Huawei caught cheating on benchmark tests, opens up performance mode to users
Huawei is the latest Android phone maker to be caught cheating on benchmark tests.
AnandTech was running some performance testing on the P20 handset when it discovered that the phone has a benchmark detection mechanism that enables a higher power limit for the processor with more generous thermal headroom. This leads to higher performance scores in benchmarks which is good for marketing, but not realistic in everyday usage scenarios.
When offered an opportunity to explain its actions, Dr. Wang Chenglu, President of Software at Huawei’s Consumer Business Group, said that other manufacturers in the Android ecosystem also mislead with the numbers and it's a "common practice in China".
Dr. Wang went on to say that "Huawei cannot stay silent" especially when "others do the same testing" and "get high scores" in gaming benchmarks. 3DMark has since delisted the P20, the P20 Pro, Nova 3 and Honor Play from its leaderboard.
Days later, Huawei and UL (the creators of 3DMark) released a joint statement that they had held discussions on benchmarking practices and reached a positive agreeement on the next steps in working together.
In the discussion, Huawei explained that its smartphones use an artificial intelligent resource scheduling mechanism. Because different scenarios have different resource needs, the latest Huawei handsets leverage innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence to optimize resource allocation in a way so that the hardware can demonstrate its capabilities to the fullest extent, while fulfilling user demands across all scenarios.
While UL understands the intent of Huawei's appraoch, it is opposed to Huawei's use of a "Perfomance Mode" by default when a benchmarking app is detected by the phone. Huawei states that it respects consumers' right to choose what to do with their devices, hence they will provide users with open access to "Performance Mode" in EMUI 9.0. Both companies also agreed to participate in an industry movement to develop benchmarking standards that best serve the needs of manufacturers, press and consumers.
Despite coming clean on the matter, the joint statement and future plans do not take away the fact that Huawei cheated on several benchmarking apps. This isn't the first that Android phone makers are found to be doing this; Samsung was found to have artificially boosted its processor in the Galaxy Note 3 for selected benchmarks. ASUS, HTC and LG were also discovered to be using similar tactics.