OnePlus and Meizu caught red-handed cheating on benchmarks; OnePlus promises to stop


One Plus three :

A group of XDA developers have confirmed that OnePlus and Meizu ar cheating on benchmarks. OnePlus has even admitted as much and guarantees to not within the hay|love|make out|make love|sleep with|get laid|have sex|know|be intimate|have intercourse|have it away|have it off|screw|fuck|jazz|eff|hump|lie with|bed|have a go at it|bang|get it on|bonk|copulate|mate|pair|couple} in the future.

In 2013, it was discovered that near to every smartphone manufacturer was cheating on benchmark. Notably, Samsung and HTC were called out for by artificial means boosting performance in benchmarking apps.

Given the backlash from the community, we assumed that makers valued their own community enough to avoid practices like this. It looks like OnePlus and Meizu ar unconcerned.

When testing the OnePlus 3T, XDA noted that the Snapdragon 821 chipset used was forced to run at a higher base clock whenever a benchmark app was detected.

Before we dive into the details of the cheating tho’, a small explainer on however mobile CPUs work is so as.

How will a mobile CPU work?


Most mobile CPUs today use the questionable huge.LITTLE design. In this design, a collection of high-performance cores (Big) ar paired with a set of low-performance ones (Little). The former are battery intensive and therefore the latter don’t seem to be.

The idea is that tasks requiring low power — like background applications, playing music, etc. — are handled by the very little cores. Intensive tasks like gaming ar handled by the huge cores. This combination of cores helps in power and thermal management.

The CPU on associate degree SoC can conjointly increase or decrease its frequency counting on the applying being run. This is called scaling. So, a CPU may hit its most speed once gap associate degree app associate degreed then settle to idleness speed when an app is open. This happens very quick.

The chipset uses speed governors to determine however this is often handled. Smartphone manufacturers ar given the freedom to tweak these governors from among the OS — mechanical man, in this case.

What did OnePlus do?

Coming back to OnePlus, the OnePlus 3T uses a Snapdragon 821 chipset, which uses 2 huge cores and 2 very little cores.

Normally once associate degree app is opened, the cores are supposed to proportion to high speed (over one.29 GHz) associate degreed then fall back to an idle state of zero.31 rate once there’s no load.
XDA noted that the OnePlus 3T would maintain the little cores at zero.98 rate and the huge cores at one.29 rate in bound applications like benchmarks. Assuming that OnePlus was cheating on the benchmarks, they approached Primate Labs, the makers of the popular GeekBench suite of benchmarks, for help.

Primate Labs discovered that the OnePlus 3T’s OS was identifying apps by name and modifying the speed governors consequently. To overcome this, Primate Labs built a benchmark with a completely different name. When tested on the OnePlus 3T, it was immediately noted that the chipset was acting because it usually ought to.

When the tests were run once more, XDA noted that the difference in performance was stripped-down. In fact, the device ran hotter for no notable gain in performance.

Courtesy : XDA Developers
XDA also discovered that this ‘cheating’ was a ‘feature’ of atomic number 1 OS used by OnePlus. Apparently, the OS identifies apps and games by name and forces the CPU into a higher performance state once it will.

One might suppose that a targeted boost in performance is acceptable, but we have a tendency to have to recollect that this is often a hack. OnePlus isn’t optimising the CPU to handle variable masses. A new app, for example, will not have the benefit of this. If OnePlus stops supporting the OnePlus 3T, you lose any performance “optimisation” for newer apps. The resultant performance is inconsistent for the user.

When approached by XDA, OnePlus apparently “promised to stop targeting benchmark apps” which future builds will stop to try to to thus.

It’s good that OnePlus is at least admitting this. But I don’t suppose they had a alternative. Any other stance would have simply generated a lot of backlash from the community.

Meizu: Cheater extraordinaire

On testing other phones from Xiaomi, HTC, Sony and the like, XDA was happy to note that there have been no performance inconsistencies. On testing the Meizu Pro six but, XDA discovered something terribly distressing.


The Meizu Pro six uses a 10-core Helio X25 chipset with a combination of 4 low performance cores, four medium performance cores and two high performance cores. Think of it as associate degree extension to the massive.LITTLE style, and in principal, uses the same mechanism for scaling performance.

XDA was surprised to learn that the professional six switches off the massive cores most of the time. They only return on in bound apps and once the phone is expressly placed in ‘Performance Mode’.

The performance disparity was thus nice that scores fell by over thirty p.c once Primate Labs’ secret benchmark was used. XDA believes that Meizu is also targeting apps by name.

Meizu is effectively selling you what it claims is a superior phone, but, for whatever reason, is throttling it down to the amount of a mid-range phone.