Huawei Caught Red-Handed Optimizing Smartphones to Over-Perform on Benchmark Tests

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei has been caught red-handed optimizing some of its top smartphones to over-perform on benchmark tests.

Earlier this week, AnandTech discovered that Huawei’s flagship P20 smartphone had been specifically programmed to maximize performance while running 3DMark, a popular benchmarking app.

Today, UL, the company behind 3DMark, has released a statement saying that they have confirmed AnandTech‘s findings and are proceeding to delist a number of Huawei phones from its benchmark leaderboards. The phones delisted were the P20, P20 Pro, Nova 3 and the Honor Play.

“After testing the devices in our own lab and confirming that they breach our rules, we have decided to delist the affected models and remove them from our performance rankings,” the company said in a statement.

UL does acknowledge that devices adjust their performance based on the workload at hand, and these adjustments don’t violate its rules. However, in this case, it becomes clear that performance isn’t being boosted because the test is more demanding since the two variants of the tool are similar. Instead, Huawei seems to increase performance dramatically because it simply recognizes the name of the app.

When contacted by UL, Huawei said that they are “planning to provide users with access to “Performance Mode” so they can use the maximum power of their device when they need to.”

This isn’t the first time a manufacturer has been caught doing the same thing — OnePlus, Samsung, and HTC have also been caught red-handed rigging the benchmark performance of their smartphones. While the aforementioned OEMs were largely apologetic for their benchmarking tricky, Huawei attempted to justify its actions, telling AnandTech that it’s doing so is to remain competitive.

“Others do the same testing, get high scores, and Huawei cannot stay silent,” Wang Chenglu, president of software at Huawei’s Consumer Business Group, told AnandTech.