again, the talented studio team here at Principled Technologies has worked with
the XPRT team to put together some great content. This week, we published a
recap video of Mark’s recent trip to Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2023 in Barcelona. In the
video, Mark discusses how “velocity” was the headline theme of this year’s MWC,
but infrastructure was the true backbone of the show. The challenges of
developing the infrastructure necessary for tomorrow’s tech aren’t limited to
obvious topics like 5G deployment, bandwidth, and accessibility; they also
include “soft” infrastructure topics like security, management, and reliability.
As everything gets faster, we’ll need tools such as the XPRTs to provide
reliable information about which devices can handle the increased demands of
We encourage you to
check out the video, along with Mark’s blog post
from the show and MWC-related photos on social media. To view the video,
you can follow this link
or click the screenshot below. If you attended or followed MWC this year and have
any thoughts about how the XPRTs can help to evaluate cutting-edge technologies,
we’d love to hear
When the tech industry is at its best, a virtuous cycle of
capabilities and use cases chases its own tail to produce ever-better tech for
us all. Faster CPUs drive new usage models, which in turn emerge and swamp the
CPUs, which then must get faster. Better screens make us want higher-quality video,
which requires more bandwidth to deliver and causes us to desire even better
displays. Apps connect us in more ways, but those connections require more
bandwidth, which leads to new apps that can take advantage of those faster
connections. And on and on.
Put a finger on the cycle at any given moment, and you’ll see that while all the elements are in motion, some are the stars of the moment. To keep the cycle going, it’s crucial for these areas to improve the most. At Mobile World Congress 2023 (#MWC23), that distinction belonged to infrastructure. Yes, some new mobile phones were on display, Lenovo showed off new ThinkPads, and other mobile devices were in abundance, but as I walked the eight huge halls, I couldn’t help but notice the heavy emphasis on infrastructure.
5G, for example, is real now—but it’s far from everywhere.
Telecom providers have to figure out how to profitably build out the networks
necessary to support it. The whole industry must solve the problems of delivering
5G at huge scale, handle the traffic increases it will bring, switch and route
the data, and ultimately make sure the end devices can take full advantage of
that data. Management and security remain vital whenever data is flying around,
so those softer pieces of infrastructure also matter greatly.
Inevitably and always, to know if we as an industry are
meeting these challenges, we must measure performance—both in the raw speed
sense and in the broader sense of the word. Are we seeing the full bandwidth we
expect? Are devices handling the data properly and at speed? Where’s the
bottleneck now? Are we delivering on the schedules we promised? Questions such
as these are key concerns in every tech cycle—and some of them are exactly what
the XPRTs focus on.
As we improve our infrastructure, we hope to see the benefits at a personal level. When you’re using a device—whether it’s a smart watch, a mobile phone, or a laptop—you need it to do its job well, respond to you quickly, and show you what you want when you want it. When your device makes you wait, it can be helpful to know if the bandwidth feeding data to the device is the bottleneck or if the device simply can’t keep up with the flow of data it’s receiving. The XPRTs can help you figure out what’s going on, and they will continue to be useful and important as the tech cycle spins on. If history is our guide, the infrastructure focus of MWC23 will lead to greater capabilities that require even better devices down the line. We look forward to testing them.
Mobile World Congress
(MWC) 2023 kicks off on
February 27th, and we’re excited that Mark Van Name will be
attending the event for the first time since the last pre-pandemic show in 2019. Each year, MWC offers a great opportunity to examine the
new trends and technologies that will shape mobile technology in the years
to come. The major themes of this year’s show include the latest advances in 5G
and IoT technologies, along with what GSMA is calling “Reality+.” Reality+
refers to the intersection of AI, AR, VR, and 5G, and the potential impacts of
these immersive technologies on our future.
Mark will be sharing his thoughts from this year’s show here in the XPRT blog, so be sure to stayed tuned. Will you be attending MWC this year? If so, let us know!
If you’ve been reading the XPRT blog for a while, you know that
we occasionally like to revisit a series of in-house WebXPRT comparison tests
to see if recent updates have changed the performance rankings of popular web
browsers. We published our most
recent comparison last April, when we
used WebXPRT 4 to compare the performance of five browsers on the same system.
