Ever since the first electronic devices were created, we tried to make them better, more powerful and nowadays, more mobile and connected with every other device. However, our struggle to make gadgets powerful has made today’s devices pretty similar with real improvements coming only when new generations hit the market. Each segment of the market, be it low, mid or high-end has, to some extent, pretty similar devices in terms of performance.

The differentiating factors between them are the features and the optimizations that each manufacturer adds to its devices. However, while the features are plainly visible, the tweaks and optimizations are not, and to see them, the best tools are benchmarking programs. These programs are specifically designed to run a series of tests and then quantify the results in order to create a readable chart from which the user can see how well the device performs.

Some of the best benchmarking apps for smartphones & tablets

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Unlike bechmarking tools for computers, the apps that put mobile devices through their paces are not dedicated to only one aspect of the device, and they usually do a few tests, ranging from CPU benchmarks to video playback or browsing speed. Some of these apps are free and can be used by anyone who wants to know how well their smartphone or tablet works, but most of them require the user to have a rooted or jailbroken device in order to run all the tests. This might not come as good news for some, but if you are willing to do it, you might get a better understanding of how well your device performs.

Also, there are a few benchmarking apps that do not require jailbroken or rooted devices, but they are somewhat limited in what they can do and for some users, they might not be as complete as they’d like. In terms of compatibility, there are dedicated benchmarking apps for almost all mobile operating systems. Although the most are for Android OS, you will be able to find for iOS and even Windows Phone OS, but not as many.

Android Benchmarking Apps

These tools are perfect for every Android user that wants to see just how good his device is and also for those who wish to compare scores with others. The apps will run a series of tests on your device, testing everything from video performance and 3D graphics rendering to how well your CPU is handling the workload. All of the benchmarks will run after a final score will be shown and users will be able see exactly how good their device is.

iOS Benchmarking Apps

You will notice that dedicated iOS benchmarking apps are almost non-existent, but there are some cross platform tools that can help iPhone and iPad users to put their devices to the test. Find them below. BenchTest is the most reliable, iOS dedicated benchmark application that we can recommend.

  • BenchTest

Windows Phone Benchmarking apps

Windows Phone OS has been sitting quietly in the shadow of Android and iOS for some time now, but with its new updates and the appearance of Windows 8/RT, new life has been brought to it.  Developers are starting to create apps for this platform and some benchmarks are also available. Also, there are other cross-platform benchmark apps that users might want to check out.

Cross Platform Benchmark tools

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These apps and services are available for almost all users, on multiple platforms. Some of them are measure browser performance and speed, while other have a more performance-oriented aspect. These are great for testing just about any smartphone or tablet, and can even be used to benchmark computers (some of them). If you don’t find a good benchmark app for your smartphone or tablet in the lists above, then you will surely find one here.

With these tools at your disposal, you will be able to fully understand how good is your device and for those who like to overclock and get every last ounce of power out of their smartphones, then these benchmarking apps should not miss from their smartphones. Keep in mind that overclocking is dangerous and can damage your device or make it unstable. Fiddle with the inner workings of your smartphones at your own risks, and although benchmarking is not likely to damage your device, if it is unstable or if you’ve overcloked it too much, they might.

These apps are designed to stress the hardware of your device and push it to its limits, this is why you need to be careful when using them and understand the risks involved. If you know other benchmarking tools that you think should be added to this list, please let us know by leaving a comment.

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I often wonder, where is technology heading? What do all of these advances mean for us and for our future? I sometimes miss the days when I didn’t know how to use a floppy disk, or how a computer CPU works, but now, until I find an answer to my questions, I’ll keep tracking these advances and show everything I find to those who share my interests.