Oppo is the latest smartphone company on the list to be called out for cheating on benchmarks. Companies these days are looking for new and effective ways to beat the fierce competition. And it looks like many companies are now turning towards cheating to do just that. Cheaters may or may not win, depending on how their attempt plays out. But unfortunately they usually lose nothing going about malicious practices. Its pretty darn easy to cheat on benchmark tests these days. And it has become a huge plague within the industry. Every once in a while news surfaces of a brand trying to cheat the benchmarks
Cheating the benchmarks is also not limited to just smartphone brands. In 2009, Intel was caught doing the same thing. Wherever there is a specs battle between powerful competitors in the tech world, it is almost certain that at least one of the participants is cheating to produce better results. Oppo’s flagship Find X, and one other device have been removed from 3DMark’s benchmark leader board for cheating.
The company says that Oppo has admitted that it was specifically identifying 3DMark. “When we detect that the user is running applications like games or 3D Benchmarks that require high performance, we allow the SoC to run at full speed for the smoothest experience”, said Oppo.
How Did They Do It?
The phones in question were programmed to recognize the 3DMark app from the Google Play Store by its name and then increase system performance for a better score. UL, the company behind the 3DMark benchmarks, retested the devices with a private version of the app. As it turns out, the phones were scoring up to 41 percent higher with the publicly available app. This was enough to prove them guilty as both benchmarking tests were identical.
UL’s benchmarking rules allow performance optimization through detection of heavy workloads. But recognizing an app by name and boosting performance? That’s out of the question. For now, UL has decided to move the devices to the bottom of the leader board and not display their scores. This has a huge effect on the Find X. It was previously ranked fourth on the leader board for the 3DMark’s Sling Shot Extreme performance test.
Oppo has denied recognizing apps by name and says they only programmed the phones to detect heavier workloads to improve performance. At the end of the day, consumers should just ignore benchmark claims. First of all, you cannot trust any brand these days with their benchmark scores. Who knows, maybe all of them are cheating but haven’t been discovered yet? Second, even when the benchmarks are honest, they only tell a small part of the performance story. As a consumer, you’re better off avoiding the benchmarks completely.