Smartphone manufacturers are often caught cheating on benchmark tests and this time it appears that Oppo has been caught doing the same. UL Benchmark, the company behind popular testing software 3DMark, has found that two of Oppo’s smartphones produce “artificially high and misleading” benchmark scores. That is why it has delisted the Oppo Find X and F7.
Huawei was hit with a similar charge last month for the Huawei P20, P20 Pro, Nova 3, and Honor Play. All of these devices were removed from 3DMark listings. It appeared that Huawei had coded the devices to detect the testing software and ramp up performance to hit higher scores.
Testing had revealed that these devices didn’t perform as well on benchmark programs that they did not recognize. This meant that they weren’t identifying that they needed to ramp up their performance to hit a better score.
Benchmark developers don’t like when app-level optimizations are triggered by smartphones as it prevents an accurate estimation of the performance for all apps. Huawei’s response to this was to open up the “performance mode” which did this to all users so that they could decide whether or not they wanted the company’s phones to optimize performance for the benchmarking app.
UL Benchmarks said that extensive testing has revealed that the Oppo Find X produces misleading scores. The claims were later verified by running a private version of 3DMark on both the Find X and F7. Despite the fact that both tests were identical, the phones didn’t score as well on the private version likely because they didn’t recognize the package name of the private 3DMark version.
Oppo admitted to the company that its devices detect the public version of 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,” it said in a statement.
Benchmark scores alone have never been a good indicator of a device’s performance. With some devices throwing up misleading figures it further undermines the efficacy of the exercise.