If you’re a PC gamer, you know the value of performance metrics. The graphics and charts overlaid on top of the game give you real-time insights into how well your system is performing. And for the first time ever, Galaxy users running One UI 3.0 will get access to similar information for mobile games.
In the Samsung Android 11 update, there is a hidden feature which brings you these PC-style metrics. Once activated, you will see how well (or bad) your Galaxy smartphone handles certain games or apps. You can view FPS, load on CPU and GPU, and much more. And with this information, you can customize the gaming experience for maximum graphics and frame rate.
Step 1 Unlock Developer Options
This secret feature can be found in the hidden Developer Options menu. To show these options, you need to open the Settings app and head to “About Phone,” then select “Software Information.” Here, tap “Build number” seven times in quick succession, and then you’ll be asked to enter your password, PIN or lock screen gesture. After entering this information, return to the main page of the Settings app, and under “About phone” there is “Developer Options” which is now enabled.
Step 2 Enable GPUWatch Overlay
With Developer Options unlocked, open a new menu and scroll down to the Games section. It’s just below the hardware accelerated rendering section. Here, select “GPUWatch.” Enable the switch on the next page to add metrics.
GPUWatch is capable of displaying the following information:
- API name: The graphical interface used by the game, which has a big impact on performance.
- Surface Resolution: Game resolution is output. This may differ from your screen resolution.
- Current Average FPS (Surface): Frames per second generated by the game.
- Overall CPU Load: The percentage of CPU processing power currently used.
- GPU Load: The percentage of GPU processing power currently in use.
FPS, CPU Load, GPU Load are the only metrics that can be displayed as a line graph. However, the five options can be listed in text form. By default, you will have three widgets: FPS as line graph, CPU and GPU Load as line graph, and API Name and Surface Resolution as text.
Step 3 Adjust the Metric
The three widgets provide all the information you need, but there are several ways to customize the experience to your liking. First, select “General Settings” and select the drop menu under “Update Interval” if you want to change how often the data is updated.
The next two sections control the appearance of the widget. You can adjust the background color (and transparency), among other options.
Back on the main page, you can select individual widgets to customize their appearance. You can increase the size, rename it, include or remove the legend, and adjust the color of the chart.
Use the floating action button to add widgets, either preset or custom. With presets, data that is grouped together by default will be added together. For example, CPU and GPU Load can be paired with FPS in a single widget, but not with FPS and CPU Load. Custom widgets remove this limitation.
Lastly, there are some additional options in the notification shade. Select “Unlock Widget” to change the position of the widget. Select “Hide Widget” if you don’t want to see the graph but want it to remain available.
Step 4 View Performance Metrics for Your Game
Now that your GPUWatch is enabled and customized to your liking, open the game and observe the data. With this information, you can customize the way you play and what games you play.
For example, if you’re not sure if a game supports 120 fps, use GPU Watch to check. Does your phone feel slow when you play this game? Check CPU and GPU Load. You can also monitor the impact of certain APIs on your SoC, such as OpenGL vs. Vulkan.