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Category: Mobile devices

It’s time to shop for the holidays, and the XPRTs are here to help!

The holiday season is fast approaching, and with widespread product shortages and supply chain interruptions in the tech industry, it’s wise to start your holiday shopping now. If you’re considering phones, tablets, Chromebooks, or laptops as gifts, but are unsure where to get reliable information about the devices, the XPRTs can help!

One of the core functions of the XPRTs is to cut through the marketing noise by providing objective, reliable measures of a device’s performance. For example, instead of trying to guess whether a new Chromebook is fast enough to handle the demands of remote learning, you can use its CrXPRT and WebXPRT performance scores to see how it stacks up against the competition on everyday tasks.

A good place to start looking for device scores is our XPRT results browser, which lets you access our database of more than 2,800 test results from over 110 sources, including major tech review publications around the world, OEMs, and independent testers. You can find a wealth of current and historical performance data across all the XPRT benchmarks and hundreds of devices. Learn how to use the results browser here.

If you’re considering a popular device, chances are good that a recent tech review includes an XPRT score for that device. You can find these reviews by going to your favorite tech review site and searching for “XPRT,” or entering the name of the device and the appropriate XPRT (e.g., “Apple iPad” and “WebXPRT”) in a search engine. Here are a few recent tech reviews that use one or more of the XPRTs to evaluate popular devices:

The XPRTs can help consumers make better-informed and more confident tech purchases this holiday season, and we hope you’ll find the data you need on our site or in an XPRT-related tech review. If you have any questions about the XPRTs, XPRT scores, or the results database please feel free to ask!

Justin

Following up with MobileXPRT 3 on Android 11

As we discussed last week, we’ve learned that MobileXPRT 3 is crashing after installation on some Android 11 phones. We now know what is causing this behavior: changes to the storage strategy and permissions requirements in Android 11. The new file storage strategy is called scoped storage. By default, scoped storage restricts an app’s storage access to app-specific directories and media, and prohibits general access to external or public directories. This default setting requires an opt-in permissions prompt that MobileXPRT 3 does not currently have. It also prevents third-party apps such as email clients or file managers from being accessing MobileXPRT 3 results files.

To fix this, we are planning to rebuild MobileXPRT 3 to (1) point all of the benchmark’s file references to its private directory, and (2) allow users to zip results files and attach them to results submission emails. While we do not expect that either of these changes will affect performance results, we’ll perform testing to confirm this before we publish the new build.

We don’t expect these changes to take too long, and will keep you updated here in the blog. If you have any questions about the update process or MobileXPRT 3, please let us know!

Justin

New MobileXPRT 3 installations may crash on Android 11

We recently received a tech support inquiry about problems with new MobileXPRT 3 installations on some Android 11 phones. The tester installed MobileXPRT 3 on a selection of phones running Android 11, and the app crashed immediately upon opening. We were able to reproduce the issue on multiple phones in our lab, and currently know that the issue may happen on the Google Pixel 3, Google Pixel 4a 5G, Google Pixel 4XL, Google Pixel 5, and the OnePlus 8T (running Android 11 with an Oxygen OS skin).

MobileXPRT 3 continues to run without issues on Android 9 and 10 phones. When we updated an Android 10 phone with an existing MobileXPRT 3 installation to Android 11, we found that the benchmark ran successfully. This suggests a lack of fundamental incompatibilities between MobileXPRT 3 and current versions of Android 11. Because some of our lab techs experienced crashes immediately after the app asked for permissions, we think it’s possible that new permissions-setting requirements in Android 11 are causing the problem.

We’re currently working to isolate the problem and identify a course of action. We’ll share more information here in the blog as soon as possible. If you’ve encountered this problem in your testing, we apologize for the inconvenience, and we’re thankful for your patience as we work towards a solution.

If you have any information you’d like to share about running MobileXPRT 3 on Android 11, please let us know!

Justin

CES 2020: AI in action and a “smart” future

During last year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), one question kept coming to mind as I walked the floor: Are we approaching the tipping point where AI truly affects most people in meaningful ways on a daily basis? I think it’s safe to say that we’ve reached that point as a result of AI integration with phones. After all, for many of us, AI improves the quality of our photography, recommends words and phrases as we text and search the web, and lets us know when to allow extra drive time because traffic is heavy.

