and Android N promises even more! Device makers often add device-specific options in their customized UIs, which means the options can differ greatly from device to device. A power-conscious user has a lot more control, but with that control comes complexity.

Not that long ago, preparing a device to run BatteryXPRT was simple: turn off automatic updates, kill unnecessary backgrounds apps, and set the screen to stay awake for at least 30 minutes. That’s still the case for many devices. However, it’s often much more complex. You may have to whitelist BatteryXPRT to keep Android from killing it when the device is in standby. Always-on features may interfere with standby. Security lock timers can override screen-timeout settings for the display – and the list goes on.

We’ve been testing a lot of devices and taking notes. In the next couple of weeks, we’ll be updating the BatteryXPRT Tips and Tricks document to reflect what we’ve learned. If you’ve encountered any of these issues, we’d love to add your tips to the list, so please send them our way!

Eric

Focusing the spotlight

As you may have heard, the Samsung Galaxy S7 is the XPRT Weekly Tech Spotlight this week.  As we were testing it, we noticed that our WebXPRT scores were about 8 percent lower than those reported by AnandTech.

The folks at AnandTech do a good job on their reviews, so we wanted to understand the discrepancy in scores. The S7 comes in a couple of models, so we started by verifying that our model was the same as theirs. It was.

The next step was to check their configuration against ours, and this is where we found the difference. Both phones were running the same version of Android, but the S7 AnandTech tested used Chrome 48 while the S7 we tested came preloaded with Chrome 49. In our testing, we’ve noticed that upgrading from Chrome 48 to Chrome 49 has a noticeable performance impact on certain devices. On the Samsung Galaxy S6, the scores went down about 10 percent. In all cases we’ve seen, the decrease is driven largely by the Stock Option Pricing workload.

This isn’t the first time we’ve written about browser versions affecting results. WebXPRT is a browsing benchmark, and the browser has a legitimate impact on performance. When you’re comparing results, it’s always important to look at all the factors involved.

Justin

Last week in the XPRTs

We published the XPRT Weekly Tech Spotlight on the Samsung Galaxy S7.
We added two new BatteryXPRT ’14 results.
We added one new MobileXPRT ’15 result.
We added four new WebXPRT ’15 results.

An update on MobileXPRT 2015

As I mentioned last week, we’ve been testing MobileXPRT 2015.

We’ve rebuilt the current MobileXPRT as a 64-bit application. This means that MobileXPRT 2015 will only run on Android 5.0 and above. For this reason, we’ll make MobileXPRT 2013 available for testing older versions of the operating system. Because the workloads haven’t changed, you’ll be able to compare results from MobileXPRT 2013 to those from MobileXPRT 2015.

Another change to MobileXPRT 2015 will be the removal of the UX tests. While these tests were useful on lower-end devices when MobileXPRT 2013 came out, they don’t distinguish modern devices. However, should you need them, these tests will continue to be available as part of MobileXPRT 2013.

There are a few other features that we’ll be talking about over the next few weeks. We’ll be releasing the MobileXPRT 2015 community preview before Android M is released. We’re looking forward to see how Android M performs!

Eric

Check out the other XPRTs: