Last month, Huawei was caught cheating on benchmark tests for several of its phones, including the P20 and P20 Pro. But it wasn’t the only phone company that was trying to game the system: two of Oppo’s devices, including its flagship Find X, have been delisted from 3DMark’s benchmark leaderboard for the same reason.
The phones were programmed to recognize the publicly available 3DMark app from the Google Play Store by name and then allocating system resources to ensure a better score. UL, the company that makes 3DMark, tested the devices again with a private version of 3DMark and found that the Find X and F7 were scoring to 41 percent higher with the publicly available app than the private one, even though the benchmarking tests were identical.
UL’s benchmarking rules allow for phones to optimize performance by detecting heavier workloads, specifically looking out for the name of the app and then optimizing based on that is not. As such, UL is delisting the two Oppo devices in question and moving them without scores to the bottom of its benchmarking list. (It’s a particularly stinging blow for the Find X, which was previously ranked fourth for 3DMark’s Sling Shot Extreme performance test.)
UL says that Oppo admitted that it was specifically identifying 3DMark, commenting to the company, “When we detect that the user is running applications like games or 3D Benchmarks that require high performance, we allow the SoC to run at full speed for the smoothest experience.”
That’s different from how Oppo explains that its devices handle computationally demanding apps it doesn’t recognize by name, and they simply use the default power optimization strategy. In Oppo’s case, that means limiting performance to between 70 and 80 percent and only offering full power when the user interacts with it.