Report: OnePlus 5 Found To Be Manipulating Benchmark Scores

The OnePlus 5 was found to be manipulating benchmark scores, XDA Developers reported on Tuesday, shortly after the Shenzhen, Guangdong-based phone maker officially announced its latest Android flagship. The Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer was found to be cheating on mobile benchmarks earlier this year by the same source and while it has now apparently resorted to a slightly different techniques of doing so, it's still targeting the same apps it was the last time around which happen to be some of the most popular smartphone benchmarks in the world. The list of affected services includes the likes of Geekbench 4, AnTuTu, Androbench, Vellamo, and GFXBench, with the OnePlus 5 reportedly scoring significantly higher than all of its Snapdragon 835-powered competitors but its scores falling closer to the median with cheating disabled.

The OnePlus 5 is essentially detecting specific mobile benchmarks and subsequently keeping the maximum clock frequency of all of its cores high while being tested, which isn't reflective of its actual performance. For added reference, while the smartphone was operating at a maximum frequency for 95 percent of the time in benchmarks, it only did so less than 25 percent of the time when its misleading mechanisms were disabled, leading to significantly lower scores that are much more closer to other devices powered by Qualcomm's latest system-on-chip (SoC). The effects are primarily evident in multi-core scores, as evidenced by the screenshots in the gallery beneath this writing, while the OnePlus 5's single-core tests seemingly don't benefit from the technique in a notable manner and are actually somewhat worse on average when relying on manipulative mechanisms, the latest report indicates.

The device seemingly isn't targeting all popular benchmarks, with one high-profile service unaffected by its manipulative techniques being 3DMark. In a statement provided to XDA Developers, the BBK Electronics-owned phone maker said that it's simply aiming to show "the performance potential" of its latest flagship and isn't overclocking it, though that essentially defeats the purpose of a benchmark whose main aim is to evaluate everyday performance instead of just peak execution. The wording of the company's comment on the matter indicates that OnePlus isn't planning on changing this strategy of affecting benchmark scores and will likely continue pursuing it with its future products.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]