How to Benchmark Your Android Device

GPU and Graphics Performance

GLBenchmark (available at Google Play store, free)

GL Benchmark lets you run off-screen tests that avoid any V-Sync limitations of the device's screen.
GLBenchmark is an OpenGL ES 2.x benchmark composed of 33 different tests that evaluate a GPU's ability to handle texture-based and direct lighting, bump, environment and radiance mapping, soft shadows, and vertex shader-based skinning, among other things. In addition to its diverse test suite, GLBenchmark offers a couple of "off-screen" tests that it renders at the same resolution (1280 by 720), regardless of the device being tested and regardless of any V-Sync limitations. Many mobile graphics benchmarks output results at right around 60 frames per second, because the devices' screens are locked to 60Hz, which renders the results useless. To run GLBenchmark, you must first create an account; but once you've done that, all you have to do is launch the app, click the Performance Tests button, choose your tests, and click Start.

An3DBenchXL (available at Google Play store, free)

The An3DBenchXL suite in action.
An3DBenchXL--a more taxing, updated version of the original AN3DBench--is a free, easy-to-use benchmarking tool based on an Android port of the free jPCT 3D engine/API. The app runs through a series of five tests that employ different rendering techniques with varying polygon counts and texture workloads to evaluate a GPU's performance; then it spits out a series of results that you can compare against the results for other smartphones, tablets or even your PC and console. Such comparisons are possible because AN3DBenchXL reports the results of the five individual tests in frames per second (an overall score is generated as well) so you can see how your device stacks up against other gaming machines. An3DBenchXL couldn't be easier to run, either: Just launch the app and then tap the screen to start. The results will appear after all of the tests have been completed. Make sure to follow the benchmarking procedures outlined above to ensure optimal performance.

Network Performance

Ookla Speedtest.net (available at Google Play store, free)

Ookla's Speedtest.net benchmark evaluates the performance of a mobile device's data connection.
Ookla's Speedtest.net app, an extension of the popular Speedtest.net website, is designed to evaluate the speed of a mobile device's Internet connection. This is a great tool for illustrating the stark differences in performance that exist between 3G and 4G mobile networks and even Wi-Fi. To run Speedtest.net, launch the app, give it a few moments to pinpoint your location and choose an appropriate server, and then click the big Begin Test button. The test will measure and report your Download, Upload, and Ping times and will display a real-time graph that tracks connection consistency.

Browser Performance

Rightware BrowserMark (available to run on Rightware's site)

The Rightware BrowserMark site measures a browser's JavaScript and HTML rendering performance.
As its name suggests, Rightware's BrowserMark is a tool for measuring a browser's JavaScript and HTML rendering performance. BrowserMark runs through an array of animations and JavaScript functions; at the end of the test it displays a final score, which you can use to compare the performance of different devices. To run BrowserMark, point your browser to http://browsermark.rightware.com/ and click the Start button. If you plan to compare the performance of different devices, you should use the same browser for all of your test runs. Performance varies greatly from browser to browser in BrowserMark, which makes this benchmark a good tool for seeing which browser runs best on your device.

SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark (available to run on WebKit's site)

SunSpider is another browser-based benchmark. This test, however, strictly tests the performance of JavaScript functions, which are used widely across the Web, excluding Document Object Model (DOM) and other browser APIs. To run SunSpider, point your browser to www.webkit.org/perf/sunspider/sunspider.html and click the Start SunSpider 0.9.1 now link. The site will conduct a number of tests, and then it will display a final result (as well as the individual test scores). On SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark, lower scores indicate better performance.

Next: Benchmark results

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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