The Honor Play smartphone Huawei's subsidiary launched globally at this year's IFA has been caught employing benchmark detection to cheat at such synthetic tests and represent its performance as being higher than what users can actually expect. As first reported by AnandTech, the device misrepresented its performance in GFXBench, being yet another handset from Huawei employing such surreptitious practices. When confronted on the matter, Huawei's software head, Dr. Wang Chenglu, said contemporary benchmarks aren't a good indication of the user experience consumers can expect, asserting that the only reason Huawei resorts to benchmark detection is because many of its rivals from China do the same, then use the inflated numbers to claim their products are superior.
The company acknowledged the issue as something that needs addressing but failed to directly admit wrongdoing, having only said it's currently working with a number of partners on trying to improve today's benchmarks so that their results are more reflective of the overall user experience the tested devices can deliver. While the original equipment manufacturer didn't call out any competitors by name, Chinese mobile vendors' benchmark cheating is a well-documented practice and the phenomenon isn't exclusive to the Far Eastern country either as even Samsung used to employ similar benchmark detection in the past, though it hasn't been doing so for years now.
For the time being, it's likely that Huawei and its subsidiary Honor will continue pre-installing benchmark-detecting software on their handsets. The company didn't provide a timeframe for its effort to improve contemporary benchmarks and doesn't appear interested in calling out its rivals who it claims forced it to follow suit. Today's benchmarks are generally a vague indication of the user experience offered by tested devices and deeming them major factors in any purchase decisions isn't advisable. Huawei's next Android flagship will be announced on October 16 in the form of the Mate 20 lineup powered by the new Kirin 980 chip manufactured by its subsidiary HiSilicon.