The Jetpack Microbenchmark library lets you benchmark your Android native code—Kotlin or Java—from within Android Studio. The library handles warmup, measures your code performance and allocation counts, and outputs benchmarking results to both the Android Studio console and a JSON file with more detail.

We recommend you profile your code before writing a benchmark. This helps you find expensive operations that are worth optimizing. It can also show why the operations are slow by showing what is happening while they run, such as running on a low-priority thread, sleeping due to disk access, or unexpectedly calling into an expensive function, like bitmap decoding.

Microbenchmarks are most useful for CPU work that is run many times in your app, also known as hot code paths. Good examples are RecyclerView scrolling with one item shown at a time, data conversions or processing, and other pieces of code that get used repeatedly.

Other types of code are more difficult to measure with the Microbenchmark library. Because benchmarks run in a loop, any code that isn't run frequently or performs differently when called multiple times might not be a good fit for benchmarking.

To learn how to use the library in a Continuous Integration (CI) environment, see Run benchmarks in Continuous Integration.

Avoid measuring cache

Try to avoid measuring just the cache. For example, a custom view's layout benchmark might measure only the performance of the layout cache. To avoid this, you can pass different layout parameters in each loop. In other cases, such as when measuring file system performance, this might be difficult because the OS caches the file system while in a loop.

Obtain consistent benchmarks

Clocks on mobile devices dynamically change from high state, for performance, to low state, to save power or when the device gets hot. These varying clocks can make your benchmark numbers vary widely, so the library provides ways to deal with this issue.

Lock clocks (requires rooted device)

Locking clocks is the best way to get stable performance. It helps ensure that clocks never get high enough to heat up the device, or low if a benchmark isn't fully utilizing the CPU. It can be applied with a Gradle task (gradlew lockClocks), or manually in CI. While this is the best way to help ensure stable performance, it isn't supported on most devices, due to requiring a rooted Android-powered device.

Sustained performance mode

Window.setSustainedPerformanceMode() is a feature supported by devices that let an app opt for a lower max CPU frequency. When running on supported devices, the Microbenchmark library uses a combination of this API and launching its own activity to both prevent thermal throttling and stabilize results.

This feature is enabled by default by the testInstrumentationRunner set by the Android Gradle plugin. If you want to use a custom runner, you can subclass the AndroidBenchmarkRunner and use it as your testInstrumentationRunner.

The runner launches an opaque, fullscreen activity to ensure that the benchmark runs in the foreground and without any other app drawing.

Automatic execution pausing

If you don't use clock-locking or sustained performance, the library performs automatic thermal throttling detection. When enabled, the internal benchmark periodically runs to determine when the device temperature gets high enough to lower CPU performance. When it detects lowered CPU performance, the library pauses execution to let the device cool down and then retries the current benchmark.


See the following samples in the GitHub repository:

Additional resources

Provide feedback

To report issues or submit feature requests when using benchmarking, see the public issue tracker.