It looks like Samsung was just the one to get caught. Back earlier this year, just after the Galaxy S4 was released a few people noticed that the Galaxy S4 was "cheating" on benchmarks by ramping up the processor while the device was running certain benchmarking apps. This week, Samsung is back in that hot water again as the Galaxy Note 3 is doing the same thing. The sad thing here is that even without "cheating" on the benchmarks, it still blows away the competition. Even the LG G2 which has basically the same specs (aside from the RAM and display).
Now there's a new report, along with a chart - we love charts, that includes the HTC One, HTC One MIni, LG G2, Galaxy Tab 3, Galaxy Note 10.1, NVIDIA Shield and many others, that shows that Samsung isn't alone. In fact, this chart basically shows us that the only companies not "cheating' the benchmarks are Apple, Motorola, and Google with their Nexus line.
We started piecing this data together back in July, and even had conversations with both silicon vendors and OEMs about getting it to stop. With the exception of Apple and Motorola, literally every single OEM we've worked with ships (or has shipped) at least one device that runs this silly CPU optimization. It's possible that older Motorola devices might've done the same thing, but none of the newer devices we have on hand exhibited the behavior. It's a systemic problem that seems to have surfaced over the last two years, and one that extends far beyond Samsung... None of the Nexus do, which is understandable since the optimization isn't a part of AOSP. This also helps explain why the Nexus 4 performed so slowly when we reviewed it - this mess was going on back then and Google didn't partake.
While it's not a huge deal, as it doesn't make your phone faster in real life. It's still a bit deceiving. Most of us around here at Android Headlines really don't care about the benchmarks, we care more about the real life experience with the device. Although we still include benchmarks in our reviews for those that love seeing the numbers.