Huawei Ascend P7 delisted from 3DMark rankings

August 29, 2014

We have removed the Huawei Ascend P7 from our 3DMark performance rankings for breaking our rules governing benchmark detection and optimization. It now appears delisted and without a score at the bottom of our Best Smartphones and Tablets list.

We have delisted the Ascend P7 because it does not comply with our rules. Specifically, 

"The platform may not detect the launch of the benchmark executable. The platform must not...modify the usual functioning of the platform based on the detection of the benchmark."

The problem is explained and demonstrated by Joshua Ho of Anandtech in his article, "Examining Huawei's Benchmark Optimizations in the Ascend P7," which includes the data shown below.

Huawei Ascend P7 Performance in 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited

  • Play Store version score 7462
  • Renamed version score 5816 

As you can see, the Ascend P7's score when running the public version of 3DMark is 28 percent higher than the score from a renamed, but otherwise identical version of 3DMark not available to the public or manufacturers. We also confirmed these results in our own test lab.

This clearly shows that the Ascend P7 is detecting 3DMark by name, and not by workload. If the "CPU configuration is adjusted dynamically according to the workload in different scenarios," as claimed by Huawei in their response to Anandtech, then the score from the renamed version of 3DMark would be identical to the public version.

When a device detects 3DMark, and modifies its behaviour as a result, the score no longer reflects its real-world performance and cannot be used to make a fair comparison with other devices. 

As Joshua says, "It's not really acceptable that Huawei is doing this, and I'm disappointed that they have chosen this path."

We share that disappointment and hope that this delisting will help persuade Huawei to realize the benefits of being fair and honest with their customers and the press.

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We invite members of the press to contact us for testing advice, tips on detecting optimizations or any other questions about 3DMark.

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