OnePlus reportedly cheated to manipulate its benchmark scores and make the OnePlus 5 look better

23 Jun

By Mudit Mohilay, The Tech Portal

Who doesn’t want good scores in tests? And we are often prepared to go to great lengths to achieve those scores. However, cheating isn’t exactly something that is to be recommended as a way because not only are you fooling yourself regarding your capabilities, you are also fooling others.  Which is why reports of OnePlus manipulating benchmark scores to make its OnePlus 5 smartphone seem super awesome, have us worried.

As per reports coming in from various reputable media sources, OnePlus review unit contains code which is capable of allowing them to manipulate benchmark tests and achieve performance over and above what a normal unit, shipped to the customers will provide.

Apparently, the Android operating system itself had been tampered with. The tampering was such that it enabled the OnePlus 5 released yesterday, to produce extraordinary results under test conditions. However, all that is useless as other devices that will be shipped out t customers likely won’t be able to emulate the level of performance.

Unfortunately, it is almost certain that every single review of the OnePlus 5 that contains a benchmark is using misleading results, as OnePlus provided reviewers a device that cheats on benchmarks.

Mario Tomás Serrafero writes on well regarded website XDA Developers.

This is an inexcusable move, because it is ultimately an attempt to mislead not just customers, but taint the work of reviewers and journalists with misleading data that most are not able to vet or verify. As a result, every OnePlus 5 review citing benchmark scores as an accolade of the phone’s success is misleading both writers and readers, and performance analyses based on synthetic benchmarks are invalidated.

He added.

The cheat had been designed so as to fool most major tests including AnTuTu, Androbench, Geekbench 4, GFXBench, Quadrant, Nenamark 2 and Vellamo. While in benchmark tests, the system started running at higher than usual CPU speeds, delivering extreme performance.

We polled the CPU frequency every 100ms, and in total, only 24.4 percent of readings returned the maximum frequency of 1.9Ghz when disabling cheating. Meanwhile, the run with enabled cheating spent a staggering 95 percent of readings in its maximum frequency state.

However, this kind of performance is not sustainable and among other things, leads to an extremely hot device. OnePlus 5’s outer temprature for instance, was recorded at 50 degrees C | 122 degrees F — during the GFXBench Benchmark.

Here is what OnePlus has to say on the matter:

People use benchmark apps in order to ascertain the performance of their device, and we want users to see the true performance of the OnePlus 5. Therefore, we have allowed benchmark apps to run in a state similar to daily usage, including the running of resource intensive apps and games. Additionally, when launching apps the OnePlus 5 runs at a similar state in order to increase the speed in which apps open. We are not overclocking the device, rather we are displaying the performance potential of the OnePlus 5.

Performance potential is the keyword here fellows. For some reason, that to me sounds like using the unsustainable upper limit of the performance spectrum and projecting it a the norm. After all, if it was totally normal than all OnePlus 5 devices that are being shipped should also exhibit the same behavior

We will continue digging into the matter, and let you know when any updates come about.