Huawei will let all phone users access ‘performance mode’ after benchmark controversy

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Huawei got caught cheating on benchmark tests, and now it’s trying to make amends. Today the company announced that it’ll let users force their phone into “performance mode,” saying it respects “consumers’ right to choose what to do with their devices.” This optimizes their device to run faster, but requires more of the phone’s power. Users will be able to do so starting with EMUI 9.0, a future version of Huawei’s OS.

This week, AnandTech exposed Huawei as optimizing its smartphones to over-perform on benchmark tests, specifically the 3DMark program. As such, 3DMark delisted the P20, P20 Pro, Nova 3, and Honor Play from its leaderboards. The phones were coded to detect this software and adjusted their performance accordingly. They didn’t perform as well with a program they didn’t recognize, meaning the phones couldn’t actually identify when they needed to perform better and didn’t accurately represent a normal use case.

The fact that Huawei is opening up its performance mode doesn’t mean all that much. It’s clearly just trying to cater to users who care about benchmark tests and want on-demand access to the best performance. It could be useful for gamers who want to enable it before playing, though. Still, it doesn’t take away from Huawei’s actual cheating, although the creators of 3DMark says they’ll reinstate Huawei’s benchmark scores once it opens performance mode up to all its phones.


It’s clever to call the "cheat mode" as "performance mode" after getting caught, but we all know that in real life it creates more problems for the user.

Frankly, I don’t think anyone will keep using the "performance mode" after seeing the battery life goes down by half.

This. There’s a reason it wasn’t available to start with.

Well, unless this is a different "Performance Mode" it IS available on my Huawei P20 Pro (via the "Game Suite") since the last update. Otherwise they should simply add it to that Game Suite too and name it "Crazy Mode"

It is very different. The original anandtech article suggested Huawei was almost doubling what the soc had for a thermal envelope. They would never allow this in normal use so this "performance mode" they are gonna add won’t be the same and is just an attempt to save face.

Ludicrous mode

Too little too late. It anything this shows what kind of culture and mentality Huawei has and the lengths they will go to make their products seem like the best.

They’re definitely not the first in doing so.

Lol! Cheat better next time, Huawei.

Cheating 3DMark, Anandtech even found differences in render quality between different mobile GPUs…Mobile sure feels a lot like a retread of desktops 15 years ago.

Letting users access "performance mode" is one thing but what they should do is to unlock their bootloader. Recent firmware updates have just blocked it further and further for no reason if not to lock people away so nobody can peek into the AI optimization work (like GPU Turbo) they’re doing on their devices.

The continuous campaign against Huawei launched by the US only demonstrates that ‘somebody’ is going ass over kettle. If this is the only response they have to Huawei taking over the world market piece by piece, then so be it. Just keep whining, this won’t stop the train…

Yeah, yeah … "Somebody" went and edited Huawei’s software to cheat on benchmarks because they are afraid of them. eyeroll

Amazing how in stories like this, instead of admonishing the cheater, some a-hole will come along and defend them.

Same thing happened with the P20 Pro. It’s an impressive camera but it’s simply not the best and that’s based on samples but people will believe numbers instead of their own eyes.

This seems like the proper response from the company. But all the comments are hate.

Literally, what do you want them to do? Build a time machine so that they can go back in time and never try to cheat the benchmarks in the first place?

It’s a pathetic response, IMO. More pathetic when people like you who’s trying to defend a cheater

Curious what the response should have been?

Yeah, that’s my point. What should they have done? Does anyone have a productive answer to the question, or do they just want to pile on?

To me, the response seems commensurate to the ‘crime.’ I don’t particularly pay attention to benchmarks, so I didn’t even know that the Huawei did well / cheated at 3DMark in the first place.

The proper response should have been something like this: "We’re sorry, we were stupid to think we can get away with it. It won’t happen again because we’ve learned our lessons and we’ll be smarter the next time"

Which would be a lie, of course. Maybe people like false apologies for the sake of apologizing?

I feel like opening up the feature is a win/win. Consumers have the option to use it and they get put back on the benchmark list.

Thanks but no thanks, I prefer not to buy stuff from people who lie to me. And get caught doing it repeatedly no less.

It’s bad enough that android, ios, and so many of the apps they run secretly push our data to slimy marketing companies but Huawei is Chinese, their data goes to the Chinese government. So once again, thanks but no thanks.

Ignorance sure is bliss.

Is it fun to pretend that you would have bought something from them if they hadn’t been cheating, considering your false pretenses?

So given that Samsung lied about benchmarking just like this; Apple lied about about battery-related throttling; and Motorola and HTC are Chinese, too…

I’m guessing you only buy LG, Pixel, or Essential phones in order to be logically internally consistent?

LG lied about updates, which then were never delivered (product value slipping versus zero in a rush).
"Essential cancels its next smartphone, future of the company in doubt…"

Well. Google is the biggest c*** of them all. They can’t even get their stupid media framework fixed. It has turned into some sort of replacement for ‘flash’ with continuous remote exploits:
Android Security Bulletin—September 2018

The most severe of these issues is a critical security vulnerability in Media framework that could enable a remote attacker using a specially crafted file to execute arbitrary code within the context of a privileged process.
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