Samsung is hardly lagging behind the pack when it comes to smartphone sales.
The most recent Gartner figures showed it was well in the lead, with 31.7% of smartphone users across the globe packing a device made by the Korean giant.
Critically, it’s also right up there with Apple. Its Galaxy S4 is rightly lauded as one of 2013’s best and the new Galaxy Note 3 isn’t too shabby either.
But it’s that device which sits at the heart of a new controversy, unearthed by the hardcore tech types at Ars Technica.
Their discovery that Samsung has been artificially boosting benchmark figures on the new phablet are incendiary and show just how dirty even the biggest players are willing to fight in order to stay on top.
The premise is somewhat convoluted.
When running a popular benchmarking app, the Galaxy Note 3’s CPU goes into a special boost mode, showing it to be clocking up far more impressive figures than rival devices that use exactly the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chip.
Ars used the Geekbench app and then tweaked it to trick the Note 3 into thinking it was just a standard benchmarking tool that isn’t used by many tech fans.
The results showed Samsung was artificially pushing up the Note 3’s benchmarks by a colossal 20%.
Why does this matter? Well, for a start it throws into question the whole point of benchmarking a device.
By and large, it’s a handy means for hardcore tech fans to see how snappy a phone really is.
But it’s also a way for Samsung to show off that its device is faster, and therefore better, than its rivals.
Some might call it fraudulent. Others might say it just shows how lame Samsung is being in trying to push its flagship product.
Samsung could easily big-up the amazing screen, heaps of proprietary apps and the fact it works with the new Galaxy Gear watch.
Instead, it’s using underhand means to make the phone look better than it really is.
Frankly, that extra speed is something that most mainstream users couldn’t care less about.
Why Samsung feels the need to pull this move, when there are technically savvy web users able to suss it out is beyond comprehension.
It feels tacky and undermines the product completely. Doubtless, rivals will have tried to pull the same trick.
So, from now on, let’s focus on what a phone can do rather than simply how fast it can do it.
We should aim to guarantee that whatever modern device you buy, it’ll be zippy enough for your needs.