Huawei caught out over benchmark boosting

A report by AnAndTech has revealed that several Huawei smartphones have been pre-programmed in a way inflated their results when running popular benchmark tool 3DMark.

During the benchmarking process, these devices would enable a hidden ‘performance mode’ that boosted the power and battery usage of the device - a practice that is forbidden by UL’s benchmark rules & guidelines.

As a result, the Huawei P20, Huawei P20 Pro, Huawei Nova and Huawei Honor Play have all been delisted from UL Benchmarks’ online rankings.

UL say that “Delisted devices appear unranked, and without scores, at the bottom of our popular list of the best smartphones. 3DMark scores from delisted devices should not be used to compare models.”

Huawei responded to the move with the following statement: “Huawei always prioritizes the user experience rather than pursuing high benchmark scores – especially since there isn’t a direct connection between smartphone benchmarks and user experiences. Huawei smartphones use advanced technologies such as AI to optimize the performance of hardware, including the CPU, GPU and NPU.”

“When someone launches a photography app or plays a graphically-intensive game, Huawei’s intelligent software creates a smooth and stable user experience by applying the full capabilities of the hardware, while simultaneously managing the device’s temperature and power efficiency. For applications that aren’t as power intensive like browsing the web, it will only allocate the resources necessary to deliver the performance that’s needed.”

“In normal benchmarking scenarios, once Huawei’s software recognizes a benchmarking application, it intelligently adapts to “Performance Mode” and delivers optimum performance. Huawei is planning to provide users with access to “Performance Mode” so they can use the maximum power of their device when they need to.”

“Huawei – as the industry leader – is willing to work with partners to find the best benchmarking standards that can accurately evaluate the user experience.”

This isn't the first time a major vendor like Huawei has been caught out over benchmark boosting. Samsung, OnePlus and others have been exposed for similar practices in the past. However, it comes at curious point in Huawei's history.

Depending on who you ask, the company is either on the precipice of becoming a real challenger to Apple and Samsung or under attack from all sides over security concerns.

Regardless, PC World Australia will update our reviews of the above devices to reflect this recent development, as we use 3DMark in our testing process.