What smartphones manufacturers say in ads VS reality

smartphones manufacturers love throw us dust in the eyes. Any small specification made headlines, with figures to support so well-presented that you can’t go next. But how much truth is there when we are told batteries with an autonomy of three days or the processors so fast that they are able to melt steel? Compare what we say manufacturers of smartphones with the reality.

battery: charge your smartphone in an hour and watch hours of videos VS 12 hours if you don’t touch it not

Sony is the perfect example in this area. The Japanese giant love bragging about the longevity of its batteries. It is a good example because the brand smartphones usually have a limited range but they insist to make us believe the opposite. According to Sony, Xperia smartphones have a battery life that can last up to two days , when tested under conditions of normal use – something that also means nothing.

google exhibit mwc
which way to reality? © ANDROIDPIT

in our test of the Sony Xperia M5 , the battery lasted only three hours and a half intensive use against two days announced by Sony. The Sony World-reality gap is, therefore, 44.5 hours. In other words, Sony World is 92.7% next to the plate.

Sony love also present graphics that illustrate their vision in 92.7% of meaningless ways, distorted reality. Consider the example below, showing a new phone against likely all other products released before him. The curves indicate that the Xperia X is much better than its predecessors. On the horizontal axis, life has no units. It’s minutes, years, centuries? Obviously Sony doesn’t either, but we can see the Xperia X has exactly two points of life more than any other devices out before him. Really impressive…

sony battery life graph
the Xperia X curve is better because Purple is a most beautiful color. © Sony

we read too often press releases or product pages that announce revolutionary batteries. The batteries of smartphones are, in fact, remained essentially the same for years, even if manufacturers like HTC focus recently on the development of better batteries . To see if we will see results on this side here. Hardware and software optimizations allow to get a few hours of additional autonomy but at the moment, we must be content with what we have.

Processor: they will make you questioning relativity vs. General you may notice that your apps open faster

benchmarks are known for their lack of reliability and the manufacturers tinker frequently with the results. Most of the time, the assertions such as “100 percent better” come from a system on a chip (SoC) isolated in a laboratory somewhere in a basement, away from the interference generated by things like that to be in a real phone or, even worse, to launch applications on a real phone.

Benchmarks: large numbers = small improvements. © ANDROIDPIT

often, the hype around the benchmarks is not entirely the fault of the manufacturers. The previous leaks the launches of new products, from anonymous people who have tested prototypes in unknown conditions, also contribute. Yet, any manufacturer would be crazy not to Miss numbers announcing that a new SoC will be 100% better than the previous one, even if the Kirin 950 was beat in the benchmarchs by Snapdragon 820. Indeed, the number of Huawei was the graphics processor (GPU), which comes far behind one located on the Snapdragon 810, not to mention the 820 this year. In presenting this number in this way, we obviously see the fire.

In the end, the gap between the way the new SoCs are presented and how they benefit or affect the end user continues to grow each year.

AndroidPIT Huawei Kirin 950 AnTuTu benchmark
the 950 Kirin had to be maintained in this special glass protection to prevent it from destroying the Earth. © ANDROIDPIT

HTC, on the other hand, don’t go over four paths to describe the performance of its smartphones, as evidenced by this summary HTC 10: “everything works wonderfully well”. Ok then.

A concentrate of nonsense

at the launch of the event Xiaomi Mi 5 in February 2016 London, vice president at that time Hugo Barra took the floor to present the new flagship. Among the highlights, Mr. Barra said the hull ceramic of the smartphone to score an eight on a scale used by geographers. This information was received by the applause of an audience quite confused. Not only was there a typo in the slide, but what – what does “up to 8 H” (up to 8 H) mean? Is it 8 or not? What’s so important in the end?

xiaomi mi 5 hardness
what is that mean? © YouTube

Mr. Barra was using the Mohs scale, a rudimentary way to measure the hardness of minerals. This is an ordinal scale: a mineral is harder than all the minerals scoring lowest on the scale, but the latter does not measure how it is harder. Following the presentation, we have therefore learned that the back of the Mi 5 is harder than steel but less hard as diamond.

In April, Huawei introduced with pride my more P9 . This device, we were told during the event , has a player of fingerprints of level four (Yes, four level). Were you aware that the fingerprint readers had higher levels? Well, they, and Huawei has just reached level four. Certainly high because Huawei would have not taken the trouble to prepare an entire slide to talk about this new level at the presentation event.

androidpit huawei p9 plus dual camera
a new reader of fingerprints of level four, you realize! / © ANDROIDPIT

Huawei has also pushed further its partnership with the manufacturer of Leica, a “historical partner” German optical lenses, which will help “reinvent the photograph on smartphone”. Indeed, the P9 camera is fantastic. But the evasive descriptions of Huawei for its collaboration with Leica – announcing a smartphone “certified by Leica” and speaking of “collaborative engineering” – were eventually revealed as the marketing elements.

Then, there’s this picture below that comes to UMI, which shows a button with an angle of 45 degrees. We always try to understand what this means…

umi touch angle
no high-end smartphone should be delivered without this angle of 45 degrees. © UMI

other things announced or presented by manufacturers you were they surprised? Say it me in the comments.

Article first published last year in may 2016.

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