However, for me, the most intriguing aspects of this year’s CES are the glimpses of how AI will change every area of our lives, with and without mobile devices. The show floor is jam-packed with ways to integrate AI with everything from athletic shoes to pet care to the kitchen sink. Many of these ideas are fascinating on their own, and they’re all part of a much bigger picture. The next few years will see increased AI utilization in medicine, transportation, agriculture, water and energy distribution, natural resource protection, and many more areas. Our personal smart devices will connect to smart vehicles, smart homes, smart grids, and smart cities. In the near future, CES shows won’t need AI sections because AI will be a part of everything.

At each step of this journey, people will need objective data about how well their tech can handle the demands of common AI workloads. We’re excited that AIXPRT is already becoming a go-to tool for testing inference performance on laptops, desktops, and servers. There’s much more to come with AIXPRT in 2020, along with news about XPRTs in the datacenter, so stay tuned to the blog for exciting developments in the weeks to come!

I’ll leave you with pics from three of my favorite displays at this year’s show. The first is a model of Toyota’s Woven City. Toyota announced plans to build an entire mini city on existing company land near Mount Fuji. The city will house 2,000 people and will serve as an enormous real-time lab where designers and engineers can test ubiquitous AI and sensor technology. Toyota will also design the city to be fully sustainable with the use of hydrogen fuel cells and solar panels.

The second picture shows the electric Hyundai Urban Air Mobility prototype. Hyundai is partnering with Uber on this project, and the planned vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) craft will seat five passengers plus a pilot, have a range of 60 miles, and be able to recharge in less than 10 minutes. These concepts aren’t new, but battery and material sciences technologies are progressing to the point that this one may get off the ground!

The third picture shows BrainCo’s AI Prosthetic Hand display. The hand provides amputees with new levels of dexterity compared to previous prosthetics, and it uses AI to learn from the user’s patterns of movement. The idea is that the accuracy of gestures and grips will improve over time, allowing users to accomplish tasks that are impossible with existing technology. A young man in the booth was using the hand to paint beautiful and precise Chinese calligraphy. Very cool!

Justin

The XPRT Spotlight Black Friday Showcase helps you shop with confidence

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are almost here, and you may be feeling overwhelmed by the sea of tech gifts to choose from. The XPRTs are here to help. We’ve gathered the product specs and performance facts for some of the hottest tech devices in one convenient place—the XPRT Spotlight Black Friday Showcase. The Showcase is a free shopping tool that provides side-by-side comparisons of some of the season’s most popular smartphones, laptops, Chromebooks, tablets, and PCs. It helps you make informed buying decisions so you can shop with confidence this holiday season.

Want to know how the Google Pixel 4 stacks up against the Apple iPhone 11 or Samsung Galaxy Note10 in web browsing performance or screen size? Simply select any two devices in the Showcase and click Compare. You can also search by device type if you’re interested in a specific form factor such as consoles or tablets.

The Showcase doesn’t go away after Black Friday. We’ll rename it the XPRT Holiday Showcase and continue to add devices such as the Microsoft Surface Pro X throughout the shopping season. Be sure to check back in and see how your tech gifts measure up.

If this is the first you’ve heard about the XPRT Tech Spotlight, here’s a little background. Our hands-on testing process equips consumers with accurate information about how devices function in the real world. We test devices using our industry-standard BenchmarkXPRT tools: WebXPRT, MobileXPRT, TouchXPRT, CrXPRT, BatteryXPRT, and HDXPRT. In addition to benchmark results, we include photographs, specs, and prices for all products. New devices come online weekly, and you can browse the full list of almost 200 that we’ve featured to date on the Spotlight page.

If you represent a device vendor and want us to feature your product in the XPRT Tech Spotlight, please visit the website for more details.

Justin

The MobileXPRT 3 source code is now available

We’re excited to announce that the MobileXPRT 3 source code is now available to BenchmarkXPRT Development Community members!

Download the MobileXPRT 3 source here (login required).

We’ve also posted a download link on the MobileXPRT tab in the Members’ Area, where you will find instructions for setting up and configuring a local instance of MobileXPRT 3.

As part of our community model for software development, source code for each of the XPRTs is available to anyone who joins the community. If you’d like to review XPRT source code, but haven’t yet joined the community, we encourage you to join! Registration is quick and easy, and if you work for a company or organization with an interest in benchmarking, you can join the community for free. Simply fill out the form with your company e-mail address and select the option to be considered for a free membership. We’ll contact you to verify the address and then activate your membership.

If you have any other questions about community membership or XPRT source code, feel free to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you!

Justin

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