Benchmark cheating is pretty much traditional. You might have heard the news of OnePlus and Meizu trying to cheat Benchmark scores. So, what these two tech giants exactly do? How did they do it? Also, importantly Why did they do it?
Let’s dive into the issue and learn what happened.
What is benchmarking?
Technically, benchmarking is a way to determine the quality of a product and then comparing it with the competitor. In the mobile industry, there are apps like GeekBench and AnTuTu which measure benchmark score of many devices, determine a score and then compare it with other devices.
Of course, no benchmark app is perfect, and that is why choosing a device just based on the benchmark is foolish indeed.
What did OnePlus and Meizu do?
OnePlus and Meizu manipulated the benchmark scores. XDA developers detected the benchmark manipulation with the help of Primate Labs.
Primate Labs built a particular version of Geekbench 4 to check if their suspicions were correct. To their surprise, OnePlus and Meizu were found to be cheating. Meizu Pro 6 and OnePlus 3T were found to be affected. OnePlus accepted their mistake and agreed on fixing it in the next software update.
Both these companies are not the first one to cheat benchmark scores and try to get away with it. There have been companies like Sony, Samsung, HTC and LG who did try to do the same.
How did Benchmark Cheating happen?
Most of you might already know this that there is a direct correlation between battery life and performance of a digital product. All the mobile phones we use today are battery powered, so performance affects battery life.
It is simple. If you want more performance, you have to let go of your desire for more lasting battery, and vice-versa.
Extra battery consumption means more heating. More heating means a decrease in benchmark score. On the one hand, you get an increase in baseline score because of performance, on the other, you lose your score because of battery life.
Benchmarking apps use this ratio between performance, heating and battery life to generate benchmark score.
The question now remains – How to get good benchmark then with the current hardware? How to manage performance without making the battery suffer much?
What OnePlus and Meizu did was merely software optimizations.
All apps on Android has a particular fixed package name. For instance, the package name for Trip Advisor is com.tripadvisor.tripadvisor. The package name remains the same regardless of updates and fixes Trip Advisor gets.
For OEMs, it is very easy to trigger enhanced performance whenever a particular package name app runs. If AnTuTu runs, the software will detect it and then optimize performance for a little time. The result? Better performance with negligible effect on the battery.
Two things get established by temporarily boosting performance
1. Battery consumption remains nearly the same
2. Benchmark comparison score gets elevated.
Why do OEMs cheat benchmark score?
The reason to cheat is pretty simple. The current OnePlus 3t AnTutTu benchmark score is 163013, which makes it one of the highest benchmark in the mobile industry.
Novice users are more likely to a phone with a better benchmark. Meaning, better sales.
Is it wrong?
The prime subject remains was it wrong for these tech giants to cheat the score?
Different people may have a different opinion, but for me, it was not totally depraved. In a world where most Android enthusiasts possess a spec-hungry nature, manipulating the score is not much of a deal. One needs to realize Benchmark is not the industry standard to measure a phone’s capability.
However, did Meizu and OnePlus really trick us? No.
If we think, the real cheating would have been if they someone managed to get the app to show the false score. However, what they did was just manipulating performance, and the score automatically got boosted up. The score was the device itself under a modified situation. So, it was not much of a cheat.
What do you guys think? Let us know in the comments below!