OnePlus CEO ‘defends’ cheating benchmark scores

OnePlus recently faced the wrath of tech enthusiasts globally on social media after a report revealed how the OnePlus 9 Pro smartphone was manipulating benchmarking scores. Performance benchmarking platform Geekbench even delisted the OnePlus 9 Pro and OnePlus 9 smartphones and said that it would verify benchmark scores of other OnePlus phones too.
The report by AnandTech said that the OnePlus 9 Pro’s software was using an application detection mechanism and intentionally kept running popular apps like Google Chrome, FireFox, Zoom, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and “pretty much everything that has any level of popularity in the Play Store” in processor’s slower cores.
App detection is used by companies to make smartphones appear more powerful on benchmarking platforms. However, in this case, OnePlus was ‘cheating’ to improve power efficiency and battery life. After heavy criticism, OnePlus tried to explain to fans that what it was doing cannot be called cheating or manipulation. However, it did not help OnePlus much.
Now, CEO Pete Lau offered his clarification and said, “We don’t optimize OnePlus phones for benchmarking scores. We optimise them for real use.”
“In the case of the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro, when you open apps or heavy games, the Snapdragon 888 processor, including the super powerful X1 CPU core, will run at full speed to provide the best performance. But with actions that do not require the maximum power, like reading a webpage or scrolling through Twitter and Instagram, it’s not necessary for the CPU to run at almost 3GHz to do that smoothly. The OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro reduce the CPU frequency in these scenarios to reduce power consumption and heat dissipation while maintaining a smooth experience,” he explained in an OnePlus forum post.
He also mentioned that the R&D team at OnePlus maintains a list of applications – based on the most popular Google Play Store apps – that it tries to optimise. The list of apps contains almost all popular ones on Google Play store including Chrome, Twitter, Zoom, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and more. “All of this optimisation is only finalized after our testing team makes sure the actual user experience is not negatively affected,” he added.

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