UL delists Huawei phones with suspect benchmark scores
September 6, 2018
Over the last five years, more than a few smartphone manufacturers have been caught and shamed for trying to manipulate benchmark scores. That's why UL has clear rules for manufacturers that govern how a platform can interact with its benchmarking software.
Earlier this week, AnandTech reported that several recent smartphone models from Huawei and its sub-brand, Honor, seem to be producing artificially high and misleading benchmark scores. Huawei is the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world by volume according to IDC.
After testing the devices in our own lab and confirming that they breach our rules, we have decided to delist the affected models and remove them from our performance rankings.
Which models have been delisted?
Based on our own testing, we have delisted the following models:
- Huawei P20 Pro
- Huawei Nova 3
- Honor Play
Based on AnandTech's testing and reporting, we have also delisted:
- Huawei P20
Delisted devices appear unranked, and without scores, at the bottom of our popular list of the best smartphones. 3DMark scores from delisted devices should not be used to compare models.
Why have you delisted these models?
We tested each model with the public version of 3DMark, available from Google Play, and a private version of 3DMark that is not available to the public or manufacturers.
We found that the scores from the public 3DMark app were up to 47% higher than the scores from the private app, even though the tests are identical.
With the public 3DMark app, these devices appear to use a hidden "Performance Mode" that overrides the devices' usual power profile—see the AnandTech article for more details.
The difference in scores tells us that the devices are simply recognizing the 3DMark app by name rather than adapting to the type of work in the test.
This kind of detection and optimization is forbidden by our rules for manufacturers. We contacted Huawei with our findings, and we are happy to say that they have pledged to implement a more transparent approach in a future update,
"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."
Optional performance modes that can be set by the user—already available on some other manufacturers' models—are allowed under our current rules as long as they are disabled by default. A device must run the benchmark as if it were any other application.
We're committed to creating benchmarks you can trust
- 3DMark is protected by rules for manufacturers.
- 3DMark has public documentation that explains what each test measures and how the scores are calculated.
- Our Best Smartphones list only shows publicly available models. We never list or leak unverified scores from pre-release hardware.
Test your phone with 3DMark
3DMark is a free Android benchmark app available from Google Play. Benchmark your smartphone then compare its performance with the latest models. With its unique charts, lists, and rankings, 3DMark gives you unrivaled insights into the performance of your device.
3DMark Steel Nomad will be free for all 3DMark users.
December 20, 2023
Using 3DMark to measure sustained performance.
December 13, 2023
New NPUs supported by Procyon AI Benchmark
November 16, 2023
A preview of 3DMark Steel Nomad
November 10, 2023
Qualcomm Uses Procyon AI Benchmark at Snapdragon Summit
November 1, 2023
3DMark celebrates its 25th year!
October 26, 2023
3DMark Adds iOS Support to Solar Bay Ray Tracing Benchmark
September 11, 2023
UL Solutions Launches 3DMark Solar Bay, New Cross-Platform Ray Tracing Benchmark
August 14, 2023
3DMark is now also available on Epic Games Store
June 20, 2023
Procyon® Is Addressing the Demand for Better AI Capabilities with Newly Launched AI Benchmark
June 15, 2023
Lenovo Focuses on Optimizing PC Hardware Testing with Procyon® Benchmarks
May 9, 2023
New Office Productivity Battery Life Scenario Released Today From Procyon®
May 4, 2023
Procyon® from UL Solutions Launch MacOS Benchmarks for Multi-Platform Score Comparison
May 2, 2023
3DMark adds feature test for AMD FSR.
March 30, 2023
UL Procyon® AI Inference Benchmark for Windows Released 22nd March 2023
March 20, 2023