The most substantial Pixel 4a leak we've seen so far came in the form of a video review from Cuban site TechnoLike Plus, and the same source has released a new video on YouTube with performance benchmarks. Thankfully, the 4a compares favorably with the 3a and other recent Pixels, so we can expect a solid experience when the new phone eventually launches.
Though individual phone manufacturers have been accused of cheating on benchmarks in the past, it's usually a relatively localized problem: Only certain phones from certain companies were disingenuously using a higher-performing mode when running certain apps. But according to a report by Anandtech, MediaTek has integrated this sort of "cheating" into the software it gives phone manufacturers to use its chipsets. Essentially, almost all MediaTek phones running certain chipsets are "cheating" on benchmarks.
It's common knowledge among enthusiasts that the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note flagships are traditionally offered with chipsets from two different brands: Qualcomm and Samsung itself. For the past few years, the Snapdragon models have been outperforming their Exynos brethren, and that's the case for the Galaxy S10 and S10+ as well.
There are plenty of reasons to pick up a microSD card, should your phone support one. It can be a lot cheaper to get a phone with less storage and plan to add more. Media maniacs and data hoarders can also make use of the super cheap extra space. But if you think SanDisk's new A1 and A2-rated microSD cards are going to provide anywhere near the experience of your phone's built-in storage, think again.
We always say that benchmarks don't matter as much as the overall experience of using a phone, but they do still matter enough that device makers sometimes put a thumb on the scale to improve scores. A recent report from Anandtech accused Huawei of configuring phones to produce artificially high benchmarks. Now, the maker of 3DMark has banned several Huawei devices in response.
How good is your phone when it comes to gaming? There are a few ways to find out, but 3DMark is probably the best. That's the only benchmarking it does, after all. The app has been pretty clunky for a while, but it just got a major update with a cleaner UI, more tests, new charts, and a ton more.
If you need to benchmark the storage in a device, Androbench has long been the go-to way to do it. One major drawback: it was horrendously ugly. It has just been updated to v5.0, and I wouldn't say it's not ugly, but it's certainly less ugly. That's a win in my book.
There are already a number of ways to test the capability of your Android device's hardware, but one more isn't going to hurt. Rightware has released Basemark ES 3.1 for Android in both free and paid versions. Do you need a paid graphics benchmark? Probably not, but maybe someone does.
Samsung announced its new UFS 2.0 memory in capacities up to 128GB just days before the Galaxy S6 was official, so we all correctly surmised Samsung's new flagship would make use of the new, faster storage. Some early benchmarks of devices at MWC show just how speedy the Galaxy S6's storage can be. It just destroys every currently available phone. Maybe you won't even mind the lack of a microSD card when the internal storage is this fast.
It almost goes without saying, but benchmarks are not everything. These numbers don't always tell you how a device will perform, but they do tell you something. Right now the Galaxy S6 is telling us that Samsung's new Exynos chip is very, very fast. It's putting up AnTuTu scores of nearly 70,000, well above the values produced by devices like the LG G3, Nexus 6, LG G Flex 2, and even the new HTC One M9.