OnePlus has recently been caught cheating its benchmark scores by artificially boosting their CPU’s clocking speed — in order to receive better scores than their competitors — which has been happening ever since the OnePlus 3T received its Nougat-based Oxygen OS update.
Cheating benchmark scores in no new phenomenon as it has been happening in the smartphone industry for the past couple of years.
Companies such as Samsung, HTC, Sony and LG were caught cheating the benchmark scores in the past.
Due to a major public and media outcry back then, the companies backed out of cheating the benchmark tests. Even the tests were made more exhaustive in order to discourage cheating practices as they wouldn’t yield significant results.
Although public and media criticism made major smartphone companies stop from going down that lane, now it’s the emerging challengers who have resorted to cheating benchmark tests.
According to XDA Developers, while running certain apps on the OnePlus 3T, the device’s CPU clocked at higher speeds than usual even after opening the app.
Their report points out that normally at 0% CPU load, Snapdragon 821’s cores clock at 0.31GHz, but while running certain benchmarking apps, the smaller cores on the OnePlus 3T would clock at 0.98GHz and the bigger ones at 1.29 – which isn’t normal at all.
“OnePlus was making its CPU governor more aggressive, resulting in a practical artificial clock speed floor in Geekbench that wasn’t there in the hidden Geekbench build. It wasn’t based on the CPU workload, but rather on the app’s package name, which the hidden build could fool,” XDA Developers reported
OnePlus 3T was looking to cheating benchmarking apps by name which included Geekbench. AnTuTu, Androbench, Quadrant, Vellamo and GFXBench.
HTC, Xiaomi, Huawei, Google, Sony were also tested using the same methodology implied by XDA on OnePlus 3T and found them to have normal scores but found other smartphone companies like Meizu to be cheating the test at even higher levels.
OnePlus has promised to remove the benchmark app cheating mechanism of their CPU in the future Oxygen OS update, but also maintained that this feature will still run when users open games or other heavy graphics apps on their devices to enhance user experience.
“In order to give users a better user experience in resource intensive apps and games, especially graphically intensive ones, we implemented certain mechanisms in the community and Nougat builds to trigger the processor to run more aggressively,” OnePlus told XDA.
This goes out to show that benchmark scores can’t be trusted completely when it comes to judging the performance of a smartphone and in order to get a clearer picture, it is always advisable to refer to long term reviews of the phone by trusted reviewers or better yet, use the phone yourself.