Earlier in the week, it was revealed via AnandTech that Huawei had installed benchmark detection software in the Huawei P20, Honor Play and most likely other devices that come with their Kirin 970 processor.
UL Benchmarks, who is responsible for benchmarking software like 3D Mark and VRMark have released a statement about delisting the handsets, after they have subsequently ran their own tests on the devices.
“We tested each model with the public version of 3DMark, available from Google Play, and a private version of 3DMark that is not available to the public or manufacturers.” the statements says “We found that the scores from the public 3DMark app were up to 47% higher than the scores from the private app, even though the tests are identical.
With the public 3DMark app, these devices appear to use a hidden “Performance Mode” that overrides the devices’ usual power profile.”
If it sounds familiar it’s because it is – it’s the same trick that was used last year by a number of other smartphone manufacturers in handsets like the OnePlus 5. Samsung and HTC are no strangers to the controversy either.
Though last year’s tricks were covered by apologies, Huawei did not back down on this one, arguing that the company chose this course of action so it can stay competitive in a competitive market.
Phones have to adjust their performance under heavy workloads, but the devices cannot be hard coded to maximize their behavior only when a benchmark app is running.
During the tests performed by UL, the phones were proven to not actually be smart enough to identify the performance demands on their own.