Huawei found to be tweaking phones' performances to ace benchmark scores

Huawei was called out for manipulating its phones' performance to top the chart scores on a benchmark app called 3DMark, which categorises phone models to its performance specifications. This was after Huawei's recent smartphone models were found to be artificially boosting its performance on the app.

3DMark provides benchmarks from its parent company UL to help people to measure, understand and manage a device's hardware performance. Its chart ranks phone models on their specifications and performance standards, which Huawei had initially topped.

Following this discovery, UL issued a statement that the several recent smartphone models from Huawei and its sub-brand, Honor, were producing artificially high and misleading benchmark scores on its app. The smartphone models delisted are: P20 and P20 Pro, Nova 3 and Honor Play.

The company also said that its testing involved both a public version of the 3DMark app for all manufacturers and also its own private version of the app. It confirmed from the differing results that the models breached the rules of its benchmarking software.

The results showed that the scores from the public version of the app were 47% higher than the scores from the private app, despite the identical test processes. The company said in the statement that the devices were recognising the 3DMark app by name rather than the type of work in the test.

This type of detection and optimisation was "forbidden" for its manufacturers. UL also contacted Huawei with the findings, to which the latter responded: "Huawei is planning to provide users with access to “Performance Mode” so they can use the maximum power of their device when they need to."

Marketing has reached out to Huawei for comment.

Huawei was recently called out for its new campaign that was perceived to be shot using new Huawei Nova 3i, when in fact, it was done using a DSLR camera. The 30-second ad by Huawei Egypt featured a couple taking a selfie with what was supposedly the Nova 3i. The truth came to light when Egyptian actress and model Sarah Elshamy, who played the female protagonist in the ad, posted a behind the scenes image on her Instagram. The image showed that the ad was being captured by a DSLR camera, while the male protagonist held out his hand and pretend to snap a selfie using the smartphone.

In April this year, Huawei also came under the spotlight when its brand ambassador actress Gal Gadot was mocked for promoting her collaboration with the brand using Apple’s iPhone Twitter app. Although the post was removed and re-posted via an Android, screenshots of the gaffe were shared online by then. Gadot clarified through her publicist that she does not use an iPhone and "loves" her Huawei P20 and Mate10Pro.