Vise Review: PCMark For Android

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Device performance is an important thing to some people, but not to others. Many will buy a high end phone without a thought, simply trusting in the brand and the high cost to deliver a worthwhile product. Others, though, want to actually compare the performance of their device to others.

To many, a device’s performance test (called benchmarks) are the deciding factor in whether or not to purchase a device. That’s great for users who want to do it, but what does it matter to average users? Well, benchmarks can actually be beneficial to anyone. If you think that your device is having battery or performance issues, a benchmark test will be able to tell you whether or not your device is performing well compared to similar devices. This will give users insight into issues with their phone and how to work around them.

PCMark.
As you can see, my wife has a pretty powerful phone according to PCMark.

PCMark for Android, an extension of Futuremark, is an excellent app for just this reason. With a simple interface and user friendly set-up, PCMark is the ultimate benchmark test for any user.

WHAT IS PCMARK FOR ANDROID?

PCMark for Android is an extension of Futuremark, a company that strives to deliver the gold standard in performance tests. Futuremark works with leading technology companies from across the globe to guarantee the absolute best results. Over the years, the company has built a following since its establishment in 1997, and is frequently featured in technology reviews from both major and underground reviewers. PCMark for Android is their latest installment in a series of softwares, and it allows Android users to test the performance of their devices with a simple click of a button.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The process is really quite simple. Once you download the PCMark for Android test from the Google Play store, users will install the benchmark test (for me it took about three minutes to fully install) and then run either a performance test or a battery test. It’s quick, simple, and requires virtually no contribution from the user. I tested the app on my wife’s Galaxy S5.  The opening screen (after I had installed the test, of course) simply showed the two test options, and asked me to run one.

Once I selected the “RUN” button, it ran the test automatically and completed in about two minutes. Besides actually starting the test, I didn’t have to do anything.

One thing I really like about PCMark for Android is the way it focuses on tests. Many benchmark tests run algorithms and see what your device’s maximum potential is. That is not the case with PCMark. Instead, the app actually runs every day functions (such as watching a video and loading a web page) to test the device’s actual performance. Applying the test to real world tasks is great because it delivers authentic, real world results.

THE VERDICT

I liked what I saw of PCMark for Android, but I also had some minor issues with it. For instance, you can compare the results of your performance test with those of other devices. I found that very cool, but it is difficult to filter the search. You have to compare your device to every device that has been tested. You can do a search to narrow your results, but a more intuitive filter would be nice. I would like to be able to compare my S5 to just smartphones, and not tablets. But, when I typed in “smartphone” in the search bar, it turned up with no results. This could prove frustrating for someone who is looking to compare performance to a select few devices.

I would also like to see a wider variety of tests. As of right now, the only two tests are for performance and battery life. I know the point is to base all of the results on every day use, but I think a “heavy duty” option would be nice, just to see the device’s performance under extreme conditions.

Aside from those two issues (extremely minor issues at that) I found the service to be great. It was easy to use, and it had a host of insightful information (including tech specifications for devices). Really the service would work for anyone who is looking to check up on their devices performance, or anyone who is just curious to see what their device is made of.

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