UL, the company behind the 3DMark benchmark tests, has delisted the Huawei P20, P20 Pro, Nova 3, and Honor Play smartphones from its leaderboards.
Huawei has been caught optimizing some of its flagship smartphones so they will get better results in 3DMark benchmark tests.
On Tuesday, AnandTech discovered that Huawei’s smartphones were hard-coded to improve performance while running the test, according to UL, the company behind the 3DMark software. UL said it confirmed the AnandTech’s findings, and removed the P20, P20 Pro, Nova 3, and Honor Play from its benchmark leaderboards (Honor is a Huawei sub-brand).
In a statement to Android Authority, Huawei said its phones are designed to adjust their performance based on the app that’s running. This is done by ignoring thermal design power recommendations for smartphones, allowing the chip to run at full capacity but at a rate that is unsustainable and has a much higher power consumption.
However the way Huawei coded the phones is not allowed by the benchmarking software, and when UL ran its own version of 3DMark—which Huawei’s phones could not identify—the phones performed significantly worse. Scores from the publicly available 3DMark app were up to 47 percent higher than scores from the private one, despite it being the same software, said UL.
Huawei has said it is “planning to provide users with access to ‘Performance Mode’ so they can use the maximum power of their device when they need to,” however it is not clear whether Huawei would have released this mode had they not been caught, nor whether the mode will be safe to use if there is the possibility of it causing long-term damage to devices.
This comes after Huawei was caught passing off a D-SLR photograph as one taken by one of its phones just a few weeks ago. In 2016, it pulled the same trick, using a $4,500 Canon camera to take photos it claimed came from a Huawei P9.