The OnePlus 3T cheated on benchmarks and got caught red-handed

William Gayde

Posts: 373   +5
Staff member

Cheating on industry standard tests and benchmarks ain't new. Recently and most notably, auto makers Volkswagen, and Fiat Chrysler were caught cheating emissions tests. The tech industry isn't immune either. A widespread investigation into cheating on mobile benchmark scores was sparked after it was discovered that Samsung had been artificially boosting GPU clock speeds on its Galaxy S4 handset when known benchmarks were started.

Over the years, XDA has since caught Samsung, HTC, Sony, and LG all cheating in the arms race that is phone benchmarks. Major manufacturers have collectively agreed to stop following the incident, but OnePlus has since started the deceptive practice again. XDA has discovered that the OnePlus 3T is now boosting CPU clock speeds during benchmarks as well.

The issue has only now shown up ahead of the Android Nougat upgrade, but has reportedly been present in HydrogenOS and OxygenOS for a long time. In a responding statement, OnePlus said they will remove the processor boosting feature for upcoming OxygenOS releases. Their reasoning for doing it in the first place was described as creating a better user experience during demanding apps. It's up for judgement as to the feature's original intentions, even if it only amounts to a few percentage points increase.

The Meizu Pro 6 Plus was also caught at the same time in a very similar manner (Editor's Note: Tim who reviewed the Meizu device argues there is no foul play here, simply an upfront "performance mode" that can be toggled at will). These deceptive practices underscore the need to test phones in real-world circumstances as much as possible. Artificial tests shouldn't be the only benchmark for a phone.

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Scorpus

Posts: 1,977   +231
Staff member
I disagree on the Meizu Pro 6 Plus. That phone is notably faster (as in, you can immediately tell when opening regular apps, etc.) if you switch it into Performance Mode in everyday usage. It also provides a boost in benchmarks, and if you set the phone to balance mode it will prompt you to switch to the performance mode when opening a benchmark, but if you enable the Performance Mode all the time you'll see a noticeable difference in device behavior
 
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psycros

Posts: 3,187   +3,373
I disagree on the Meizu Pro 6 Plus. That phone is notably faster (as in, you can immediately tell when opening regular apps, etc.) if you switch it into Performance Mode in everyday usage. It also provides a boost in benchmarks, and if you set the phone to balance mode it will prompt you to switch to the performance mode when opening a benchmark, but if you enable the Performance Mode all the time you'll see a noticeable difference in device behavior
The only thing that matters is whether they were transparent about the whole thing. If Meizu was totally up-front about having a "turbo" function (i486 flashbacks incoming) then its all good. Otherwise they have to put in the same penalty box as the rest of the cheaters.
 
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Puiu

Posts: 4,021   +2,533
I would say "I expected better from them", but frankly... I don't trust any of these benchmark apps or the phone manufacturers. I just use them as a reference, I mostly look at user reviews and forum posts of problems people had with the phones.
It's more important for me that the specs are real (clock speeds, memory, storage, etc to not be fake) and that the phones work. (and ofc the price)
 

p51d007

Posts: 2,486   +1,755
Gee...OnePlus caught cheating/lying again?
Startup company...fib/lie
Premium specs/Never settle...LOL
Oppo built all the phones for the "startup", because they are the same company.
The silly invite because Oppo couldn't build enough phones, given they want to build/sell the more
premium version of the same phone. (Find7=OnePlus)
People still on their forums gush about OnePlus. In some ways, they are more fanboy than Apple people.
 
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Scorpus

Posts: 1,977   +231
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The only thing that matters is whether they were transparent about the whole thing. If Meizu was totally up-front about having a "turbo" function (i486 flashbacks incoming) then its all good. Otherwise they have to put in the same penalty box as the rest of the cheaters.
They are transparent. When you load a benchmark (in balanced mode) it asks if you want to switch to performance mode.
 

ShadowDeath

Posts: 152   +97
I disagree on the Meizu Pro 6 Plus. That phone is notably faster (as in, you can immediately tell when opening regular apps, etc.) if you switch it into Performance Mode in everyday usage. It also provides a boost in benchmarks, and if you set the phone to balance mode it will prompt you to switch to the performance mode when opening a benchmark, but if you enable the Performance Mode all the time you'll see a noticeable difference in device behavior
The only thing that matters is whether they were transparent about the whole thing. If Meizu was totally up-front about having a "turbo" function (i486 flashbacks incoming) then its all good. Otherwise they have to put in the same penalty box as the rest of the cheaters.

Awww yeah! Hit that little Turbo button and go from 33MHz to 66MHz.
 
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cartera

Posts: 379   +120
It's still a great phone for the money and their customer service has been excellent in my experience. Most benchmarks need to be looked upon with a pinch of salt anyway.

Then again I'm biased because I have one.
 

Scorpus

Posts: 1,977   +231
Staff member
It's possible whoever was examining the Pro 6 Plus at XDA didn't realize you can switch on the Performance Mode at all times; the setting is pretty well hidden. But the prompt to switch when in balanced mode does only appear in benchmarks, not everyday apps or games
 

Skidmarksdeluxe

Posts: 8,645   +3,281
It's a war for manufacturers out there and they'll never win by pulling any punches, it's impossible. Each and every manufacturer cheats, lands low blows on their opponents and takes steroids like it was candy, it's just that the ref's and officials haven't caught out them doing it yet but sooner or later they will.
 

Kibaruk

Posts: 3,836   +1,183
Who looks at phones and says "oh wait, the Galaxy S8 had 100 more points on the benchmark versus the LG G6, I will change from my Xperia Z5 to a Galaxy because of that, oh wait!! The 3T is 150 points faster!! (Out of 100.000.000 points)".

And even if it was twice as fast in a benchmark, it will tell absolutely nothing about the phone. People will go to the hands on, camera quality, how it looks. This is worth a cuak and even then I'm being generous.