It would appear that the practice of cheating on benchmarking scores has returned to the world of smartphones. This time around, both the OnePlus 3T and the Meizu Pro 6 Plus were caught boosting CPU performance for selected apps; although it looks like the problem is no longer all that widespread.
XDA developers noted the unusual behaviour of the OnePlus 3T while monitoring the CPU core performance during benchmarking. In this time, the CPU cores would continuing to operate at maximum capacity despite the processor load remaining at 0 percent. A situation which ended up giving the phone a much higher score than it would normally receive.
The group also notes that this behaviour seems to have been a staple of the Chinese version of its operating system, and was only recently imported into the international variant. Which is likely why it wasn’t a problem before.
In Meizu’s case, the benchmark rigging seems to have been to cover up a potential weakness in the phone itself. According to XDA, the Meizu Pro 6 Plus would rarely engage the big cores of its processor. The “cheating” occurred when certain apps ran and would prompt the user to engage the “performance mode” that activated these bigger cores. It’s not exactly rigging the test per se, but rather hiding the fact that the extra processing power is locked away for most apps.
OnePlus has responded to the allegations by saying that it would remove the benchmark boosting behaviour. Although, it has said that the system was originally designed to improve the experience for its customers in resource intensive apps. Below is the full statement provided to XDA:
‘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. The trigger process for benchmarking apps will not be present in upcoming OxygenOS builds on the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T.’
This is not the first time that smartphone makers have been caught for cheating on benchmarks. Samsung, HTC, LG, and Asus were all implicated in the same behaviour four years ago; although these companies have since been more honest about the capabilities of the devices.
[Source: XDA developers]