AnTuTu is one of the more popular Android benchmark providers, giving users (and testers) a measurement of how fast their device is. The results for the last few quarters have been very much "as expected," with Qualcomm Snapdragon processors generally leading the way. This quarter, however, we've a change in the wind because the device with the highest average score is none other than the Meizu MX4 and this device does not have a Qualcomm processor inside. No; the MX4 uses a MediaTek processor. In the words of an inspirational character from one of my favourite movies, "if you ain't first, you're last." It doesn't so much matter that the MediaTek powered handset is only just ahead of the next device in the list, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, it still finished ahead!
Looking at the scores, the MX4 averaged 48792 compared with the Note 4's average score of 48622. The Note 4's scores take the fastest processor, as if you'll remember this device can use either a Samsung Exynos or Qualcomm Snapdragon processor: these scores reflect the Exynos processor rather than the 2.7 GHz quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor. The MX4's MediaTek processor is the MT6595, which is described as an octo core unit. It combines a 2.2 GHz, quad core ARM Cortex-A17 processor for the high performance, heavy lifting with a 1.7 GHz quad core ARM Cortex-A7 processor, for the less needy applications. This configuration allows the device to chop and change whatever processor core(s) it uses, thus allowing it to balance the needs of the applications running with low power consumption. It's a way of having ones cheesecake and eating it too, and a technique that Qualcomm are introducing with their new generation of 64-bit compatible processors (more of which we'll see next year). Perhaps this will be what Qualcomm need to regain the lead?
These statistics were compiled from results submitted from one hundred and sixty countries across thousands of scores. Looking through the list, Qualcomm's processors still dominate the results but then seeing as they pretty much dominate the market for processors, this should not be a surprise. What is interesting, however, is the message coming through loud and clear: Chinese manufacturers are competing against the established manufacturers, using their own domestic components, and coming out ahead. Our recent reviews of flagship Chinese handsets mark this out.