We started piecing this data together back in July, and even had conversations with both silicon vendors and OEMs about getting it to stop. With the exception of Apple and Motorola, literally every single OEM we’ve worked with ships (or has shipped) at least one device that runs this silly CPU optimization. It’s possible that older Motorola devices might’ve done the same thing, but none of the newer devices we have on hand exhibited the behavior. It’s a systemic problem that seems to have surfaced over the last two years, and one that extends far beyond Samsung.
Looking at the table above you’ll also notice weird inconsistencies about the devices/OEMs that choose to implement the cheat/hack/festivities. None of the Nexus do, which is understandable since the optimization isn’t a part of AOSP. This also helps explain why the Nexus 4 performed so slowly when we reviewed it – this mess was going on back then and Google didn’t partake. The GPe versions aren’t clean either, which makes sense given that they run the OEM’s software with stock Android on top.
LG’s G2 also includes some optimizations, just for a different set of benchmarks. It’s interesting that LG’s optimization list isn’t as extensive as Samsung’s – time to invest in more optimization engineers? LG originally indicated to us that its software needed some performance tuning, which helps explain away some of the G2 vs Note 3 performance gap we saw in our review.