Huawei and Oppo Proven Cheats in Benchmark Applications

Benchmark applications are a benchmarking tool for phones of the same category. The results do not always reveal the use in real life, but give an idea to the buyers.


When you buy a phone – or any other technological product – you can compare it with similar products and decide which one is better, then complete your shopping. Unfortunately, these Benchmark applications are recently targeted by many Chinese manufacturers.

The Anandtech site has recently charged Huawei for cheating in benchmarks. Further research has shown that Huawei and even OPPO are really cheating in these applications. The team of analysts at First Post has verified earlier data with several experiments on using the same and different Benchmark applications on several Huawei, Honor and Oppo phones.

In particular, when Huawei and OPPO open benchmarking applications, the phones operate at higher performance than they usually work, resulting in higher results. They use special software that increases the results when it is detected the use of an application to test the hardware, working on overclocking the processor.

In response, the Chinese giant, instead of removing this software from its devices, said that it would unlock the performance mode, to allow even consumers to take advantage of overclocking the CPU.

New research carried out by TECH2 has revealed that even OPPO tricks the results of these tests, with a wide margin of difference. TECH2 conducted the analysis on ten smartphones from different manufacturers – Honor 10, Huawei P20 Pro, Nokia 7 Plus, OnePlus 6, OPPO Find X, POCOPHONE F1, Realme 1, Realme 2, Redmi Note 5 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Note 9.

The test was carried out with a private version of the 3DMark application which, using a different name from the one known, allows not to be recognized by the software installed by the producers, thus giving a real result.

Since the name of the app does not fit with any recorded benchmark application, a smartphone that would overclock itself in the presence of a benchmark app did not start the overclocking process for this private version of 3DMark. The private version of 3DMark used by TECH2 uses real-world benchmark scores for a smartphone with a processor at the same rate that it does at a normal function.

Source – TECH2

As can be seen from the table above, all the OPPO and Huawei smartphones tested by TECH2 have reported results far removed from the real ones – the black bar refers to the advertised benchmarks, while the yellow bar relates to the results obtained with the private version of 3DMark.

Source – TECH2

From the table above, we can see that the smartphones of other manufacturers, such as Samsung, Xiaomi, OnePlus and Nokia have reported the same results both with the private application and with the public application.

Sensitive to cheating

At the start of September 2018, Huawei was called on the spot because the company cheated on benchmarks. As a result, the P20, P20 Pro and Honor Play achieved much higher scores than usual, and that is not allowed. The devices were therefore deleted by 3DMark, one of the most popular benchmark websites.

Consumers and manufacturers use benchmarks to see how powerful a phone is. Thanks to the scores, they can be compared with each other on the basis of speed and graphical power. Many people choose smartphones by power so that manufacturers naturally want to make a good appearance.

Without talking about the behavior, Huawei is by no means the first manufacturer to cheat. Also, OnePlus, HTC, and Samsung have admitted having manipulated past scores.

Firstly, this is due to the sensitivity of the databases to fraud. For example, the Huawei phones automatically switched to a high-performance mode as soon as they noticed that they were being tested. As a result, the devices delivered much better results than if you tried them at any time. In fact, they performed between 10 and 90 percent better than under normal circumstances.

Source – TECH2

This is immediately a big problem with the benchmarks: they are easy to fool. Ironically, Huawei also reacted when the news came out. The smartphone maker said that many Chinese competitors manipulated the benchmark databases, which made the company feel compelled to participate.

In addition, the tests carried out by manufacturers are often carried out in a clinical environment under perfect conditions. In this way they try to get the most out of the processor, graphics card and storage. Of course, everyone wants to be well-behaved, but it does not yield a reliable result.

In everyday life, many more factors affect the performance of your smartphone. Think of the number of apps opened, the temperature of your processor and which Android version you are running.

Finally, benchmark scores say nothing about how well a phone actually works. It’s nice that a processor gets an almost perfect score in AnTuTu, GFXBench or 3DMark, but how quickly do apps open? In other words, high scores are not equal to pleasant user experience.

Take the scores with a grain of salt

Benchmarks can be absolutely useful. It’s nice to compare smartphones with each other so that you know which in theory is faster. Especially power-users are also crazy about the scores and try to prove that their favorite phone is the fastest of all.

However, the scores are easy to fool and are often clinically calculated by manufacturers. They also say little about the user-friendliness. As a result, they have little value for most smartphone owners.

TECH2 has forwarded these tests to both Oppo and Huawei but has not yet received a response from the two manufacturers. What do you think? Do you believe that CPU overclocking can really lead to a benchmark result almost double that of what should generally be achieved?

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