Smartphone makers may have learned an important lesson -- don't try to pull a fast one in Futuremark's 3DMark
benchmark, because if you're caught, Futuremark will make a public spectacle out of banning your product. This happened last November when Futuremark delisted several Samsung and HTC handsets
for breaking benchmarking rules, stripping them of their rank and scores. That must have resonated with Samsung, because two of its devices have been unbanned following a software update.
According to Futuremark, both the Samsung Galaxy S4
and Galaxy Note 3
now play by the rules as a result of an Android 4.4 update provided by Samsung. As it now stands, 3DMark scores obtained on Galaxy S4 devices using Android 4.2.2 or 4.4.x or later are valid, while scores obtained using Android 4.3 or 4.3.1 remain unlisted. As for the Galaxy Note 3, scores obtained from using Android 4.4.2 or later are valid, while scores from running Android 4.3 are not.
"Did you know that 3DMark is the only Android benchmark backed by a public set of rules for manufacturers? Or that Futuremark was the only benchmark developer to remove devices from its performance rankings when reports of Android benchmark boosting first came to light last October?," Futuremark stated in an email. "That decision won us lots of praise from 3DMark users, even from those who owned one of the delisted models."
Futuremark said it hoped its decision to delist certain devices would send a message to manufacturers encouraging them to be "fair and honest." It would appear Futuremark was successful in that regard.