Yesterday, Samsung came under fire after it was revealed – via an in-depth investigation by Anandtech – that there was specific code inside both variants of the company’s flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4, that sets both the CPU and GPU’s clock speeds to its max clock speeds when certain benchmark apps were opened. As a result, the benchmark scores were artificially raised, giving an unfair edge to the device to consumers.
The Anandtech post went viral pretty soon after it was posted, prompting Samsung to respond via its Samsung Tomorrow blog. In a short post, Samsung posted a short post in its Korean language blog explaining the matter:
Under ordinary conditions, the Galaxy S4 has been designed to allow a maximum GPU frequency of 533MHz. However, the maximum GPU frequency is lowered to 480MHz for certain gaming apps that may cause an overload, when they are used for a prolonged period of time in full-screen mode. Meanwhile, a maximum GPU frequency of 533MHz is applicable for running apps that are usually used in full-screen mode, such as the S Browser, Gallery, Camera, Video Player, and certain benchmarking apps, which also demand substantial performance.
The maximum GPU frequencies for the Galaxy S4 have been varied to provide optimal user experience for our customers, and were not intended to improve certain benchmark results.
We remain committed to providing our customers with the best possible user experience.
It is important to note that the statement by Samsung above did not mention the “BenchmarkBooster” string found in the code of the hidden app in the Galaxy S4, as well as the explicit mentioning of several benchmark apps. For now, it is still not known if the hidden app is only present in the Galaxy S4, or in other current – and possibly future – releases by the company.