CHIP DESIGNER Qualcomm believes that web browsing performance on smartphones is not being benchmarked and that has motivated the firm to develop its own benchmarking application.
Qualcomm, a mobile hardware company that has peddled various ARM based system-on-chips to many device manufacturers, and is the only vendor chosen by Microsoft for its Windows Phone 7 reference design, last week released Vellamo, a benchmark for Android smartphones. When most people think of benchmarks the metric frames-per-second comes to mind, however it seems that now Qualcomm is more interested in web browsing experience.
While Qualcomm might have released Vellamo on the public Android market, so consumers can now download it, the main target audiences for Vellamo are device makers and web browser developers. Choudhury said, "The tool was originally created for internal testing but we decided to share it with the industry since we knew there was a lack of a benchmarking tool that could provide a holistic view into browser performance. This method enables device manufacturers and browser providers to identify the areas which are slowing the system down the most so they can focus their performance improvement efforts and ultimately deliver better user experiences."
Qualcomm's Vellamo Android application came out last week and it gave us a chance to grab our stash of Android smartphones in the office and see which one came out on top. Samsung's dual-core Galaxy S II led the pack by some margin in a pack that included an LG Optimus 2X, a Google Nexus S and an HTC Desire S.
Some might question whether concentrating on a smartphone's web browsing performance is an accurate measure of overall system performance, especially as firms are starting to promote multi-core smartphone chips as good for gaming.
Nevertheless, another benchmark is just that, another benchmark, and when it's used as part of a suite of tests it will help deliver more information for punters to decide how to shell out several hundred pounds on a smartphone. µ
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