Benchmarks. You ask for them, we give them to you. Apps like AnTuTu, GeekBench, and all the other benchmarking apps out there provide us with a good measure of how smartphones out in the market perform. It allows us to quantify the experience you get from using a particular smartphone, but shouldn’t be the sole basis for your next purchase. Benchmarks aren’t everything. If you don’t believe us, then let this recent tidbit making its way around the tech scene should make you a little bit wary about just looking at the numbers.
OnePlus and Meizu have been caught cheating their benchmark scores.
It’s quite the lengthy article on the site of XDA-Developers, but the gist of it is that the OnePlus 3, OnePlus 3T, and Meizu’s Pro 6 Plus have been rigged to boost their CPU performance when running certain benchmark apps. To test out their theory, the folks at XDA-Developers reached out to the makers of GeekBench, Primate Labs, and asked the to make a dummy version of their benchmark app that they’ve renamed “Bob’s Mini Golf Putt” and, well, the difference in their results clearly indicate something fishy going on.
With their results in hand, XDA Developers reached out to the folks at OnePlus to ask about their findings and they pretty much admitted to targeting benchmark apps and promised to remove it from future builds of the Oxygen OS. OnePlus released the following statement:
In order to give users a better user experience in resource intensive apps and games, especially graphically intensive ones, we implemented certain mechanisms in the community and Nougat builds to trigger the processor to run more aggressively. The trigger process for benchmarking apps will not be present in upcoming OxygenOS builds on the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T.
In case, you’re wondering about the results from Meizu. Here’s what their testing turned up and, man, you can really see the difference in the benchmark scores on this one.
So there you have it. A reason not to fully rely on benchmark tests when checking out reviews. Again, it’s a nice way to give a number on how certain devices perform but, as you can see clearly see in the results from GeekBench and the disguised build, these benchmark scores can be padded. We strongly advise you to check out multiple reviews and talk to friends who may own or at least tinkered with the device you’ve been eyeing before shelling out your hard earned cash.