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Category: PhoneXPRT

Our baby has a new name!

The upcoming Android benchmark will be called MobileXPRT. Thanks to everyone who sent in suggestions. We are testing development builds now and look forward to having a community preview available in the next few weeks.

In other news, the developer license used to build TouchXPRT expired this week. We have created a new version to fix this problem. If you are a TouchXPRT user, you’ll need to download the new version for any future testing. You can find the details here.

As we mentioned in the post Three names, two hosts, we set up a second WebXPRT hosting site to see if that would improve the slow downloads reported in China. To help us better understand the situation, we are going to start logging IP addresses for the host at http://54.251.252.204/webxprt/. We are doing this to see if there are regional differences in the download time. This change does not affect users of WebXPRT at http://www.principledtechnologies.com/benchmarkxprt/webxprt/. Neither host will gather personally identifying information.

Eric

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Presentation XPRT

A few weeks ago, the Mobile PC Extended Battery Life Working Group (EBL WG) asked me to give a presentation about the BenchmarkXPRT benchmarks during one of their meetings. The group started a little over 10 years ago and is an industry organization focusing on achieving all-day battery life in mobile PC platforms.

There was a catch, of course. The meeting was this week, in Taipei. Luckily, we were able to grant the request without racking up any frequent flier miles—thanks to the wonders of technology, I was able to give the presentation remotely.

Taipei is 12 hours ahead of us here on the East Coast, so I made arrangements to give the presentation last night at 9:30 pm, making it 9:30 am the next day there—the first thing on the agenda for today. (Oh, the vagaries of time zones!)

During the one-hour session we talked about HDXPRT, TouchXPRT, WebXPRT and MobileXPRT (which, for the moment, is how we internally refer to the XPRT formerly known as PhoneXPRT). And of course, we discussed the BenchmarkXPRT Development Community. It went well, and we had some great questions from the group.

It went so well, in fact, that I’d love to do it again. I like talking about the development community and the XPRTs, and would welcome the chance to present to other groups. If you are interested or know an organization that is, you can email us at benchmarkxprtsupport@principledtechnologies.com.

Bill

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A happy coincidence

I love new gadgets and even the promise of new ones. Samsung just announced the specs for their upcoming Galaxy Tab 3. Initial reactions to the specs have been somewhat muted to say the least. Basically, they’ve looked at this as only an incremental improvement to the current model. The early rumors of a larger screen and bigger improvements, which turned out to be false, surely contributed to the disappointed reactions.

That being said, some sites claim that the performance of the Galaxy Tab 3 is much higher than the Galaxy Tab 2, particularly regarding graphics. We look forward to verifying these claims ourselves.

Coincidentally, this week we have been playing with an early version of PhoneXPRT (or whatever we end up calling it). So far, things are looking good. We ran it on several devices, including a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. Like all the XPRT benchmarks, it uses real- world scenarios, which we think result in more useful and accurate results. We’ll talk more about the scenarios in the next few weeks.

It’s a very exciting time in the Android phone and tablet market. I can’t wait to try out subsequent versions of the new benchmark on the latest and greatest Android devices!

Bill

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Three names, two hosts

As Bill mentioned a couple of weeks ago in The Name Game, we’ve been considering changing the name of PhoneXPRT. The rationale for this is that the tests in PhoneXPRT are useful for a range of devices, from phones to tablets. We asked for your opinions about the name. After getting your input and talking amongst ourselves, we are considering three possibilities:

  • Leaving the name unchanged.
  • Changing the name to MobileXPRT. While this would convey the scope of the benchmark, some people thought the name might be too general.
  • Changing the name to TouchXPRT for Android. While there is some similarity between the tests in TouchXPRT and the ones we are developing for this benchmark, the two benchmarks would not initially be comparable.

Let us know what you think. We hope to settle the name question soon.

As we mentioned in Loose Ends, some users in mainland China are reporting extremely slow download times when running WebXPRT. We have set up a trial host for WebXPRT in Singapore to see if this improves the situation. Preliminary, US-based tests have seen no significant difference in scores when running from the Singapore host.

If you are in China and want to try running WebXPRT from the new host, you will find it at http://54.251.252.204/webxprt/. Please let us know your experience.

Eric

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Rapid Evolution

As Bill mentioned last week, we are considering changing the name of PhoneXPRT, not only because of the interest in using the benchmark scenarios on Android based tablets, but also because the line between phones and tablets has become blurred.

Devices that are too big to be a phone and too small to be a proper tablet are everywhere. PC Magazine says the first true “phablet” – possibly the ugliest portmanteau in the history of technology – was the AT&T EO 440 in 1993. However, it was more 8 years before Samsung had the first really successful phablet, the Galaxy Note. Now, less than 2 years later, there are rumors that Samsung may kill the Note in favor of the Samsung Galaxy Mega.

Obviously, this is one of the fastest evolving areas in tech. This rapid evolution has given us an almost bewildering array for devices, from small phones such as the Sony Xperia Mini, which a child can hold in one hand, to the ASUS Transformer AiO P1801, which has a whopping 18.4” screen! All this speed and diversity obviously pose challenges for the new benchmark, but it makes the work very exciting as well!

We have received comments about the name and we really appreciate those. If you have any thoughts, let us know. We hope to make a decision about whether to change the name soon.

Eric

P.S. I should note: The Transformer AiOP1801 also runs Windows 8, which means it’s a great candidate for TouchXPRT as well.

 

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The name game

There’s a lot going on in the world of the XPRTs. We’re working on HDXPRT 2013, writing white papers, building up our results database, and thinking ahead to the next versions of TouchXPRT and WebXPRT. At the same time, we are giving quite a bit of attention to PhoneXPRT.

As we said in the PhoneXPRT press release last month, PhoneXPRT will use the same kinds of realistic scenarios the other XPRT benchmarks do. These scenarios include tasks that people perform on phones as well as other mobile devices.

We’ve gone back and forth on the seemingly simple question of how to define what a phone is. At one point, defining a phone as a mobile device that you put to your ear seemed to suffice. As phones grow larger and tablets smaller, that doesn’t really hold up.

We also have a decent bit of interest in using the benchmark on Android-based tablets as well as phones. That seems like a good idea to us, as we are all for getting the most out of any benchmark.

One issue, however, is that PhoneXPRT is not a great name for a benchmark that may be commonly used on devices other than phones. So we’ve started thinking about what else we could call it.

As always, we look to the community. Do you think calling the benchmark PhoneXPRT would limit its usefulness for benchmarking tablets? Do you have any ideas for more inclusive names? We really need your feedback here and look forward to getting it. Please send suggestions to benchmarkxprtsupport@principledtechnologies.com or post your comments in the forum. Thanks!

Bill

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Check out the other XPRTs: