Skip to main content

OnePlus Responds to Charges of Benchmark Cheating

The long-anticipated OnePlus 5 is receiving glowing reviews. But now there are reports the handset's processor isn't as fast as benchmark results suggest.

Credit: Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

On Tuesday (June 20), XDA Developers accused OnePlus of intentionally manipulating benchmark scores on its OnePlus 5 to artificially inflate the perception of the smartphone's power. The site said that the actions were "obvious" and "calculated" and tantamount to "cheating" in today's smartphone market.

According to XDA Developers, the smartphone will typically run at a lower clock speed during normal use. However, the device comes with a mechanism that allows it to identify a benchmarking app and quickly boost its clock speed to the highest level to improve results.

The site said that when allowed to work on its own, the OnePlus 5 would deliver the best processing power available in 95 percent of cases. When the mechanism was turned off, however, it would only get to the top speed in 24.4 percent of cases. The OnePlus 5 has scored exceedingly high marks in most benchmarks, including the popular GeekBench 4.

MORE: Best Android Apps You're Not Using

It's worth noting that this isn't the first time OnePlus has been accused of manipulating benchmarks. In February, the company was cited for alleged benchmark cheating with its OnePlus 3T, the predecessor to the OnePlus 5. It denied that charge.

In a statement to XDA Developers, OnePlus clarified how its handset works with benchmark apps, and seemed to rebuke claims that it's cheating.

"People use benchmark apps in order to ascertain the performance of their device, and we want users to see the true performance of the OnePlus 5," the company told XDA Developers. "Therefore, we have allowed benchmark apps to run in a state similar to daily usage, including the running of resource intensive apps and games. Additionally, when launching apps the OnePlus 5 runs at a similar state in order to increase the speed in which apps open. We are not overclocking the device, rather we are displaying the performance potential of the OnePlus 5."

The benchmark scores, in other words, are designed to provide you some insight into what you might get, but only during certain circumstances.

The OnePlus 5 will go on sale on June 27.

Don Reisinger is a communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter who has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine and The New York Times, as well as Tom's Guide. 

  • Steve_233
    Apparently they learned nothing from the Volkswagen scandal.
  • Abom
    14bil USD for emissions cheating =/= a tripped benchmark.
  • redngold09
    A Chinese company cheating? no way!