Huawei Caught Cheating on Smartphone Benchmark Tests

Doris Richards
September 9, 2018

The two other phones are Huawei Nova 3 and Honor Play.UL, the company behind 3D Mark tests, one of the most popular benchmark tests has in fact delisted all three smartphones.

As a result of their benchmarking tests, UL has made a decision to blacklist Huawei's devices, specifically the P20, P20 Pro, Nova 3, and the Honor Play.

Huawei has stated that the performance peak observed during the run of 3DMark was intuitive and determined by Artificial Intelligence. "After testing the devices in our own lab and confirming that they breach our rules, we have chose to delist the affected models and remove them from our performance rankings", wrote UL. The report revealed that Huawei's latest bunch of phones come with benchmarking detection which ramps up the power limit of the Honor Play to a generous value.

"Others do the same testing, get high scores, and Huawei can not stay silent", Wang Chenglu, president of software at Huawei's Consumer Business Group, told the AnandTech.


Huawei has deceived the expectations of users. It's not clear whether Huawei will continue to force the Performance Mode in smartphones during benchmark tests. This is not what the folks at UL (the makers of 3D Mark) want to happen with their benchmark test. UL rules require the device to run the benchmark as if it were any other application. According to 3DMark, it was able to prove the misleading test results because Huawei's phones only recognized the public version of its benchmarking app.

Huawei respects consumers' right to choose what to do with their devices. It was a "common practice" in China, Wang said, suggesting that Huawei would lose sales if it didn't cheat. Manufacturers can still implement this kind of special performance mode on their devices, but UL says those modes must be off by default and can only be enabled by device owners. This is the result of Huawei appearing to "cheat" on benchmark tests with 3D Mark - they've agreed to make their methods more accessible to all! Now, Huawei agrees and will provide the Performance Mode option to all users in EMUI 9.0. "3DMark scores from delisted devices should not be used to compare models". Honor smartphones use advanced technologies such as AI to optimize the performance of hardware, including the CPU, GPU and NPU.

In normal benchmarking scenarios, once Huawei's software recognizes a benchmarking application, it intelligently adapts to "Performance Mode" and delivers optimum performance.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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