Huawei & Others Called Out For Dishonest Benchmark Practices

In short: Huawei and Oppo have been called out for their benchmark-cheating yet again, following extensive testing conducted by India's FirstPost showed the practice to be both dishonest and dangerous. A total of ten devices were tested from seven manufacturers, including Huawei and Oppo's respective subsidiaries, Honor and Realme. The test was accomplished by running a standard 3DMark benchmark test and a private version obtained from the company which couldn't be marked as a benchmark by the devices in question. Huawei proved to be the biggest offender, with a boost to the performance of the Honor 10 and Huawei P20 Pro settling at around 92.23-percent and 76.43-percent per test. The Realme 1 and Realme 2, on the other hand, boosted performance by 45.63-percent and 60.86-percent when a benchmark app was recognized by the device. Finally, Oppo's Find X artificially boosted performance by 36.82-percent in benchmarks.

Those figures show that each company is willing to go to great lengths in order to portray itself as having the best devices at cost. However, as noted by the source, that's also extremely dangerous due to the pressure it places on internal components. For starters, a lithium-ion battery can typically only take and hold around a 70-percent charge at just 113-degrees Fahrenheit. Bearing in mind that isn't the temperature of the overall device but the battery itself, anything above that begins to become dangerous and overheating components can significantly heat up a phone's battery. The two Realme devices never got hot enough overall to cause any real damage but the Oppo Find X averaged a temperature of over 163-degrees Fahrenheit when tested in a standard benchmark compared to 141.98-degrees Fahrenheit in an unrecognized benchmark. The Huawei P20 Pro and Honor 10 were slightly lower at around 134-degrees and 133-degrees respectively. Each is also said to have hit average battery temperatures of over 122-degrees as well.

Background: Huawei, in particular, has been called out for its own benchmark practices most recently, with the company admitting publicly that its handsets ship with software to detect benchmarks and boost performance. Moreover, it claimed that its decision to continue cheating on the tests results from the fact that other companies it is competing with are also guilty. As mentioned above, a total of ten devices were tested from seven different manufacturers in order to challenge that claim. 70 tests were completed for devices determined to be cheating as compared to the 20 tests run on those that were not. The handsets listed above were the only devices found to be consistently detecting and then trying to fool benchmarks. The other handsets tested were the Nokia 7 Plus, OnePlus 6, Pocophone Poco F1, Redmi Note 5 Pro, and Samsung Galaxy Note 9. In each of those other cases, running an hour-long test showed that scores dropped over time as the hardware compensated for increasing temperatures.

Impact: Not only does all of that seem to indicate that Huawei's claim false. It also seems to show that both it and Oppo don't have any thermal throttling in place to prevent device damage and possible fires from breaking out during a benchmark. What's more, those types of issues could crop up outside of benchmarks if the software incorrectly identifies a given app or game as a test. Conversely, each of the devices listed has been met with critical acclaim for various features or abilities ranging from above average battery life to best-in-class camera performance. But the results of tests such as these and an apparent unwillingness to correct course could easily cause irreparable damage to reputations.

 

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About the Author
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Daniel Golightly

Senior Staff Writer
Daniel has been writing for AndroidHeadlines since 2016. As a Senior Staff Writer for the site, Daniel specializes in reviewing a diverse range of technology products and covering topics related to Chrome OS and Chromebooks. Daniel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering and has a background in Writing and Graphics Design that drives his passion for Android, Google products, the science behind the technology, and the direction it's heading. Contact him at [email protected]
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