In last week’s blog, we discussed why we now consider full BatteryXPRT rundown tests to be the most accurate and why we’re releasing a new build (v110) that increases the default BatteryXPRT test from 5.25 hours (seven iterations) to 45 hours (60 iterations). We also built v110 using Android Studio SDK 27, in order to bring BatteryXPRT up to date with current Android standards. Today, we’ve posted the new build on BatteryXPRT.com and in the Google Play Store, and we’ve also published an updated user manual. Please contact us if you have any questions about BatteryXPRT testing.
Last fall, we published the WebXPRT 2015 Processor Comparison Chart, a tool that makes it easier to access hundreds of PT-curated, real-world performance scores from a wide range of devices including everything from TVs to phones to tablets to PCs. Today, we’re happy to announce that we’ve added a WebXPRT 3 Processor Comparison Chart.
The WebXPRT 3 chart follows the same format as the WebXPRT 2015 chart, letting you click the average score of each processor to view all the WebXPRT 3 results we currently have for that processor. You can change the number of results the chart displays on each page, and as the screenshot below shows, a new drop-down menu lets you toggle back and forth between the WebXPRT 3 and WebXPRT 2015 charts. W plan to add additional capabilities on a regular basis, so if you have ideas for features and types of data you’d like to see, let us know!
If you’d like to submit results for us to consider for publication in the chart, follow the detailed instructions here. The submission process is quick and easy. We look forward to seeing your results!
Some time ago, we started to see unusual BatteryXPRT battery life estimates and high variance on some devices when running tests at the default length of 5.25 hours (seven 45-minute iterations). We suspected that the problem resulted from changes in how new OS versions report battery life on certain devices (e.g., charging past a reported level of 100 percent). In addition, the progress of battery technology in general means that the average phone battery lasts much longer than it did a few years ago. Together, these factors sometimes led to BatteryXPRT runs where the OS reported little to no battery decrease during the first few iterations of a test. We concluded that 5.25 hours wasn’t long enough to produce an accurate battery life estimate.
After extensive experimentation and testing, we’ve decided to release a new build that increases the default BatteryXPRT test length from 5.25 hours (seven iterations) to 45 hours (60 iterations) to allow enough time for a full rundown on most phones. Based on our testing, we consider full rundown tests to be the most accurate and will use those exclusively in our Spotlight testing and elsewhere. Testers will still have the option of choosing shorter test durations, but BatteryXPRT will flag the results with a qualifier that recommends performing a full rundown.
We plan to release the updated build by the end of next week and update BatteryXPRT documentation to reflect the changes. We have not changed any of the workloads and both performance results and full-rundown battery life estimates will be comparable to results from earlier builds.
BatteryXPRT continues to be a useful tool for gauging the performance and expected battery life of Android devices while simulating real-world tasks. If you have any questions about BatteryXPRT, please feel free to ask!
Ars Technica recently published a deep-dive review of Android 8.0 (Oreo) that contains several interesting tidbits about what the author called “Android’s biggest re-architecture, ever.” After reading the details, it’s hard to argue with that assessment.
The article’s thorough analysis includes a list of the changes Oreo is bringing to the UI, notification settings, locations service settings, and more. In addition to the types of updates that we usually see, a few key points stand out.
- Project Treble, a complete reworking of Android’s foundational structure intended to increase the speed and efficiency of update delivery
- A serious commitment to eliminating silent background services, giving users more control over their phone’s resources, and potentially enabling significant gains in battery life
- Increased machine learning/neural network integration for text selection and recognition
- A potential neural network API that allows third-party plugins
- Android Go, a scaled-down version of Android tuned for budget phones in developing markets
There’s too much information about each of the points to discuss here, but I encourage anyone interested in Android development to check out the article. Just be warned that when they say “thorough,” they mean it, so it’s not exactly a quick read.
Right now, Oreo is available on only the Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones, and will not likely be available to most users until sometime next year. Even though widespread adoption is a way off, the sheer scale of the expected changes requires us to adopt a long-term development perspective.
We’ll continue to track developments in the Android world and keep the community informed about any impact that those changes may have on MobileXPRT and BatteryXPRT. If you have any questions or suggestions for future XPRT/Android applications, let us know!