For this round of tests, we used a Dell
XPS 13 7930, which features an Intel Core i3-10110U processor and 4 GB of RAM, running
Windows 11 Home updated to version 22H2 (22621.1105). We installed all current
Windows updates, and updated each of the browsers under test: Brave, Google
Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera.
After the update process completed, we turned off updates to
prevent them from interfering with test runs. We ran WebXPRT 4 three times on each
of the five browsers. The score we post for each browser is the median of the
three test runs.
In our last round of tests, Edge was the clear winner, with a
2.2 percent performance advantage over Chrome. Firefox came in last, about 3
percent slower than Opera, which was in the middle of the pack. With updated
versions of the browsers, the only change in rank order was that Brave moved
into a tie with Opera.
While the rank order from this round of tests was very similar to the previous round, we did observe two clear performance trends: (1) the range between high and low scores was tighter, dropping from a difference of 7.8 percent to 4.3 percent, and (2) every browser demonstrated improved performance. The chart below illustrates both trends. Firefox showed the single largest score improvement at 7.8 percent, but the performance jump for each browser was considerable.
Do these results mean that Microsoft
Edge will always provide a speedier web experience, or Firefox will always be
slower than the others? Not necessarily. It’s true that a device with a higher
WebXPRT score will probably feel faster during daily web activities than one
with a much lower score, but your experience depends in part on the types of
things you do on the web, along with your system’s privacy settings, memory
load, ecosystem integration, extension activity, and web app capabilities.
In addition, browser speed can noticeably
increase or decrease after an update, and OS-specific optimizations can affect
performance, such as with Edge on Windows 11 and Chrome on Chrome OS. All these
variables are important to keep in mind when considering how WebXPRT results
translate to your everyday experience.
Have you used WebXPRT to compare browser performance on the same system? Let us know how it turned out!
Around the beginning
of each new year, we like to take the opportunity to look back and summarize
the XPRT highlights from the previous year. Readers of our newsletter are
familiar with the stats and updates we include each month, but for our blog
readers who don’t receive the newsletter, we’ve compiled some highlights from
XPRTs in the media
Journalists, advertisers, and analysts referenced the XPRTs thousands of times
in 2022. It’s always rewarding to know that the XPRTs have proven to be useful
and reliable assessment tools for technology publications around the world.
Media sites that used the XPRTs in 2022 include AnandTech, Android Authority, Benchlife.info
(China), BodNara (South Korea), ComputerBase (Germany), DISKIDEE (Belgium),
eTeknix, Expert Reviews, Gadgets 360, Hardware.info (The Netherlands), Hardware
Zone (Singapore), ITC.ua (Ukraine), ITmedia (Japan), Itndaily.ru (Russia), Notebookcheck,
PCMag, PC-Welt (Germany), PCWorld, TechPowerUp, Tom’s Guide, TweakTown, and
In 2022, we had more than 10,800 benchmark downloads and 183,300 confirmed runs.
Users have run our most popular benchmark, WebXPRT, more than 1,135,500 times since
its debut in 2013! WebXPRT continues to be a go-to, industry-standard
performance benchmark for OEM labs, vendors, and leading tech press outlets around
XPRT media, tools, and publications Part of our mission with the XPRTs is to produce tools and materials that help testers better understand the ins and outs of benchmarking in general and the XPRTs in particular. To help achieve this goal, we published the following in 2022:
have a very talented studio team here at Principled Technologies, and this
week, the team worked with the XPRTs to put together a CES 2023 recap video. In
it, I discuss why we traveled to CES, my overall impressions from the show, and
how the ideas and technologies presented at the show may influence the development
of future XPRT benchmarks. If you missed last week’s post
about my initial thoughts on the advances in AR and VR technology at the show,
or you didn’t get a chance to see some of our photos from the show on social media, this week’s video
provides a good summary of our CES-related activity.
To view the video, you
can follow this link or click the
screenshot below. If you followed CES this year and have any thoughts about how
the XPRTs can help to evaluate emerging technologies, we’d love to hear